Inspired by bold colors, vintage imagery, pop culture, nature, and a good sense of humor, Kelly Horvath of Paper Stories handcrafts an eclectic line of flat printed and letterpress stationery. Using 100% recycled yet high-quality materials, Kelly works with her clients to come up with custom designs that are quirky, original and eternally cool. She always pushes the envelope, so to speak, in creating fresh and edgy paper products. And have we mentioned what a rockstar Kelly herself is? Her brides tell us working with her is like working with a close friend—someone you’ll want to keep in touch with long after your wedding has passed.
Paper Stories tries to work within any budget and has lots of ideas for beautiful yet affordable invitations. Letterpress printed invitation/RSVP sets start around $5-7/set and up. Flat (aka digital) printed sets start around $3/set and up. Prices vary on many factors including paper selection, number of colors, etc.
Certified By The Guide Reviews(What does this mean?)
“Quite a few people told me that my wedding invitations were the most gorgeous wedding invitations they had ever seen. And I can’t take the credit for that—it was all Kelly.”
“The great attention to detail and perfection, as well as an incredible passion for weddings and handmade original product, is evident in all aspects of Kelly’s work. I immediately fell in love with not only the feel of letterpress but also her vintage, yet quirky and original products.”
“Kelly truly knows how to take your vision and bring it to life. She was one of my favorite wedding vendors to work with!”
“She’s such an ‘out of the box’ thinker, perfect for couples who want something fresh and fun.”
“Kelly had a great attitude about letting me be creative. She worked with me and it was a really creative and collaborative process—I think we were equally happy with the finished product.”
“Kelly always replied to my calls and emails very promptly; one of the first things we hammered out was when I wanted to get things mailed out, so we had a working timeline going backward for proofs, etc. it was helpful to have smaller checkpoints to make sure we were on time for final delivery. I was very happy with the timing.”
“They turned out fantastic—exactly what we wanted. They fit in with our wedding theme perfectly: vintage/organic/rustic fall.”
“I would recommend their services to anyone—my mom, my sister, my best friend—anyone who wanted a professional, wonderful, quirky, thoughtful, superb quality and original product.”
“She was very meticulous about details, a perfectionist, and very passionate.”
“One of Paper Stories’ greatest strengths is passionate dedication to a high quality product that accurately conveys the bride’s vision down to the smallest details.”
“Kelly is very creative and her products were like nothing we’d ever seen before. Also, the quality of her paper and materials was noticeably high.”
“I love that Paper Stories is very ‘green,’ using recycled papers and vegetable based inks.”
“Many of my guests liked the invitations so much that they sent their own stationery for the RSVP, because they wanted to keep the RSVP cards!”
“I have my invitations framed and they are still so pretty to look at.”
“Kelly is the reason we came up with the new term ‘friendor.’ She was so much more than just a wedding vendor—she absolutely became our friend throughout the process. Someone I want to keep in touch with!”
Questions and Answers
What 3 words describe your work? Quirky, vintage-inspired, fun.
Tell us about your company name. I initially went through a bunch of ideas and it seemed like they were all taken. Then I started thinking how invitations and announcements tell a story for all the important events in life (weddings, births, etc). "Paper Stories" was the name I came up with to touch on that idea.
Why should someone hire you? I like coming up with something special for each couple I work with. I also do whatever I can to help them have fabulous invitations within their budget. Beyond invitations, I often help with other areas of décor, styling, and even general advice-giving. I feel a responsibility to my couples to help them wherever they need it.
What are the common misconceptions about your services? Good design doesn't have to cost a small fortune. There are so many options out there beyond the traditional routes. I have ideas that help save money but are also unexpected.
What are some sources of inspiration or influences on your work? I love all things vintage yet I also like very modern touches. I like working with a lot of color when I can and am also influenced by other cultures. I guess I have very eclectic tastes that sometimes seem all over the place but for me they make sense.
What is the best advice you give to a couple when planning their wedding? Do what you want and try not to let friends and families dictate what the event looks or feels like. If you really want bagpipes or circus performers, go for it. If you want to keep it small and intimate but your mom insists you invite all your 3rd cousins, stand your ground (unless you want to compromise). Years later you don't want to look back and feel it wasn't the wedding you really wanted.
If you could have any superpower on the job, what would it be? I have always wanted the ability to stop time. Then I could finish things at my own pace or stop to take a nap or two.
What are 3 words that describe your personality? Organized, flexible, out-of-the-box.
What's your favorite book/movie/work of art? One of my favorite paintings is by Jean Dubuffet done in 1944. It is called Little Sneerer. It is an odd little painting of a mustached man in a suit sitting in a chair. I first saw it years ago (before the whole mustache trend) at the Art Institute of Chicago and just loved it. Google it…he is adorable.
Extracurricular activities: I like baking, photography, camping, any home remodeling/decorating, and sewing. I would add beekeeping and raising chickens to that list but they aren't allowed in my current town. Someday though!
If you weren't in your current profession, what would you do instead? My husband swears I should have been a lawyer. I guess that his way of saying that I like to argue a lot. ;) Actually I come from a family of police officers and have always been interested in that sort of stuff and think I would have liked to join the FBI or CIA.
What's your favorite way to wind down after a hard day? I like to sit around on the couch with my husband and son, Jackson. We will watch some TV or Jackson will read to us (he has been reading since he was 2 ½!). I think just being with my family is the best place to be.
Tell us about your pets, if you have any. Boy do I have pets. When I met my husband we collectively had 2 dogs and 4 cats (all elderly). We also started fostering Boston Terriers as well before my son was born. Since then, sadly 2 cats and 2 dogs have passed away but we have since adopted 2 more crazy Bostons. So if you are keeping track, we now have 2 dogs, 2 cats and a 4 year old.
What are some of your favorite places to eat—either everyday spots or special occasion splurges? I love tapas and I love Indian food. So either of the two will do for me. I am a vegetarian so I love any place that has more than one veggie dish on the menu. There is also this little Italian place near me that makes the most amazing Risotto Primavera. It is amazing. I am totally addicted. Also, any place that sells French Macarons is high on my list.
About This Company
In addition to sustainable printing practices and using recycled and tree-free papers paired with vegetable-based inks, Paper Stories regularly donates a portion of their profits to charitable organizations such as Kiva.org, which provides micro-loans to entrepreneurs in developing nations. Paper Stories is also partial to several domestic organizations that provide funding to classrooms and teachers in need.
Paper Stories Covers These Areas:Illinois
- Central Illinois
- Downtown Chicago
- North/Northwest Chicago Suburbs
- South/Southwest Chicago Suburbs
- Southern Illinois
- West Chicago Suburbs
- And other areas by special arrangement.