Growing Paper, The Seed Paper People, Helping Plant Back the World
Growing Paper are the seed paper people, led by a powerful team of female entrepreneurs.
Growing Paper blossomed into existence in 2010. “Seed paper?”, you may ask… Yes, using recycled paper, Growing Paper is 100% hand-made, biodegradable, & more importantly, plantable!
What do they grow into? - Nutritious veggies, tasty herbs and blossoming flowers.
Now, celebrating their 10th year around the sun, Growing Paper is impacting positively in our world and creating jobs wherever they can. An interview with founder Roxanne Schumann allowed a deeper exploration into some questions of this incredibly diverse and proudly South African company.
Roxanne called on the help of an old friend Nileta Knoetzen, a teacher at the time, and started Growing Paper in January of 2010. Starting off in a small place on her father’s farm, where they made everything from the paper through to the process of drying it, and eventually printing on it.
“I had always wanted to start a business of some kind when I was younger. It just took a while to get to the right idea. Once I did, it was quite a quick start from there”.
The idea of Growing Paper sparked while the founder was at a friend’s wedding. There was so much beautiful stationery that would be thrown away... there had to be a way to keep the pretty papers. During the course of lockdown, Growing Paper has been able to retain all of their employees, thanks to the immense support of their loyal customers. Growing Paper’s customer base is made up from a fair portion of the local market as well as receiving support from the foreign market, exporting their product into Europe, by supplying other paper companies. That being said, Growing Paper has also sent out their largest order yet during lockdown - three pallets of growing paper!
“By keeping our product 100% hand-made, we can ensure that we are creating more jobs compared to having machinery that would essentially take them away”.
Growing Papers plans for the future?
“We want to expand our international footprint by building a web presence locally and internationally.”
What are your superpowers?
“I wasn’t born with this one, but I would have to say multitasking. Dealing with the business baby & 3 children, there is almost always more than one thing to attend to.”
What do you love about Africa?
“We have an awe-inspiring natural beauty and such a vibrant atmosphere here. I have an immense patriotic feeling towards South Africa.”
What made you take the step into the unknown to become an entrepreneur?
“I’ve always wanted to start a business and work for myself. Even though I am not working for myself anymore, it is more than that now. I must say it is not easy, so many entrepreneurs portray it as such, by saying how easy it was to go from R1 to R1 billion in a few years. There will be tough times and lifestyle changes to adjust to. Sometimes it is the small incremental moments that make up the big one. The small achievements count & add up!”
What book are you reading?
Dare to Lead- Brené Brown
Looking for wedding invitations, business cards, flyers, bottle neck tags and bookmarks, to confetti, lanyards, seeds, coasters and clothing tags? Go have a peak at Growing Paper’s range!