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Made in Your Shade: Stationery for Every Human Hue
Four years ago, marketing director Allyson Morehead offered to throw a bridal shower for a friend. Eager to find the perfect invitation, she went to a local card store and began scanning the racks. But Morehead was disappointed by what she found—or rather, what she didn't find. Most of the smiling women depicted on the cards were white. A few were black. But none of them resembled the bride, who was biracial. Worse, the so-called multicultural stationery she found often featured stereotypes. ("The cards would say things like 'Hey, sista girl!'" Morehead recalls.)
Certain she could do better, Morehead began toying with her own line of stationery—some of which, she envisioned, would be fully customizable to match any skin tone or hair color. In May 2011 she launched Sweet Potato Paper, a stationery company that allows customers to personalize select invitations and announcements by choosing from eight flesh tones, eight hair colors, and six hairstyles. The originality of the concept quickly struck a chord: "I thought sales would start slow," she says, "but I got a lot of orders right out of the gate." Morehead says the company's mission is to celebrate uniqueness in a way that's open and welcoming—not exclusive. "I keep things modern, clean, and contemporary," she says, "so anyone can feel comfortable purchasing my products."
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