We had the good fortune of connecting with Theresa Anderson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Theresa, what’s the most difficult decision you’ve ever had to make?
I’ve always had a passion for travel and a strong desire to live in another country. A few years ago I discovered the world of digital nomads and was immediately hooked. I would spend hours researching how people managed to work and travel the world at the same time, exploring a new place every few weeks or months. Soon my instagram feed was filled with travelers and their adventures. At first it was just a far fetched dream considering I didn’t have a remote job. Quite the opposite, I own Sweet Paper, a stationery and gift store in La Jolla, CA. I had never been away from the store for more than 2 weeks at a time. I was physically there 5-6 days a week for 8 hours a day. I thought I had to be there, in person, all the time. Even though it seemed highly unrealistic, I just couldn’t get the idea out of my head. Could I leave my business and travel full-time? I started to think outside the box. I went through a lot of scenarios, at one point I even considered selling Sweet Paper. Thankfully I figured out how to continue growing a business I love and fulfill my dream! Even once I had the logistics worked out, I was still terrified to commit. It was an extremely difficult decision with a lot of what ifs. I left on my first trip in March of 2018 and was gone for 9 months. Sweet Paper thrived and I learned that I can run my retail business from anywhere in the world. Since then I’ve traveled to 16 countries and had countless adventures. While the most difficult, it’s the best decision I’ve ever made.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I am proud to say that we just celebrated Sweet Paper’s 10th anniversary! Since opening our doors in 2010, we’ve gone through a location change and a partnership change. We’ve experimented with a lot of product lines, some turning into best sellers and some major flops. We expanded our space, doubling our square footage (and our rent!). Most importantly, we’ve built relationships within our community that we cherish and have met lifelong friends.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d start our morning off by grabbing a coffee from James Coffee Co. and then going to Harbor Island, my favorite spot for quiet walks and enjoying the views of downtown. Next up a trip to Sweet Paper for some shopping, followed by brunch overlooking the cove at Cody’s. For a little self-care we’d head to Leo in North Park. After being pampered, we’d stroll around the neighborhood checking out the local shops. Finally we’d head to Sunset Cliffs or the beach for sunset and end the evening with my favorite pizza from Arrivederci in Hillcrest.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to Kayla Ursillo, Sweet Paper’s Manager and Lead Design Consultant. Kayla is an integral part of the shop; ensuring our day-to-day operations run smoothly and working with couples to create their dream wedding invitations. Her commitment to Sweet Paper and passion for her job never cease to amaze me. She is also the main reason I’m able to travel and work remotely. For that, I am forever grateful!
All images of the store by Jenny Siegwart