How to Stay in Your Own Lane by Elizabeth Rees of Chasing Paper

Today, we are so excited to introduce you to Elizabeth Rees, the founder of Chasing Paper.  Located in NYC, Chasing Paper carries beautiful, well-designed removable wallpaper that will stick to any surface, and is an amazing way to give your workspace an extra bit of personality. 

We love the heart behind this brand and thought you would like to hear a little about how Elizabeth is using her amazing brand to make a positive impact in the world.  Make sure to check out our Instagram feed next week as Elizabeth will be sharing some behind the scenes at Chasing Paper, and we have teamed up for a fun giveaway! 

Image by Chasing Paper

Image by Chasing Paper

1. First, tell us a little about you, where you are living, and what your life looks like at the moment.

I am very lucky to live and work in NYC.  As hard as it was for me to get my sea legs in this city, I now feel truly at home here.  As the summer months are finally here I am looking forward to a summer spent reading tons of books and traveling with friends.

2. Give us some background on how you got to where you are today, and how Chasing Paper was founded.

Ink has always been in my blood.  I am third generation in my family’s printing company, and I wanted to find a way to carry on a family tradition in a way that felt authentic to my passions and talents.  Chasing Paper is 100% a labor of love.  Every success has been organic to the work that has been put in and the amazing folks that really believe in what I am building.

3. How do you define success?

Success is a word that I still haven’t gotten my head around.  I have always operated under the idea that all I truly want is to build a brand from a very authentic and personal place.  So I believe my greatest success, and the one that gets me up in the morning, is slowly building a community around Chasing Paper.  Success is getting an email from a customer who papered her nursery as she is anticipating having her first baby, it’s seeing the creative genius customers share on Instagram, it’s sitting down with a designer or illustrator I admire and chat about how we can work together.  The relationships are the success for me, and I truly believe money, press, collaborations with companies do not come without them.

4. Tell us a little bit about your greatest achievement, as well as your largest hurdle.

There have been so many surreal and wonderful moments in the last three years, but I believe the biggest achievement is shining a spotlight on the incredible designers and illustrators I work with.  My goal in growing Chasing Paper’s audience is so that I can be an even better platform for artists to gain the recognition they deserve.  There are so many hurdles, but most recently it is keeping things afloat when things become tough in my personal life.  I cannot decide to just stay in bed and not work.  I cannot call in sick because there is no one else to do what I do and keep things moving.  It can be hard to stay inspired and positive sometimes, but having something pushing me forward during this time is also something I feel incredibly appreciative for.

5 . How do you use your career and position to impact the world? 

Chasing Paper has changed me so much as a woman, partner, friend, daughter and sister.  Roles I take very seriously and the impact of its growth has truly made me a better human being - I am old enough to know that so many times working to impact other starts with you. 

In three years, I have had the opportunity to make so many of my goals and dreams a reality, with that I feel deeply compelled to give back in a way to a community and cause I feel connected to. One of the program directors at the Young Women’s Leadership Network reached out to me about coming to speak at a school in the Bronx here in NYC. As soon as I learned more about the program, I felt immediately excited. YWLN are privately supported 6th – 12th grade public secondary schools that promote high-quality student learning opportunities in and out of school. Their schools provide a single-sex educational choice for predominantly low-income students who will be the first in their families to attend college. Students are admitted based upon their interest and commitment to a obtaining a single-sex and college preparatory education. TYWLS are open to girls of all academic abilities. I went and spoke to small groups of girls about my career and educational journey. The experience was one of the best and brightest that I have had professionally.

6. What advice do you have for our readers on how they might use their careers to have a positive impact?

There is the great quote, “comparison is the thief of joy.” I find this both immensely powerful within my professional and personal life. I have to constantly remind myself to stay in my own lane with Chasing Paper.  There are lots of people growing businesses faster or achieving greater success but I have to stay true to what I want CP to be and recognize things take time and happen in the right way. Personally, I also have to trust my path and recognize and accept that things will unfold in their own way. However, I have to remember everyday to connect with the part of myself that makes me different and trust that it’s precisely the thing that drives me.

Make sure to check out our Instagram feed next week for Elizabeth’s takeover, and watch for details on how to enter the MM x CP giveaway!