Women-Owned Business Spotlight with Joanna Mauney, Co-Founder of Cedar Rose Stationery

Updated: Mar 30

As a part of our interview series on women-owned businesses, I had the pleasure of interviewing Joanna Mauney, Chief Creative Officer and Co-Founder of Cedar Rose Stationery.


Joanna Mauney is the Chief Creative Officer, illustrator and co-founder of Cedar Rose Stationery. Cedar Rose Stationery is a greeting card company that provides beautiful watercolor high-end stationery for people while at the same time working to improve rather than harm the environment.


Thanks for joining me! Tell our readers about what you do.

As the chief creative officer, illustrator and co-founder of Cedar Rose Stationery, I spend my work hours sketching out designs, painting with watercolors, and cutting lots and lots of paper!


What does being a woman-owned business mean to you?

To me it means having the freedom to express my creativity and do work I love, while also hopefully inspiring other women to pursue their own dreams.


How did you come up with the idea for your business?

I owe the idea for Cedar Rose Stationery in large part to the COVID-19 pandemic. A couple months into our city being pretty shut down, I started trying to think of a hobby I could have. I wanted something I could do just for fun during any free moments I had at home. Mother’s Day was coming up soon, so I had the idea of painting my mom a Mother’s Day card instead of buying one like I normally would. I bought a set of watercolors and started painting different floral designs. I ended up loving painting and creating cards way more than I expected to, and one thing led to another, and I eventually decided to start an Etsy shop.


Okay, coming up with a great idea and actually taking the steps to become an entrepreneur and launch your company are two very different things. How did you know it was time to start?

I've been around entrepreneurs my whole life. While I was growing up, my dad had his own business. My husband, Josh, has his own business he runs with his dad and brother. I have several other friends who have their own businesses. I think just being around so many people with that type of mindset made the idea of starting a business a lot less intimidating to me. Josh was also a big encouragement to me right from the beginning, saying he thought I could sell my paintings. I had several other people who saw my cards as well who told me they thought I could sell them. I think that all just combined to help give me confidence to decide to go for it and give it a try!


Becoming an entrepreneur is no easy feat. What are some of the lessons you learned along the way?

I've learned to not wait for perfection. I can definitely be a perfectionist at times, but I've learned I need to just do my best, then put it out there rather than try to wait until everything is absolutely perfect.


If you had to list three traits or attributes that have been pivotal for your success, what would they be?

Optimism, perfectionism, and creativity. Optimism because I tend to always look at things and try to find the good in them. Being optimistic about my business has helped keep me from becoming discouraged when things aren't going as perfectly as I had hoped. Perfectionism because it helps me work hard to do my very best for each piece I put out. It can be disadvantage if I let the perfectionism control me since if that happens I'd probably put nothing out haha, but as long as I'm cautious about how I let it express itself in me, it can be a real help in my artwork. Creativity because it's really key in being able to design and illustrate cards, as well as come up with all the different ideas and plans related to my business.


How is your company making a difference?

It's really important to me that Cedar Rose Stationery is helping rather than hurting this beautiful place we call home. To make greeting cards, it's estimated over 300,000 trees are harvested every year. I love greeting cards but definitely do not want to be a part of that problem. To fight against that, Cedar Rose Stationery uses 100% recycled paper for our cards as well as our envelopes. We are also partnering with a nonprofit organization that equips local families who farm in several different countries to plant trees. Each item purchased from Cedar Rose Stationery plants a tree in one of those countries, directly aiding in poverty alleviation and reforestation.


I know you probably have many, but what’s your proudest moment as a founder?

One of my proudest moments was starting our own website! It's something I had been wanting to do for awhile, but just kept putting off. I began this journey on Etsy, and while it is a wonderful place to start out, it's been so exciting to be able to branch out and establish our own brand on CedarRoseStationery.com.


What advice would you give to burgeoning entrepreneurs?

If you have an idea for a business, and you have the resources to start it, go for it! I'm so glad I didn't wait until I felt more ready. No business is perfect and you'll have a lot to learn along the way, but you'll never be able to learn a lot of that unless you take the first step in starting.


What does the future look like for your company?

I have a lot more illustrations in the works that I'm excited about, and I also have several new stationery products we are working on and hope to launch later this year. I'm looking forward to rolling those out and continuing to grow the brand.


What words do you live by?

I try to love God and others in everything I do.


Any final words of wisdom?

If you're considering starting a business or working toward another dream, definitely do your research and prepare well so you can put your best foot forward, but don't let perfectionism hold you back. If I can start a business, I'm sure you can to!