Papercraft Miracles

American Made Since 2013

Janna Willoughby-Lohr

Buffalo, New York
Papercraft Miracles creates functional handcrafted books, paper and specialty paper goods for everyday use and special occasions.
New York

Tell us about your business.

I learned the craft of hand bookbinding and papermaking while in school and fell in love. I dreamt up the idea of Papercraft Miracles when I was in college and have been refining the idea and the execution ever since. PM went officially live in 2013 and is off to a fabulous start! Most of my projects start out with great paper and the finished product evolves from there. For some of my books, I have partnered with other visual artists to turn their paintings/drawings into book cover images. I really strive to help other artists to make their art more marketable and often by combining artforms into a single saleable product, we can work together to make it happen. I hope my business will evolve more into custom specialty books (wedding albums, baby books, etc.) because I really love creating something that someone else imagined--truly one-of-a-kind art. I also hope to incorporate more of my poetry into my products--to inspire people, to make people smile...that's what it's all about.

What makes your business stand out?

In this day and age when the internet and e-readers seem to be decimating the future of physical books, I work to keep this ancient artform alive...and to keep it current by using fun, interesting materials, bright colors and modern themes. I also think Papercraft Miracles is unique in the ways that I can combine my love of poetry with functional art that people will actually use. So often, people are told "don't touch the art," but I always encourage customers to pick up the books, touch the paper and play in the tiny book garden. Papercraft Miracles are tactile--they have to be experienced, they can't simply be captured with the eyes. I try to make each of my pieces have different textures to the papers, multiple viewing angles and different layers of discovery...and I try to make them fun to play with, as well as durable. I really try to have each person who experiences my art walk away happier or more thoughtful than they were before they got there.

What's the best business advice you've received?

Make LOTS of things that you can sell for less than $5, several things that you can sell for $10-$20, a few things for $50 and a couple things for more. Try to have enough things available for cheap prices so that everyone who comes by your shop can afford to take something home. Also, TALK to everyone who walks by...engage them, be excited about your art...excitement is infectious...they'll feel it and be excited too.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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    Denise Williams
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    Brian Kennedy
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