Today I'm introducing Girl Gang, a new series that celebrates the extraordinary endeavors being undertaken by the girls in my gang. When I see other women shine (usually from the sweat of a job well done), it gives me permission to shine as well!
I keep forgetting that Gracie is only seventeen-years old, which is the highest compliment I can give someone. Gracie and I met through the blogging network, but I only learned about her business a few weeks back when she graciously sent me a bundle of beautiful Christmas stationery. We should all feel a bit more at ease knowing our future is in the hands of kind, creative, thoughtful young women like Gracie Cobb.
Tell us about your business.
I own a small paper company called September Paper Company. I sell paper! We have greetings cards, art prints, and recipe cards.
Why did you decide to start September Paper Company?
Ever since I was little, I have always loved to paint. My grandmother was actually an artist so I think I might have received a little bit of her amazing talent. I write every single day. Whether it is in my Bible journal, a textbook (oops), or actually in my sketchpad, I do it all the time. In 2015, I really started getting into it. I really, really loved writing and after doing it everyday, I started improving. So in April of 2016, September Paper Company was born.
What is the mission of September Paper Company?
The mission of September Paper Company is to share the adventure of Jesus. Simple as that. When I was 14 I went on my first international mission trip to Eleuthera, Bahamas. In that week long trip, I really felt Jesus calling me to missions. In the summer of 2016, I went to Choluteca, Honduras. This trip changed me. I learned that loving Jesus and seeking Jesus constantly is an adventure. This summer I am heading back to Choluteca for a month on my biggest adventure yet.
What is your favorite product from September Paper Company?
Oh my, thats difficult! If I had to chose, I would probably chose the first card I made. It has a little house on it and Joshua 24:15, “As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." It's on my Etsy store now!
What was the most challenging part of starting your business?
The most difficult part of starting a business was my age. I started September Paper Company when I was 16. When I first started I didn’t even have a job. The summer after founding SPC I got my first job as a lifeguard. Pretty much every penny I made during that summer was going back to SPC... and Chick-fil-A! I am 17 now and it's really not any easier. People generally think that I'm not serious about my business or don’t take me seriously as a business owner.
In your wildest dreams, what would your company look like in the future?
In my wildest dreams, September Paper Company would have a massive store in Nashville (my favorite town) and I would have my products in hundreds of stores all across the country. I would love to have a creative team! I’m getting so excited just talking about it.
Have you ever felt inferior or “less than” because you’re a girl?
Not at all. I feel like now-a-days women are expected to feel inferior when asked that question. I am a daughter of the King. I am a woman, and I’m so stinking proud of that. No, I do not feel "less than." No, because I am a woman, I do not feel "more than". I belong to the King of kings and there is nothing that matters more to me than that.
What are the most valuable characteristics a woman can cultivate in herself?
Grace. I think having grace is so important in this day and age. People will constantly tell you no, especially if you are young. 1 Timothy 4:12 says, "Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.”
Why did you decide to start the Embracing Beautiful Campaign?
I had the idea for the Embracing Beautiful Campaign when a little girl, who is very close to me, asked her mom if she was fat. Poor body image was something that hit me so hard when I was young. To be perfectly honest, it's something that I still struggle with. Every girl does. Women compare themselves to each other all the time and EBC strives to help women feel beautiful in every stage of their life. Septemeber Paper Company's Embracing Beautiful Campaign will launch sometime in the very near future!
How do you define beauty?
Loving yourself and loving who you are. I feel like the definition of beauty is standing in front of the mirror and saying, “Oh dang, I look good.” That can be so difficult to do... Am I right!? The definition of beauty is realizing that you are fearfully and wonderfully made. You are made in the image of the Creator of the universe. The big guy who crafted the galaxies made you… and that's awesome.
What makes you feel beautiful?
Materialistically, I feel beautiful when I find jeans that fit! Oh, and when I have good hair days!
Who is the most beautiful person you know?
This is such a difficult question. I know so many beautiful people! I can only narrow it down to my two best friends: Taylor and Mom. I am so blessed to have such a good relationship with my mom. She is honestly, whole-heartedly one of the bravest people I know. Every day my mother leads by example and that's something that I've noticed since I was little. Taylor and I have been best friends since we were four-years old. We met at school and honestly have not stopped laughing since. Taylor has been with me through everything in my life. We have gone through highs and we have gone through lows together. She has helped me so much in my walk with Jesus by just being beside me. Taylor is a Creative Director at SPC and she’s the bomb. Not to mention Taylor is drop-dead gorgeous. Both Taylor and my mom are so important to me and everyday help me love Jesus more.