Detroit Designers Create “Made in the USA” Gift Wrapping Paper

There aren’t many new paper designs being introduced into the market every year.

Lots of reasons for that. The cost of paper has risen, printing has gotten a little pricy and the profit is getting squeezed by the number of people involved in the selling part.

Now what does that have to do with me?

The reality for me as a retailer is that my choices are then more limited. Sometimes a “universal appeal” type design doesn’t make our criteria as strong design.

That doesn’t mean its bad- it just means we may not chose it. I can’t blame the manufacturers. They look for the Safe Bet- that has the best chance of a broad appeal.

But that doesn’t always solve my yearning for a strong design.

Simultaneously many companies are shifting to single sheets of paper designs.

This is not a new trend- countries like Japan and many in Europe have always used a lot of single sheet paper. It makes the consumers’ purchase more practical because they buy what they need for that gift.

Until now though that has not been the American way. This is changing and it is good news for my customers and for me. We have gone that same direction carrying more single sheets because we are always looking for great design. But we were still often constrained by cost.

So we went a step farther and created our own paper. Custom designs by local designers. Then found a local printer so we could get the price we needed and can stand behind the quality.

In addition to boasting of our own line of paper we also have some ulterior motives.  ‘

We are committed to local designers and artists who wouldn’t otherwise have exposure or an opportunity to launch a retail product.  We also want to “export” the unique designs of the region and found a unique way to do that no one else had: custom wrapping paper products.

Wrapping paper has its own design parameters and none of our designers had ever taken up this design challenge. We think it brings a fresh approach.

To date our designers include a breast cancer survivor just reentering the workforce…below is one of her paper designs:


An African American automotive designer looking to branch into a new industry…below is a one of his paper designs:


And most recently a local jewelry and fashion designer and entrepreneur…below is one of her paper designs:


As we look ahead we see many ways to continue highlighting and supporting the creativity of our region. Additional designers could include students from the many educational organizations with roots in automotive design (College for Creative Studies) or architecture (Cranbrook) or the fine arts community. Other designs might feature Detroit’s historical roots such as architecture, Motown, some of the earliest car designs, or a cityscape with different Detroit landmarks, and something to identify the region as an international border.

But always we will look first and foremost for good design that will translate into great paper.  The end result is something that you won’t find any where else.

I guarantee that.

Locally designed custom papers are available at Lisa’s Gift Wrappers, 28834 Woodward Avenue (1 block south of 12 Mile), Royal Oak, MI along with more than 175 styles of wrapping paper, 700 ribbon choices, unique gift tags and tie-ons, cards and gift items. or available for purchase online at