Laney Hall's story is as diverse as her many talents. Unlike those whose career paths are linear, Hall’s trajectory reflects the creativity that she embodies so vividly and is clearly evident in her current business, Platypus Papers. A Boulder native, Hall has spent the majority of her life in Colorado.
l dabbled in many professional endeavors before founding Platypus Papers—volleyball coach, massage therapist, banker, and event planner—all roles which helped her get to where she is today. She has an uncanny ability to pair excellent leadership with a goofy demeanor, making her approachable, fun to work with, personable and successful. She currently serves as the president of the International Live Events Association, Denver Chapter.
Her “aha moment” came when her colleagues and good friends in event planning persistently urged her to explore paper as a career. With that consistent nudge, she turned her passion into her profession and Platypus Papers was born in 2011. “And the name is no coincidence”, says Laney. Platypuses are known for their multifaceted characteristics and that is exactly how she would like her business to bloom—embracing a wide array of services for her clients, often unexpected, and always beautiful.
To keep up with her growing business, her husband Joel left his engineering job and became her right-hand man at Platypus Papers. He is an expert 3D printer, laser cutter, and overall creative problem solver. The two of them balance their business while raising two fur babies and a colony of bees.
The Gift of Giving
It is no surprise that one of Laney Hall’s love languages is receiving gifts. She understands the power of a gift and believes the best business model hinges on a pay-it-forward mentality. Whether she is creating custom gifts, invitations, or installations for a large-scale event, she taps into the emotional connection people have to the client and the reason for the connection.
She takes her client’s big ideas and turns them into masterpieces that share the intent and personality of an event, greeting or gift. Looking for a journal made of old tires? The company will provide you with a personalized, wooden carved journal with the etching of tire tread. Need a life-size bear that your guests can paint? They’ve got you covered.
“An invitation is the first handshake of an event and is the beginning of the vision,” says Laney. A printed invitation sets the tone and feel for an upcoming celebration and has the power to inspire, welcome, and evoke a feeling more powerful than, say, an electronic invitation. And Platypus Papers does so much more than just paper. Hall is a master of various materials, including wood, metals and acrylics. And she prides herself on her connections in the industry. If a client comes to her with something she simply cannot do, she knows someone who can.
Bring Back Snail Mail
While the event space has been severely affected by the current pandemic, Hall is confident that events are not gone, they have just changed. She also believes that paper is going to be even more important in today’s climate. Want your guests to wear a mask at your wedding? A polite, charming, and beautifully crafted invitation to don a mask can be effective.
The company has made adjustments to stay solvent, mainly moving from their warehouse of 10 years to their home for all things business-related. They have also used the extra time to become more intimate with their gardens and have been beekeeping. Laney Hall is also committed to being a master connector to help the maker space thrive. She holds Zoom meetings with new colleagues and makes introductions regularly for new and experienced artists in the field.
Hall has gone from losing all her business in a week’s time to shifting gears to create COVID-19 survival kits, mystery craft kits, homeschooling kits, and of course, greeting cards to address how people are feeling during this difficult time. The challenge posed is one of Laney and Joel’s biggest motivators. They look forward to continuing to find innovative ways to serve their clients, friends and fellow makers. When asked if Platypus Papers is going anywhere, Laney says, “you shake and drive and hope for the best.”
Jordan Martindell moved to Boulder in 2009 and discovered a natural connection to the Rocky Mountain lifestyle. Following a career in high-end retail management, Martindell blends her love of aesthetics and the outdoors, writing for such publications as Dorado Magazine, Elevation Outdoors Magazine, Outdoor Retailer Magazine and offyonder.com.
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