makers: susie & heidi bauer of rock scissor paper


today’s maker weekly features a design team of two- the bauer sisters of rock scissor paper.  influenced by sunny childhood days in the suburban san fernando valley- they’ve been turning out 60’s & 70’s inspired stationery for almost 20 years.  here’s a bird’s eye view on our most favorite valley girls…

introductions please.

we are susie and heidi bauer. we are sisters, best friends and co-owners of rock scissor paper. we grew up in the san fernando valley of los angeles and (after living in many different areas of la) we now live there again!

what do you make or do?

we make a whole range of items- all with our original illustrations and happy design sense: stationery, greeting cards, notebooks, coffee mugs, prints and a whole assortment of gift items. we also make small quantities of handmade dolls, stuffed animals, embroideries and pillows.

journals susie & heidi bauer of rock scissor paper

where can we find your creations?

you can find our designs on our website. we also sell to a variety of stores across the country. we have a blog where we write about our creative endeavors and desire to promote the idea that people can bring happiness to their own lives everyday.

how long have you been creating and is it your full-time job?

we have been in business for 19 years! we do this full-time and have done so since the first three years of our business. anyone who is self-employed knows that it’s more than a full time job… easily 60 hours a week. we’ve made a lot of sacrifices in our lives to do this (no fancy cars or regular vacations.. to name a few).

pillows susie & heidi bauer of rock scissor paper

when you’re not making things, what do you do?

heidi can usually be found creating something in the kitchen, listening to music or lost in the pages of a book.

susie loves to sew, go thrift shopping and hike.

is creativity a luxury or a necessity for you?

for us, it is both.  it is ingrained in who we are.  our brains never shut off.

creativity is not only a necessity for the survival of our business, it’s also a joy to sit down and make something for no reason at all.

what obstacles have you had to overcome to lead a creative life?

living a creative life sounds very glamorous. we have people come up to us all the time who say that they want to “quit their jobs and be creative all the time”.

mugs susie & heidi bauer of rock scissor paper

what people don’t often realize is that in order to be creative, there is a lot of “business” that needs to be done. 95% of your working time is working that entrepreneurial machine to keep everything going (we do find joy and satisfaction from that as well).

did someone in your family, a friend or teacher introduce you to your creative side or have they helped you along the way?

our father owned his own business, a knit fabric manufacturing company in los angeles in the ‘70s & ‘80s. he was trained in germany in a textile trade school. he was not only an expert on these very complex knitting machines, he also designed beautiful patterns and colors of double knit fabrics.

he was always sketching, doodling and dreaming. he had a lot of ideas- big and small. we got a lot of who we are from him. we’re not sure if it is something genetically inherited or just a habit learned, but we are always thinking of new ways of doing things. it’s a process that never stops!

card susie & heidi bauer of rock scissor paper

where do you find inspiration?

as designers, you have to be able to find inspiration everywhere, everyday and in everything. we constantly have our cameras out to snap a snippet of this or that. one thing that we have been very conscious of is spending too much time on the internet. looking at pretty things on blogs does not develop creativity!

while we feel that the web is an amazing place to share, connect with people and learn….it is also contributing a sameness in what people are making. it’s not so much a case of copying…it’s just that everyone is looking at the same images and being inspired from the same places.

what would be your perfect day off?

a perfect day off would involve an early morning hike in the local mountains and then spending time at home with our husbands and cooking a beautiful meal.

card susie & heidi bauer of rock scissor paper

what inspiring advice would you give to other creatives?

our advice would be to make sure you are 200% committed to what you want to do. it is very personally fulfilling, but you need to live and breathe it 24/7. make sure that is what you want in your life.

we have always felt that being kind to those we meet (whether it be a supplier, customer or a fellow business owner) goes a long way in making our “rock scissor paper world” a happy place.

 -varci h.

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