What is G|F?

GREEN|FINGERPRINT is an eco-friendly written communications company committed to designing modern invitations, announcements and personal stationery printed exclusively on 100% post-consumer recycled and tree-free paper.

The “green” movement isn’t new, but our entrance into it is. In July 2007, we ate lunch with our mom at a little French place in Pasadena, California. “We’re moving to Nevada,” Catherine said. “Middle-of-nowhere Nevada.” C had a choice to make: apply to law school and stay in California for three years while her husband spent those same years several hundred miles away for his job, or quit working at a great school, shelve law school, and go with him. She chose the latter, but was intimidated (and a little defeated) at the prospect of not having any idea what to do in a small town in – literally – the middle of the desert, 70 miles from the nearest city. “So let’s start our company,” Jacqueline responded. And we did.

The way J said “our company” has a context: we have been talking about something like this for as long as we can remember. The “making-beautiful-stationery-like-for-example-wedding-invitations-and-announcements” part of our plan had always been in place. From a [freakishly] young age, we loved working with paper, creating, designing. Our first lemonade stand was actually a boutique (card table) in Glendale (on our front lawn). We sold high-end, handmade stationery (cardstock stamped with a variety of animals, hearts and letters, embossed and embellished with various doo-dads). Given our collective propensity for and interest in the fine arts, we studied and pursued careers in finance and history. (Wait… what?)

The 100% post-consumer recycled part of the plan emerged that afternoon. After lunch, the three of us wandered over to a stationery shop nearby, and asked a clerk which papers were recycled.  “None.” Driving home in Mom’s Prius (she’s always been a bit of a trendsetter, having bought the “sewing machine” before its imminent popularity in Southern California), J took notes while we all generated ideas — BIG, grand, hopeful, overly-ambitious ideas. The conversation continued into the evening with our “Board of Directors” (i.e. two very supportive husbands and two very loving parents). Over the next several months, J and her financial-master-of-the-universe husband, “T,” worked on a business plan and profit model. C grilled one of her graphic-designer-coworkers on the artsy end. A little over a year later, we’re operational.

Like we said at the beginning of this post, this whole “green” thing isn’t revolutionary anymore. “Green” as a marketing strategy is par-for-the-course these days. We’ve seen our competitors add “green” products to their stationery lines, boasting “30% post-consumer recycled paper.” They may even have a few options that are 100% pcr. We want to be different, real, genuine; and we believe we are. That might be overstating the issue, overselling our product; our self-righteousness might be seeping through your computer screen as you read this. But before you write us off as “just another company on the bandwagon,” remember that there’s no major retailer of paper products out there selling an entirely, 100% post-consumer recycled line of written communications. We’re jumping off a cliff here, and we still have a lot to learn, but the process has been incredible. As we write this, we’re about a week from launching the website and this blog. We may be leaping, but the view from here is pretty spectacular – and suprisingly, well, green.

All the best,
Catherine & Jacqueline Richelieu

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