Tees For Change is an eco-friendly apparel company dedicated to the power of positive thinking. Adorned with uplifting messages such as LAUGH OFTEN, DREAM BIG, TODAY MATTERS and PRACTICE KINDNESS, our organic cotton and bamboo tees lift the spirits AND give back. Buy a tee, plant a tree – through our partnership with Trees for the Future.
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Interview with Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese of Twisted Limb Paper
Posted on December 16th, 2008 by tees blog
As an eco-conscious consumer, I love discovering new products that make a difference. And, as an entrepreneur, I often get asked about Tees For Change and why I founded the company. Here’s my turn to profile other entrepreneurs who make a difference.
Below is my interview with Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese, founder of Twisted Limb Paperworks
Twisted Limb Paperworks
1. What is Twisted Limb Paperworks and when did you start the company?
I started Twisted Limb in January 1998, so we are about to celebrate 11 years in business. Twisted Limb is a production art studio that specializes in handmade 100% recycled paper, and products made from this paper—invitations and accessories, business promotional items, holiday cards, and school fundraising stationery products.
2. What inspired you to start your business?
I moved to Bloomington, Indiana as an unemployed environmentalist and former park ranger with a papermaking hobby and calligraphy skills. I had been thinking on and off for several years that I would enjoy creating a business that merged my environmentalism and artistic abilities, and my inability to find work in my field created the perfect opportunity and motivation.
3. What makes your products different?
What makes our products different is that as an art studio, we offer vibrantly colored recycled handmade paper and myriad options to create truly one of a kind invitations and notes. With the numerous handmade paper, envelope, bow, thread and printing colors, invitation styles, fonts and graphics to choose from, the number of combinations reaches over 4 trillion, which is mind-blowing to us, too.
4. What resources have you found most helpful in running your business?
Belonging to Coop America and attending the Green Festivals and Green Business Conferences have been an integral part of growing our business. Hiring a business coach from Action International and participating in a peer coaching group have also been invaluable.
5. What advice would you give other entrepreneurs?
Write your manual from day 1. Test, measure, and record everything, and then act accordingly. Be good to everyone you deal with—employees, customers, vendors, the community. Stick to your values!
6. What is your biggest success as an entrepreneur?
We received a $10,000 women owned business grant from the clothing company Eileen Fisher this year, which was totally exhilarating. Also, a few years ago we began surveying our customers about their experience with Twisted Limb, and consistently receive some amazing results. 99% rate our service as consistently friendly, 97% rate our service as consistently knowledgeable, 98% rate the quality of our work as high or extremely high, and 99% receive their order early or on time!
7. What’s next for Twisted Limb Paper?
With help from the Eileen Fisher grant and representation by the Natural Burial Company, we will be further developing and promoting our new memorial cards and programs for green funerals in 2009.
8. Is there anything else you’d like to add?
We would like everyone to know how easy it is for their non-profit organizations and children’s schools to raise money through our online fundraising program. Details can be found at: http://www.twistedlimbpaper.com/fundraising.htm