Susan Lindstrom (1944 - 2017)

Susan Lindstrom, founder of the chain of Paper Source stores, died Wednesday, Aug. 16, 2017, of metastatic colon cancer, according to the Chicago Tribune. She was 73.

Lindstrom turned a passion for high-quality, traditionally crafted paper into a thriving retail business. There are more than 100 Paper Source stores in 30 states carrying unique stationery, wedding invitations, and crafting supplies.

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"Sue was an irreverent woman with a sharp mind and a whooping laugh,” recalls her former Paper Source business partner Jim York. “She never allowed an obstacle to get in the way and always rose to the challenge."

It all began with a trip to Japan during the early 1980s. After working with traditional Japanese paper, she returned to the United States and opened her first store in Chicago’s River North neighborhood, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. (Read the in-depth Sun-Times obituary here.)

When she realized that potential customers were intimidated by the beautiful paper on display in her store, she offered classes, inviting people to get hands-on with the supplies. Her enthusiasm for paper craft spread as she taught papermaking and decorative techniques, encouraging students and customers to do something creative every day.

According to the Chicago Tribune, she traveled the world and personally selected the paper stocks her stores would carry. The stores themselves were a reflection of her quirky sense of humor and taste. (Read the in-depth obituary Tribune obituary here.)

Paper Source had grown to 27 stores by the time she decided to sell the business in 2007 and retire to New Mexico, where she painted rocks and drew landscapes.

Lindstrom is survived by her three children, and her partner of more than 20 years, Jimmy Marcus.

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