The Paper Place has new owners


Last updated 6/7/2022 at Noon


Josh Smith is the new owner of The Paper Place, taking over from long-time owner Kara Petersen.

Josh Smith and his wife, Stephanie, took over ownership of The Paper Place on May 26. The Smiths are from Salem and plan to live in Sisters once the housing market opens up a bit. Their two children, a 7-year-old son and 10-year-old daughter, will be attending Sisters schools. Stephanie will work at the store part-time, and eventually they look forward to their children working in the store as well.

“We’re excited to have the business pass from one family to the next,” said Josh Smith.

Kara Petersen, whose parents owned the store for 40 years, is thrilled to see their family legacy continue. She plans to move to Arizona in August to start a new chapter and experience living somewhere else. She will continue working at the store and helping Josh with the transition through June. Petersen said the end of her family’s legacy wouldn’t be complete without a toast to her mom, the original Queen Bee of The Paper Place, Jerry Petersen.

Smith has a background in store management with Ross, Marshalls, and T.J. Maxx.

“It was time for me to venture out and be a small-business owner,” he said. “I was looking before the pandemic, and when this one popped up, I knew it was the right one. I got to know Kara and the history of the business. Being a part of a small community has always been something I’ve wanted to do. I look forward to helping the community in any way I can as we continue to carry the torch of the store.”

The Paper Place is a staple in the community for locals, and tourists that come back every year. Smith knows there’s no reason to change a business that’s serving the community and has been successful for decades.

“The only changes planned for the store are the usual shifts based on trends just like Kara has done over the years. Changing everything would be crazy and unnecessary,” he said.

Smith wants people to know that he’s all about working with and supporting the community.

“I want to support in any way I can via fundraisers or whatever comes up,” he said. “We want people to feel comfortable approaching us. We’re not a new, big company coming in to make money in a business. We want to be a part of something special.”

Smith says even in the short time he’s been working in the store, he loves hearing the giggles from the card department where customers can’t control their laughter when they open a card and find the perfect, hilarious caption for someone they know would enjoy the card. Smith invites locals to come by and introduce themselves.

“Sisters is a special town, and we’re happy to be a part of it now,” he said.


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