The Studio 404 Shop Origin Story

Studio 404 Office

I actually wanted to just name this post why I got into the paper game but it could have gotten confused with my journey to become a line in a rap song. I was already shooting work space photos for a feature this week and thought I might as well make good use of the photos to share here. I announced the opening of my paper shop via Etsy last month and I’ve been building products, launches, and marketing  campaigns ever since. I realize, even when announcing I was rebranding, I never got discussed why I wanted to put my printed design work on the market.

Why Studio 404?

Old Studio 404 Branding

The plan was to originally re-brand my blog from Static-Romance to Studio 404 in late 2011/early 2012. The number 404 is significant in the terms of it being my birthday and also my old area code. As a child, I was convinced the metro Atlanta area clearly knew I was going to be born on April fourth which is why they created an area code just for me and where I was living. I may have been disappointed when I found out this wasn’t the case.

Studio 404 is a space where I am selling products and design services catered to the everyday consumer and not really the small to medium businesses I design for under Sevenality. The products and services are developed in this unique studio space that is simply my own. I do consult with my business partner on everything I launch but it’s pretty much mine which is why it needed a solid name to see fit.

Paper Chaser

Mango Cards  - Studio 404

I can’t help myself with the rap references so I’m sorry not sorry. Since an early age, I was very particular about the type of cards I’d buy my friends and family. I’m very drawn to thick matte papers which is why I print my prints on 110# Neenah Paper and the cards are printed a 130# recycled paper. It took me almost ten months to find a print vendor for the cards because of my paper preference and it paid off! I really believe delivering the best quality in my design work and I wanted that reflected in the paper shop.

Learning to Launch

Studio 404 Shop

After debating for months on paper, I didn’t have any other reason not to publish the shop live. I had numerous conversations with everyone I knew, mostly with Melissa, about just pushing. I wanted a product line but I didn’t want people to be able to see it. I wanted to sell cards but I didn’t want to hear what was wrong with them. For all of the wrong reasons, I held off on just going for what I needed to do.

I am often my own roadblock. Learning to let go of my hesitations really helped me push forward towards my ambitions. I’d always wanted to sell prints and now I am. I’ve always wanted to make things that were available worldwide, and I do. More importantly, I do it for the reasons I state here:

My work is inspired by my life and experiences I share with people I meet. Whether good, bad, long, or short—we all meet those people in our lives who have the power to touch us. The products in the shop hopefully materialize these ideas all in a set of cards or a few prints.

I hope to create stories with paper and it’s my goal. I also want to add that I really would love to change my title on LinkedIn to Paper Chaser someday.

Anniversary Cards - Studio 404

I added these fun anniversary cards from the Mango Collection and a few other prints to the shop today. Do you know how hard it is to find happy anniversary cards for couples from couples? I’m hoping to make that search just a tiny bit easier! 

All photography copyright Studio 404.

Tell me a story of when you pushed to launch. I’m all ears.

Mango Cards - Shop


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Angelica Yarde
My name is Angel Yarde. I am a designer, front-end developer, and speaker. I am the editor and designer of Studio 404 whic was founded in December 2006. In January 2014, I launched Studio 404 Paper, a paper shop which includes type-focused greeting cards, note cards, and prints. I currently reside in Celebration, Florida where I co-own a branding strategy studio, Sevenality, with my husband.
Articles: 676


  1. Yay for April birthdays — mine is 2 days after yours!

    Thanks for sharing your story. I’m getting ready to launch my theme shop (original plan was March 1st, but that’s not happening) and I’m getting so nervous. It’s at the point where I’m debating pushing the shop launch back until April just because, but do I really need all that time? Probably not. I’m just stalling!

    • That’s awesome! I have six days of birthdays in the first week of April with friends and family. I’m glad this was able to help you. I think you should definitely push forward and get your shop open. You have something unique to offer so go for it.

  2. Residing in Georgia for a few years, I instantly knew that you was paying some type of homage. What I didn’t know was that it was also your birthday.. so we’re just going to say ATL paid homage to YOU with that area code.

    And girl, like you I am my biggest road block. Sometimes I just have to tell myself to ‘F*ck off’ & just launch things. That’s basically what I did when I started The Native New Yawker.

    Now.. question, where the hell can I get that Day Planner you have on your desk? (I have a love for BIG notebooks and planners. The more pages, the better!) Or.. at this point I probably should try and make one for the shop. lol

  3. Love this story! I can definitely relate, but hey we’re artist and we’re semsitive about our…stuff! Ha!

    I went through this same thing.with this blog series I’m doing. What if people don’t think it’s good advice? Whtat if it’s not enough info to be helpful? Finally, I just did it!

  4. You are my favorite. I love your story and I’m so pleased that you shared it. The best part for me is the part where being finicky paid off and, while it may have held you back momentarily, you powered through it; fully accomplishing your goals. It’s verg inspirational. Thank you!

  5. I loved reading this post Angel, the rap references made me laugh! Plus now I know where 404 comes from! Really great to hear your process, I too can be my own roadblock so I know how you feel! I love your shop and cant wait to see where it takes you!

  6. Loved reading this! It always feels like everyone has such confidence when launching things but I’m always a bunch of nerves. I also have a paper shop on etsy but save for the business cards, I do all of my own printing, I use to send it all to a printer but I wanted more control of how my prints looked and felt, but buying a printer and paper and mailing supplies was really nerve-wracking! I was a mess that month!

    • I print all of my prints from home as well, due to my paper conundrum. I’m glad I’m not the only one who had issues with finding a printer who works with the paper you like. Thank you so much for sharing your story with me Fran!

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