Ali H., Artist + Founder
Artist + Founder
In search of a unique Christmas gift, Ali decided to try a new craft. Using a borrowed box cutter and her kitchen cutting board, Ali created her first papercutting. After falling in love with cutting paper, Ali armed herself with a sharper blade and an actual cutting mat, and Light & Paper was born.
What is the best part of what you do and why?
I’m a workaholic, so I love being able to put in a lot of hours and hard work into something that’s completely mine. Every big or little thing I do contributes to this business that I’ve built from scratch and allows me to live the life that I’ve dreamed of – it’s a very satisfying and rewarding way to live – even if I have to work all the time.
What is the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur?
I’m self-taught in terms of art and design, so it’s been tricky to have to learn on the fly. I didn’t know how to work a DSLR camera, use Adobe Illustrator, or design a business card when I started out. I’ve learned so much along the road and that’s been one of the most satisfying parts of running my business – but it’s definitely slowed me down at times.
Why is community important to you?
Because I came into the maker world without a lot of experience in art or design so much of what I’ve learned is because of the incredible community of makers that I’ve made friends with. My business wouldn’t be half of what it is today without their help. Because makers spend so much time working alone it’s so important to have a strong community around you to provide the support and solidarity that you might be missing.