Thursday, June 11, 2020

Meet Debbie


We are back to blogging and it feels so good! You may notice our last post was November 2017.  A lot has changed in three years, but plenty has stayed the same.  One of those things? More Than Paper is still online bringing you the best in stationery, paper, and personalized gifts–just like we have been since 2000.  We wanted to introduce you to the woman who has been the driving force behind More Than Paper and its success – meet our founder and owner, Debbie Volk!



How it all started
Debbie is a graduate of The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Science in Economics with concentrations in Finance and Decision Sciences. Earlier in her career, she was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley. 

When she and her husband of nearly 28 years, Judd, were starting their family, she left Morgan Stanley to focus on being a mom.  Three years later, she started looking for an entrepreneurial business that she could do from home while also caring for her young son. 



Her mother-in-law had been in the invitation business for over 30 years and suggested the possibility of retailing stationery to friends and family as an income source. Debbie went to her first National Stationery Show in NYC in 1999.  She realized then that owning a paper/gift store would allow her to marry her finance background and her love of being creative.  Being a mother of a toddler and with another baby on the way, opening a brick and mortar store wasn’t an option and even seeing clients in person was becoming challenging.  She had just learned to build a website for her husband’s business, so it was relatively easy to get a website up and running (remember it was 2000 and websites were a lot less sophisticated back then).  That is how More Than Paper became an ecommerce business! 


What it is today
Today, More Than Paper prides itself on having a huge selection (tens of thousands of products) of stationery and gifts found on an easy to navigate website, www.morethanpaper.com – all at great prices.  She typically lists merchandise 20% below manufacturer’s suggested retail pricing every single day.  No coupons or codes or flash sales – just everyday great prices.  

More than just selection and price, Debbie & team offer more service than many other online stores. It doesn’t matter if a customer is buying address labels for $16 or holiday cards for $500, Debbie and her team are willing to spend time and go the extra mile to make the customer happy.  It’s not unusual for her to pick up the phone and hear a customer say, “Oh, I am so glad that a human picked up!” With so many companies investing in overseas chats and burying customer service phone numbers on their websites, Debbie is more than happy to speak to customers. Curating the right purchase and ensuring customers get exactly what they want is what she’s all about.


What else it offers
You’ll notice that there are tens of thousands of products at More Than Paper, and she and her team are constantly adding new ones from their manufacturers.  New, trendy products are balanced out with timeless classics.  Trends are followed via industry publications, watching fashion trends, and of course via relationships with manufacturers.  Debbie has always placed a strong emphasis on keeping strong relationships with her manufacturers who introduce new products all the time.

Debbie has learned a lot since opening in 1999. To do it right takes a tremendous effort, an attention to detail, a willingness to take chances and great customer service. She says, “operating a retail website is really a 24/7, 365-day job since the internet is never closed, and you need to commit to that obligation to make it through the inevitable ups and downs of business cycles.”

Outside of her online business, Debbie is passionate about her family; she has three children–Ethan (23), Brian (20), Amanda (16). She also loves singing and performing in local musical theater.  It’s clear that this smart, dynamic woman has built a business that fits her lifestyle, education, and passion and she has been able to help thousands of people with their life occasions.



What’s ahead?
With years of expertise in the stationery industry, Debbie has amassed tips and tricks that she will be sharing.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram, Facebook and subscribe to our email list for the latest.


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