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We are what you might call a team-based, cooperative company. All the voices hold weight and have a lovely ring to them. We each have our niche, or specialty, as you are about to learn, and we all pull the oars together.
Ellen is a co-founder of StoryPeople. In the early days, she spent as much time chasing after two little ones as she did helping to brainstorm the next steps for a growing small business with big intentions. Though she is not the boss of anyone (as her sons pointed out VERY early on), she is a pretty good navigator, and is completely interested in seeing where the ship wants to go. When you call us, she is likely the person who will answer the phone. She is also the entire gift-wrapping department. You will not find anyone more inclined to feel the feels while wrapping your gift and adding your gift note. People are beautiful she will say over and over, as she is writing your very own words of comfort and connection and celebration.
Eric is our numbers and columns guy, even though they are not his favorite thing. He is the one who makes toast for us in the morning, and thinks of what we will need for our next treat before we even know we want one. He knows how to fix things like leaky pipes and loose handrails and faulty paragraphs and hurting hearts, so you can only imagine how handy he is to have around. He has a very large frame (his great uncles on the farm used to hitch themselves to the plow when the horses were tired), and we love having this gentle giant in our lives. He is our framing pro, and has found the perfect balance between obsessive searching for dust and getting the job done.
Maddie is the youngest Crew member, and if we were a warring people (which we definitely are NOT), she would be our secret weapon. She graduated from high school early, because she was beyond ready for something new. Whenever we wonder what a young and savvy and huge-hearted person would do, we ask Maddie. And she tells us, without ego or fanfare, and we all breathe a little easier. She and Ren are the early morning people, and if we’re not on our toes, we’ll come in and find that she has packed up more orders than any one person should be able to do in an hour.
Ren (short for Karen) is our designer-in-chief, the one who takes all the pieces and makes them fit, and she has been doing this here at StoryPeople for a very long time (for someone so young). Whether it’s our calendars, prints, cards or sculptures, you can be sure that her artistic eye has rested there, and well. It is hardly an exaggeration to say that everything she touches turns to beauty. She is the glue that makes our days make sense, and we are pretty sure that she and Maddie are soul sisters from way back. Never one to seek the limelight, we are shining it bright right now, because we wouldn’t be StoryPeople without her.