Magazine founders at cutting edge

Paper Runway co-owners Maree Oaten and Nikki Buckland enjoy working and publishing from Byron Bay.
Paper Runway co-owners Maree Oaten and Nikki Buckland enjoy working and publishing from Byron Bay. Marc Stapelberg

ACCORDING to Nikki Buckland, co-founder of the Paper Runway, as we all rush to commit ourselves to the digital world, so there is also a part of us that longs for something simpler.

"With so much of our lives dominated by digital and electronic media, there is a real craving out there for the beauty, simplicity and versatility of paper," she said.

So together with co-editor and graphic designer Maree Oaten they founded Paper Runway, a magazine that is now at the forefront of a world-wide passion for all things paper and the renaissance of ancient paper crafts adapted for the modern world.

The magazine is an eclectic mix of the latest paper products, party inspirations, inspiring images, tips for the affordable, stylish, practical and pretty.

It contains stories about paper sculptors, artists, illustrators and creators currently working in the field all wrapped up in a unique, hand-stitched cover

"There are other art magazines but this is the first to concentrate exclusively on paper," said Ms Buckland.

"The possibilities with paper are limited only by our imaginations.

"We've discovered a whole world of exhilarating paper art and exquisite paper products."

The magazine was started on May 1 last year as an online magazine and a printed edition of 150.

Ms Buckland said they wanted to do a small print run first to test the market.

"It was the best way to see how it would be received," she said.

Since then Paper Runway has been a runaway success with around 2.3 million unique visitors to their website.

They now have around 30 retail outlets around the world, including Paper Chase in the UK which is one of the biggest stationery stores in the UK.

Ms Buckland is from Brunswick Heads and Ms Oaten has just returned to the area after six years in London.

They are gratified to know that they can produce a magazine in Byron Shire that stacks up against the best in the world

The pair has also been fielding offers from larger companies to take over distribution of the magazine but they want to keep creative control themselves.

The next issue, due out on April 30, will have more pages and a print run of 5000.

Coinciding with the magazine's first birthday in May this year, Paper Runway will be staging an exhibition entitled The Paper Trail at the Art Park in Byron Bay opening May 25.

The Paper Trail will include paper workshops for all ages, with leading artists and paper product designers including Kim Amos, Anne Leon, Craig Rochfort and Kate Ford.

The workshops will include paper making, creating paper zines, book binding and the art of paper cutting.

All artists will contribute a portion of their sales to NAPCAN, a charity that works to eliminate child abuse.

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Topics:  business craft magazine retail

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