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A Chat with Paulette Jarvey, Owner and President, Hot Off The P

May 2006
© Profile of Success, Catalog Success magazine, May 2006

Interview by Sharon R. Cole

Catalog Success: When was the catalog established?

Paulette Jarvey: The first issue went out February 2002.

Catalog Success: Where are your headquarters?

Jarvey: Canby, Oregon with distribution out of Stevens Point, Wisconsin.

Catalog Success: What is your primary merchandise?

Jarvey: Supplies for scrapbooking: patterned papers, kits, embellishments and idea books.

Catalog Success: Number of SKUS?

Jarvey: 1,100 per issue

Catalog Success: What are your primary customer demographics?

Jarvey: Women who are passionate about scrapbooking, cardmaking and papercrafting. Our customer is usually college-educated with a job and family and a healthy disposable income.

Catalog Success: What are your main sales channels?

Jarvey: Our Paper Wishes sales are direct to consumer, but we also sell our proprietary products to independent scrapbook stores and chain craft stores across the US and Canada and through distributors in the UK and Australia.

Catalog Success: How many employees do you have?

Jarvey: 53

Catalog Success: How did the company get started?

Jarvey: Hot Off The Press celebrates its 26th year in business this year! We've always sold our books and products direct to consumer as well as to retailers and distributors, but in 2002 we decided to offer them an easy way to buy coordinating scrapbooking supplies. The result was an immediate hit!

Catalog Success: Had you any experience in cataloging?

Jarvey: None except for having our standard trade product catalog. Certainly the catalog terminology like "squinches" was new, as was the idea of sourcing and seeding names. But we did our homework! We worked with Lois Boyle (through Jack Schmid & Associates catalog consultants) before getting systems in place like fulfillment and customer service.

Catalog Success: What was your biggest challenge in the first few years and how did you deal with it?

Jarvey: Managing the growth and learning the ropes! It was a major learning experience and we did experience a few bumps along the way, especially because the growth was so phenomenal. We eventually partnered with catalog expert Herrschners, who now does our fulfillment out of Wisconsin. The creative and buying is done here.

Catalog Success: What has been your biggest career challenge and how did you deal with it?

Jarvey: Over 26 years you can imagine there have been lots of challenges! Managing growth is always a tricky one. When we first developed papers for scrapbooking nearly 11 years ago, our business quadrupled that first year. We were running so hard and so fast we had no time to develop and implement systems—it was all we could do to make the product and ship it out the door. And while that kind of growth is a fun and exciting challenge to some employees, it's scary and stressful to others. Looking back, there are lots of little things I would have done differently, but under those frantic circumstances I think we managed pretty well. Now, of course, we have systems in place—and those systems have proven invaluable in getting us through quite a few challenges.


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