The Paper Doily Store evolved from a strong desire that my work and everyday life be as I wanted it to be, not how my occupation dictated. After 32 years in the Real Estate industry, then buying a family business, growing the business and selling it, I moved up to Northern California and later starting a print mail order business/online store back in 1998. I sold that business after 9/11 hit and went back into Real Estate loans, selling investment property and after working 5 more years with Real Estate Investors who flipped homes, I was done! My phone ringing 24/7 is what always pushed me over the top (my top count for a day was 63 cell phone calls in and out). Always being a workhorse and achiever, I was just plain exhausted!
As things wound down, I decided to visit Cusco, Peru and stay 2 months as a volunteer. That experience changed me forever! Never, ever would I complain about my life and what I did not have! After I came home, every time I took a warm shower or had a toilet that flushed and had toilet paper to use, I just kept telling myself how lucky I am to live in this wonderful country. I was finally able to look at the other side of the coin. To this day, every time I walk into a bathroom, take a shower, have a towel to use, drive my car, eat fresh food, open my fridge and realize I have more than enough, I say Thank You!
Home from Peru, I sold my home of 23 years and moved to into a cute little rental in Sacramento that I had bought years ago while my son went to college. Now don’t think that everything in my life is perfect at this point. I had to short sell my home of 23 years that I had remodeled top to bottom. It was time for a new family to enjoy this beautiful home on the Delta and all the beauty and fun that living on the water brings.
Now, I had to get back to work! I knew what I wanted and what I did not want from life and work. I wrote it all down – what I wanted was put in one column and what I did not want in the other column. I was really clear on this, but I knew that if I kept plugging along and continued to have my belief and faith, something would eventually show up.
I had been selling card kits on eBay since coming back from Peru. To make a modest living, I kept selling on eBay and ETSY making Vintage Die Cuts and Card Kits. My savings and my soul were slowly being drained. Many days were filled with tears and others filled with hope, but I knew deep down inside my perfect work would show up!
One day on a Google search I noticed some navy blue dyed doilies. Hmmmm, how about dyeing small doilies for my card kits? Well, that worked! It was messy but fun and oh, the colors! Then customers started asking for larger doilies for parties and weddings. Hmmmm, why not? That worked even better! Here I am, 4 years later dyeing 4” to 16” paper doilies in over 250 colors!! I am now a master at doily dyeing and a paper and dye expert!
The doily business seemed to grow organically on its own! I still get butterflies while setting up my station to start dyeing orders. When I package up the orders, I still say “oh, these are so pretty” and I feel all warm inside and very excited for the customer to receive the goods and feel the same as I do!
My name Is Merre Ward! I am a Grandma of 2 adorable little guys who live out of state. Cardmaking is my absolute love in life (well, after my fur babies, my 2 adult children and their spouses and of course those grandboys). It’s just me who runs all aspects of the business! I am a workaholic but have come to the conclusion that dyeing doilies just does not feel like work, so it is justified (wink-wink)! I am just so darn lucky!
My purpose is to add a little extra joy and color to your special occasion! Color is so powerful and can affect our feelings more than we understand! I just want you and your guests to walk in to the celebration and go “WOW”! Please know I am always here to help! Let’s get the party planning started!