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Ashley Campbell, Owner
Coral & Blue Paper Co.

written by Laura A. Brown  |  PHOTOS PROVIDED

For those who find themselves living in a world focused on improving technology and speeding up progress, it may come as a surprise that one local company has established itself on the ideals of not only slowing things down, but also connecting with neighbors through the invention of upscale old fashioned children’s stationery. This Saratoga Springs small business, owned and operated by Ashley Campbell, is sending its luxury quality stationery, alongside countless other supplies, to Africa’s poorest nation to better the globe through community engagement. This would be an ambitious exercise in charitable giving for just about anyone in today’s modern business scene. A recent discussion with Ashley Campbell reveals immeasurable insight into the makings of her startup business’ evolving mission, particularly in how it redefines the measures of business success while working to guide the future of human connectivity. 

Southern Charm

Chatting with Ashley, it becomes clear that her childhood exposure to southern United States culture instilled in her a great appreciative awareness of sincere social etiquette. So, when Ashley’s Southern home-grown values faced new challenges upon settling her family in upstate New York, a hole in the market was realized. Ultimately, the efficiency and elevated pace of her new home foregrounded a need; quality stationery that would allow her children’s developing fine motor skills a chance to fit “Dear grandma” on a single card.  Ashley then combined her talent for aesthetics and love of good manners to make Coral & Blue Paper Co., where the simple guidelines, graphics, and space for original artwork awaits eager children. The stationery speaks for itself as a high-end product locally sourced from concept right down to the Mohawk Paper it is created on. Reflecting on the elegant design, Ashley says, “I wanted something sort of timeless that reminds people of before the digital era. I really wanted people to harken back to a time that predates digital. So doing a silhouette of a kid to me is old fashioned and traditional and timeless. But also, I wanted them to be fun for kids!” 

More than Thank You Cards

Named for the color of old-fashioned elementary level writing guidelines, Coral & Blue was born out of a need seen in the local market for children’s stationery. For Ashley, however, the creation of the stationery ignited a much larger movement. The reason that she wanted the stationery in the first place, namely human connection, drove the creation of a higher calling for the young paper company. Through free gratitude workshops, charitable collaborations, and an oversees mission, Ashley has been connecting Coral & Blue Paper Co. to the needs of people from diverse backgrounds.

“We need to connect to our neighbors. Despite our political opinions, as Christians it’s part of our job to just get back to that human connection. We need to operate above the media and politicians. This place where we are connecting as humans again.”

Enter Coral & Blue, its impressive, sophisticated stationery, and the woman who then took it a step further… much further.

Poorest of the Poor

Since we are living in such a tech savvy time it seems fitting that a reader can google “poorest country in Africa” to discover that Burundi is your top hit. But this isn’t why Coral & Blue decided to pair up with a local Sunday School teacher there.
A faith connection united Ashley and her new friend in Burundi down a path where today, all profits from Coral & Blue Paper Co. are focused on giving back to the disadvantaged communities of one of the poorest and underdeveloped nations in the world. While sharing pictures of her stationery being used for schooling in Burundi’s rudimentary classrooms, Ashley explains:

"Coral & Blue is not just a small stationery business in the United States. It's also a non-profit program that serves children in Burundi, Africa." Three years ago, Ashley met a teacher from Burundi and sent a small box of Coral & Blue stationery as a gift to his students. She had them custom-made in their native language. Instead of the front of each card saying, "Thank You," they read, "Urakoze Cane," which translates to, "Thank you very much," in Burundi. She couldn't have imagined what would happen after that. The kids began using them for many types of classroom activities including reading, writing, drawing, letter writing and public speaking. It became an academic program that has spread from the capital city of Bujambura. To the entire country, including the rural regions, and now serves as schooling for over 5,000 children. What's especially meaningful is that it's helping kids with trauma in this war-torn and poverty stricken region. Much of her stationery profits go to Burundi where she also helps purchase school supplies, food, clothing, and is currently helping to build an orphanage.

Achieving Success

“You know I’m not sure what will happen with this card [idea], but it's who I am. Some people will love you, and some people will not love you, and a lot of people won’t even care. So, you might as well be true to yourself. That’s the only way you are going to feel happy and fulfilled with what you are doing. If you are not [building a business] out of a place of truth, then it’s not going to be fun. It’s not going to probably be profitable. It’s not going to be successful.”

The future is exciting for Ashley and the rapidly expanding fan base of the Coral & Blue Paper Co. The incredible mission of this company reaches not only our own families but across the giant pond to families in Africa. Among Ashley’s up and coming initiatives, she is working to add adult writing workshops and an inspiring faith-based line for teens but notes that her highest business priority is maintaining the highest level of customer satisfaction for those she currently serves.  

Contributing to her undeniable success is a belief she seems to have held from Day One. That belief, in her words is that, “This is much bigger than paper.”

For more information on Ashley and Coral & Blue Paper Co. upcoming events visit