Rees launched Chasing Paper (chasingpaper.com), a peel and stick
type of wallpaper, in 2011 after finding inspiration during her
is not your typical 20-something. The Whitefish Bay native has
traveled across the globe, and, after coming back to the United
States, started her own business.
Rees moved to
Washington, D.C. when she was 25. There she worked for National
Geographic, where she met many world travelers. That gave her the
itch, so she saved her money and traveled in Asia for six months
followed by getting her masterís degree at American University in
Paris. "It was an experience meeting people from all over the
world in my program," Rees says. "It was a springboard into
the rest of Europe" ó weekend trips to Morocco, London and
other exotic locales.
a member of a family with a three-generation printing business, she
took notice of the extensive use of wallpaper in European countries.
"Iíd seen a lot of wallpaper. Wallpaper is huge in
Europe." When she returned to the United States in 2011, she
started seeing a resurgence of wallpaper in the United States. "I
thought if there was wallpaper that wasnít real wallpaper, I would
doing the research and talking to people, including her family who
owns Kubin-Nicolson, a Milwaukee printing firm that specializes in
large formats such as billboards or bus wraps.
Rees joined the
family business, spending her time between Milwaukee and New York and
pursuing her next goal of selling removable wallpaper. "I thought
there is some kind of opportunity here," Rees says.
opened for business in March. The online company sells stylish
removable wallpaper that can be reused over and over again. "It
really happened organically. People were really excited about
it," she says.
manufactured in Milwaukee, is sold in 2-foot-by-4-foot panels that
come in 35 different patterns, each in a multitude of colors. A new
designer is featured every month to keep the selections fresh.
Previous designer styles also remain available for purchase.
The goal was to
create a removable wallpaper that looks and feels like real wallpaper.
"Itís actually peel and stick fabric, so it has a texture and
grain to it. Having that texture adds to the level of quality that
sets us apart from others (companies) in the category."
low-tack adhesive ("like a super sticky Post-it Note") is
used to adhere the wallpaper to the surface. "It wonít leave
any residue and it will come off clean," Rees says.
carries two lines ó the standard line is suitable for use on
cabinets or the headboard of your bed, for example. The luxe line can
be used in areas where there is severe temperature change or moisture,
such as a mudroom or bathroom. The luxe line also comes with a "stickability
guarantee" that the wallpaper will not curl or peel away.
Either line can
be reused again and again, which Rees points out takes the "scary
factor" out of hanging wallpaper. "Literally anyone can do
it. A kid could do it," she says. The wallpaper can be cleaned
with a wet rag and it is PVC free. "Itís really durable,"