Roses are red. Violets are blue. C & G Paper Goods is here to help tell significant others “I love you” with its Valentine’s Day card collection.
C & G Paper Goods is an online shop that sells art prints, greeting cards and postcards, and is owned by Denton couple art management senior Shane Sprong, 23, and freelance artist Josie Hernandez, 21.
“We will expand [our products] in the future, but that’s all for now,” Sprong said. “And, basically the idea was that Josie and I have two different styles, but we have very similar tastes.”
The shop got its start around November of 2020, but owners Sprong and Hernandez have been making art and greeting cards for a couple of years now.
“When we would give people gifts for Christmas, we would make prints especially for them. We would make Halloween cards to send to our friends and stuff like that,” Sprong said.
The name C & G Paper Goods comes from the names of Sprong and Hernandez’s two cats, Cowboy and Guiness.
“Around Thanksgiving to early December, we thought maybe we can do a store and sell greeting cards and the artwork we’ve already made,” Sprong said. “So we had to come up with a name. We went with C & G Paper Goods, obviously, and that’s the first letters of our two cats.”
The process of creating a product begins with the design.
“At some point during creating the artwork, we usually work digitally on our iPads, and we’ll decide if it’s a print or a card or a postcard and we’ll start to form it to that shape,” Sprong said.
Sprong and Hernandez each draw on their creative strengths and personal styles to create uniquely designed products.
“We both have two different styles,” Hernandez said. “Say we both draw a couch, it’s going to be in different styles. We both have weaknesses and we both have strengths, so where one lacks, the other one kind of pulls through and vice versa.”
With a more illustrative style, Sprong offers his skill in typography, the art and technique of making written language look visually appealing.
“I have more skill and experience with typography,” he said. “[My style] comes from a graphic design standpoint. It’s more illustrative, sometimes more abstract.”
Hernandez then comes in with her drawings and sketchings.
“I’ve been drawing since I was basically a child,” she said. “I’ve always liked tattoo design and just black ink, pretty basic drawings. Basically drawing real life but in sketch form is really my type.”
The couple gains inspiration from their personal likes and interests.
“We love speaking to our interests,” Sprong said. “I really like classy motorcycles, anything art historical. The specs of cool stuff I collect, I like to draw.”
After a design is finalized, it moves on to be listed on the website and printed. They have their own printer and print on recycled paper.
“It’s kind of unique paper,” Sprong said. “We haven’t seen a lot of people using it. It’s called speckle-toned paper. It’s made from recycled paper so each sheet is kind of unique and has variations in color.”
Supporting the environmentally-conscious theme, plastic-free packaging is used to ship products.
“We’re eco-friendly and use no plastic for our packages,” Sprong said. “[It’s] something we’re really proud of.”
With the store just starting up, Sprong and Hernandez have received a lot of support from friends.
“[Shane and I] are friendly acquaintances, if that makes sense,” art education graduate Vy Mai said. “We know of each other and if we hear something about the other, then we’ll support one another. I think hand-crafted things and small businesses are very in right now, so I hope that it will go well.”
Mai says that the products, while simple, have unique elements that can draw people in.
“Specifically with their Valentine collection,” she said. “There’s certain details with the way they draw things, like the cow with the tiny head or the doves with the smiles on the side of the face, which can be fun for people who are looking for things like that.”
Drawing on her experiences, Mai said she hopes that Sprong keeps up the momentum so that the shop will continue to do well.
“From what I heard of the business from him, I think it was like a spur of the moment thing,” she said. “Not to say that they won’t last long, but I think that with the beginning of small businesses, like with the decisions that I’ve made that are more impulsive, I tended to have a lot of momentum at the beginning because there’s excitement about it, so there’s a lot of effort of my part and I think it is the same for him. With the effort he’s putting in right now, which I think is a lot, he’s coming out with a lot of stuff, I would hope that it would last long.”
Courtesy Josie Hernandez and Shane Sprong