Today, we have a designer feature with the very lovely Kate Woolley, the owner, founder and creative director at The Noble Paperie. Not only are Kate’s cards beautifully crafted, but they are a much needed niche for women who are struggling with miscarriage, infertility and pregnancy-related issues and complications.
Kate suffered a miscarriage herself and then went through an extremely difficult pregnancy with 40 days of bedrest. Her son was born two months early and because of her experience, she wants to spread joy and hope to those going through similar experiences.
Part of Kate’s mission is:
We believe that becoming a mother starts when you prepare your heart to have children – not the actual manifestation of a child.
I wish that I had cards like this (because I’ve never seen any cards like this in any stores) for my friends and family who experienced pregnancy-related issues. I believe in Kate’s mission and I want any woman who is struggling to know that she is loved and supported. And Kate has generously offered to share a set of cards as a GIVEAWAY! You’ll find all the entry details below.
Designer Feature with Kate of The Noble Paperie
Tell us about yourself and The Noble Paperie (why you design cards, why you love stationery, etc.
I founded The Noble Paperie a few years ago where I designed bespoke wedding invitations right out of college. I eventually ended up going through a rebrand, and as I did, I had some major life-changing events happen.
My husband and I were trying for a baby, and after a few months, I was elated to find out I was pregnant! We were so excited, but at our first appointment, we found out that the babe I was growing had no heartbeat and I would eventually miscarry. I can’t begin to explain the misery and depression I experienced after that. It was horrible, consuming, and crushing. Our doctor told us to wait awhile, and several months later, we were fortunate enough to become pregnant again.
Obviously, I was worried and on edge, but this baby had a heartbeat! At 17 weeks into the pregnancy however, things took a drastic turn. My water broke and I was in and out of the hospital from then on. My water eventually sealed up, but I then had serious complications with my placenta and umbilical cord. At 27 weeks, I was back in the hospital and would be there until I delivered. After 40 days of in-hospital bedrest, we had an emergency C-section and delivered my son almost a full two months early. We then spent another 34 days in the NICU, before we could bring him home.
Those experiences deeply changed me. Yes, I became a mother during that time, but I walked a long and harrowing road to get there. Despite support from family and friends, and especially my husband, there were still times where I felt so alone. I wanted to help. I wanted to give back to mothers who were experiencing some of these same things.
I realized The Noble Paperie was going to change. Although I still design invitations in my spare time, my efforts immediately focused on launching our first line of greeting cards. I designed six different cards, all with the purpose of spreading hope and joy to mothers struggling with miscarriage, infertility, and pregnancy-related issues. This community is my passion, and something I feel I need to advocate for. I am currently working on our next line of cards and hope to have them launch by the end of the year.
When we were in NICU, we were supported by an incredible non-profit called Miracle Babies. They provide support, education, and financial assistance to parents with children in the NICU and were instrumental in helping us through our NICU journey. I am so proud to say that a portion of each greeting card is donated back to them. They were so impactful to us, and to thousands of families like ours, and I feel called to give back to them in any way that I can.
I am so astounded of what The Noble Paperie has become and I truly hope that our Noble Greetings can spread joy and love and surround this community of incredible women with support and love.
What does letter writing and sending cards mean to you?
Writing letters and sending snail mail has always been a big part of my life. My step-mom always harped on me as a kid to write thank you notes, and while I initially thought it was a pointless task, it quickly translated into something I deeply loved to do. I think there is something so special in taking the time to handwrite a note, and send it off to someone you care about. In the age of instant everything, it’s also lovely to think about your note arriving a few days after you sent it, carried over a state, across the country, or across the world! I think writing letters can make someone feel cared for, and feel special, in such a tangible way.
You can hold a piece of paper in your hand as proof of love that has been sent through the mail, and went on its own journey to get to you!
What is your happiest letter or card memory (a card you received or sent, writing your first letter, etc.)?
I think I was around 12 years old when I really started to enjoy writing thank you notes. I remember writing one to my Grandma and then to my surprise, getting a response! A piece of mail addressed specifically to me. My Grandma loved writing and kept letters that her and my Grandfather wrote to each other throughout their lives. It was something special to her, and when I got my first letter from her, it struck up almost a pen-pal relationship… except that I obviously knew my Grandmother and we already cared for each other very much. But it made me feel so special to receive a personal, handwritten note every couple of weeks. We wrote to each other back and forth for many years. And even now that she has Alzheimer’s and can’t remember as much as she used to, I still hold onto those letters and keep them as precious memories of her.
PbP was founded to honor those we love with what matters most: loyalty, support and unconditional love. What does #fierceloyalty mean to you?
Oh goodness. I always thought I knew what unconditional love was before my son was born. Becoming a mother has been the most life changing, wonderful, difficult and trying journey, and on the other side of it is this complete and utter unconditional love for my son.
I would say #fierceloyalty to me, is what lives in a mother’s heart and the love that she holds.
I also think that becoming a mom starts the day you prepare your heart to have children, not the actual day you have a baby in your arms. Think about all the mamas struggling to have a babe, get pregnant, or adopt. I can’t think of any group of women more fiercely loyal to a cause than that.
If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like?
I would like to say a lime! Not only is it my all-time favorite color, but limes add brightness, color, and pop to any dish. I would like to think that our first line of greetings does just that – they bring a brightness to your day when you were least expecting it.
What is playing on your iPod/fave music app/etc., right now?
I love listening to music: Ed Sheeran, Rilo Kiley, and Jenny Lewis are some of my faves, and I would probably listen to an acoustic cover of just about anything. But what I am really in love with right now are podcasts! I have a few on rotation at the moment: currently loving Proof to Product, which is by Katy Hunt, founder of Trade Show Boot Camp, and she has different creatives on each week to talk about their businesses and how they got their start. I have learned so much just from the first few episodes and it’s one of my go-tos right now. I also feel like I’m a little late to this train, but I love Lena Dunham’s Women of the Hour. A podcast all about feminism! She has some weird, wonderful women tell moving stories on there, with each episode focusing on a different theme. I started listening because I was a huge fan of her show GIRLS, but now am addicted! And finally, I have and always will love This American Life by NPR. Who doesn’t love Ira Glass, and the way they curate and produce all the stories they tell is an art form in and of itself.
Enter The Giveaway
Kate has generously offered a set of her cards to one lucky winner! To be entered in the drawing for her cards, just leave a comment below letting us know what fun summer plans you have. The giveaway is open until July 1st, 2017 at 11:59 pm EST. The winner will be notified via email and has 48 hours to respond before another winner will be picked.
P.S. If you need help with what to write, check out the What Do I Say? Writing a Card to Someone with Illness or Grief blog post. And be sure to sign up for the PbP newsletter so you can get instant access to the resource library, which includes a pretty PDF version of this blog post that you can download. You’ll find other cool free stuff in the resource library like printables and worksheets, to help you stay organized and make it as easy as possible to send cards and spread love.
Kate Woolley is a 30-year-old mom of one, currently living in San Diego, California and is passionate about designing beautiful paper products for those with a Mama’s heart. Kate graduated with a BFA in graphic design and printmaking from Notre Dame de Namur University, a small private school in the bay area. In 2011, she accepted a position at a San Diego-based pharmaceutical advertising agency and worked tirelessly to become an award-winning art director. Pharmaceutical advertising can be very clinical, and Kate needed a creative outlet. She founded The Noble Paperie and started designing bespoke wedding invitations. After a miscarriage and a difficult pregnancy, Kate’s goals for her personal life and business changed, turning The Noble Paperie into a greeting card company with cards specifically designed to spread hope and joy to those struggling with miscarriage, infertility and pregnancy-related issues.