DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN (PIX11) — As we celebrate important Black historical figures who have paved the way, we also honor those who strive to make their own mark on history.

Kalyn Johnson Chandler’s future is bright. As a child, her grandmother encouraged her to write thank-you notes.

Fast forward to the summer of 2010, she came across stationery that she didn’t like. That moment inspired her to create Effie’s Paper, Stationery & Whatnot, in honor of her grandmother.

After starting the business in her living room, Kalyn moved into a 132-square-foot office in Downtown Brooklyn. But the size of the small space pales in comparison to the revenue size she’s accomplished over the years with her 11 female staff members. 

The lifestyle brand features all kinds of accessories and stationaries including mugs, pens and headbands to name a few. But her top seller is her notebooks.

Since 2020, revenue has doubled. Kalyn said her goal is to continue to grow her business and hopes to inspire others to follow their dreams.

“As a little girl, I didn’t see stationery store owners who look like me. I didn’t see stationery products that reflected me, that spoke to me in the way that I hope that our product speak to those same young girls and women,” she said.