Meet the Owner: Marie of Spaghetti & Meatballs

Meet the Owner: Marie of Spaghetti & Meatballs

Can you share a bit about your business and what you do?

I own a greeting card company! I write and design witty greeting cards with my sister and sell them to over 200 stores, including TJ Maxx, Marshalls, HomeGoods, Macy’s, and Paper Source. 

I also sell direct-to-consumer on Etsy and my own website: www.themeatballstudio.com. We just branched out and started selling wrapping paper, zip totes, calendars, and other fun stationery items. I started this company at my kitchen table when I lived in New York City in my shoebox apartment. After 3 years, I decided to back up and move back to my hometown in Buffalo, NY, and open up my own design studio with my family’s help.

Out of pure curiosity, where did you come up with your name, Spaghetti & Meatballs?

I’m Italian, and I love food! So I combined my two loves and came up with the name! Plus, my company is a family affair. My sister helps copy write my cards, my parents help me with orders and fulfillment. Every Sunday, you can find us at my parents’ house, with a pot of sauce and meatballs on the stove and everyone packing orders! So it just fit! And I knew I wanted something irreverent to paper and a name that was unusual but easy to remember. 

I came up with Spaghetti & Meatballs and thought, if I think of something better, I’ll just change it down the line. No one is following me, lol. And then I kinda became obsessed with it! So I kept it and branded it.

When and why did you decide to start your new business?

About 3 years ago. I was working full-time in NYC at Bloomingdale’s as an art director. But I became the go-to person in the office to make extravagant birthday cards for our bosses’ or co-workers’ birthday. After a while, I really started liking making a gift for someone who was well thought out and unique. 

I loved seeing their reaction and making them feel loved and “seen.” So I started an Etsy shop on a whim, and it just took off. Slowly but surely, I started doing markets and hauling my stuff to Brooklyn. I would sell at Artist & Fleas, Renegade, and Phoenicia Flea. But it was after I did my first tradeshow–National Stationery Show at the Javits Center–where I realized I could turn this side hobby into a career. I met hundreds of buyers and start networking, and doubled my wholesale accounts in that first show. I decided to quit my full-time art director job of 10 years to see where this would lead me! Now, here I am. 🙂 

What do you love most about running your own business?

Omg, so much! Choosing my own hours!! I’m a night owl and love that I no longer have to wake up early to get on the subway and run like a chicken with my head cut off to barely make a morning meeting!! I love just being myself and not worried about being “corporate.” I love working with my sister daily and hosting fun brainstorm nights with my girlfriends and tequila to come up with new card ideas… I love being able to take a break when needed. I love wearing yoga pants or sweats, 7 days a week. I love that I have the last say, especially with design. I love the wide variety of projects and opportunities that come my way. I love meeting new people, visiting new cities, checking out new stores, and just the nonstop inspiration available out there when you get to make the decisions! There is truly so much more… but I’ll stick with those!

What are your overall goals for your business?

Well, this has been an insane year. So any goal I had, I threw it out the window and am just rolling with the punches!! But eventually, I would like to add some designers to the team. 🙂 I would like to branch out and do more than just paper products.

We have some fun ideas for apparel, sweatshirts, pillows, and throw blankets!! But we will see… right now, we are doing well with greeting cards because of the pandemic, and everyone is social distancing. We will continue on this wave until we feel like it is a good time to introduce some new products.

What services do you provide for anyone who may want to reach out to you/work with you?

All things print! I come with a graphic design/art director background, so the sky’s the limit! Holla atcha girl if you have something in mind!

December 9, 2020

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