How a Cocktail Napkin Inspired a Business

Jeff Block, who has a mechanical engineering degree from Cornell University and a master’s degree from the University of Chicago, never expected a paper flower made from a napkin would lead him to start a business.  But it did.

As a result, the Georgia resident’s early dreams of entrepreneurship have come true.

The 57-year-old Block owns JustPaperRoses, which he founded around 1999.  For the first three years, he only did paper roses for first anniversaries.  Today, Block’s mostly Internet-based company not only sells roses made of paper but also out of wood, leather, lace, steel, silver and other materials that fit traditional wedding anniversary gift lists.

As he explains in a recent article, Block became interested in origami — the art of making designs out of folded paper — after a friend showed him how to make a rose with a cocktail napkin.  Eventually, his hobby led him to found JustPaperRoses.  He now does about 5,000 orders a year, mostly for anniversaries.

“My objective was to never again have a boss,” he says in the article.

You’ll find’s full story about Jeff Block and JustPaperRoses here.

About Lynne Strang

I'm a freelance writer who helps organizations and individuals meet their marketing and communications goals. I am also the author of "Late-Blooming Entrepreneurs: Eight Principles for Starting a Business After Age 40." To learn more, please visit my website:
This entry was posted in Business, Career Changes, entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship, Leadership, Retirement and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How a Cocktail Napkin Inspired a Business

  1. Mike Wilson says:

    Awesome how something so seemingly insignificant can turn a life.

  2. lbstrang says:

    I think it happens more often than we realize.

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