Creating magic since 1996, my guest this week is Andy from Paper Starlights – think cool camping lanterns, wedding lights, lampshades, parties, Christmas and Diwali decorations- these starlights are hand screen printed using artisan techniques. I caught up with Andy to find out more about his magical brand… Hi Andy and welcome!
Hello 😊 My name is Andy Jupp. I spend my time mainly in the UK and India, have a small brown dog called Darcy, like to drink rum and coke, and am rarely able to watch a movie all the way through.
What inspired the creation of “Paper Starlights”?
Finding a means through which I could do something in life that might make people feel good. I think inspiration is inherent, you just need the spark sometimes. For me it was seeing for the first time the impact traditional bamboo star lanterns had on a social environment.
I understand that “Paper Starlights” is a collaboration of 2 family businesses from India & UK with a story that spans 2 generations & 3 decades of friendship. How did that collaboration come about?
The friendship came about through sheer determination – identifying that we had a mutual interest, then working hard over many years to develop it. For all of us, the maintenance of our relationships, and a focus on quality of relations comes first. The first time we met we ate together, and this is something we make sure we do as often as possible.
You have a lovely wide range of starlights – I particularly like your Bohemian range, especially the Fantasia Tropic. What starlights and designs are proving popular amongst your customers so far?
One of our USPs as a company is to produce across styles and applications – for domestic use, for location décor, for events and hospitality. So it could be a scandi style shop window display, a colourful kids bedroom, or a venue like Kings Cross Station with large 2 metre stars – the popularity seems to derive from the vibe and atmosphere the stars create – We’ve been producing stars since 1996, and have a portfolio of over 180 styles. So there’s a high possibility we have something for most people.
Do you have a particular favourite design?
The next one . Always.
As you are based in Derbyshire, are your products available to purchase overseas?
We have stockists around the world, and retail and wholesale through digital channels too.
How are the starlights made? What makes Paper Starlights special?
They are made with love, care, experience, and attention to detail. The focus is on effect : how to best achieve a certain effect upon a person / location. Because our stars are lanterns, luminosity is key. So materials, design, and process are massively important. Every part of the process is performed by hand, including, crucially, the printing and punching.
Paper Starlights are not just for parties/Christmas/Diwali – they make good lampshades too. What’s the best way to take care of them?
One of the unique things about our stars is that they fold flat, and can be used, re-used, and used again. Sustainability is built into the fabric of the design, aswell as the materials. Many of our customers have been using their stars for 10 years or more, either continuously or as seasonal decorations. The best way to care for them – just leave them be.
How big are the starlights? Do you cater for large scale decorations for events etc?
Our stars range from 42 cm diameter up to 2 metres, although for domestic use the norm is 60cm – 87 cm. We provide packages for events, weddings, hospitality etc. We also design and build installations for large public buildings.
Have you always wanted to be an artistic career or did your career aspirations lay elsewhere?
I can’t really distinguish between the artistic and non-artistic, career, or otherwise. I think I understand it all just as life. I have another company called Charity Shop DJ which could be said to be 100% artistic – and its focus is on highlighting how we are all creative people, no matter what we “do”. Most important thing for me is that whatever we do, whoever we are, we can effect things, and have effects on others. We have the authority, all of us, to choose whether to be a good person or not.
Personal now – what outfits and shoes would you normally be found wearing?
I have a tailor in India who every year makes me a new safari suit. My favourite is a black pin striped safari suit with a pair of white trainers. Although I may look like I’ve just stumbled out of the bookies in 1970.
What’s next on your clothes/shoe wish list?
I’d like to wear a love-child of Skechers and Dr Martens, with a touch of Crocs thrown in. A kind of urban slipper for men of a certain age with gout.
Boots or Shoes?
Boots. Every time. I love the feel of lacing them right up, knowing that they are gonna be staying on for at least the next 48 hours whilst we go out partying.
Links you would like to share e.g. website/facebook/twitter etc so that readers can find out more about Paper Starlights
Insta, facebook, pinterest, youtube, twitter, linked in, tiktok @paperstarlights
Thank you for shedding the light on your company Andy and for agreeing to be in the spotlight! Such lovely, magical products 😊
All photographs have been published with kind permission of Andy Jupp. (Paper Starlights).