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Fussy Cuts Papery - What's the Fuss All About?


What does art have in common with family life? For Tessa Spellman of Fussy Cuts Papery, it is everything. From her earliest childhood memories crafting paper art with her mom and partner, Ramie O'Brien, Tessa has celebrated the beauty of creativity intertwined with the warmth of family bonds. Together, they have woven a tapestry of love and artistry, each piece telling a story of shared moments and cherished memories. As Tessa's passion for paper art blossomed, so did her appreciation for the importance of family, creating art that speaks volumes without uttering a single word.


Tessa's maternal family tree traces its roots back to 1700's Pennsylvania Dutch settlers. The art of "Scherenschnitte" (a style of intricately cut paper artwork) has been passed down from mother to daughter and often focuses on life's significant milestones; birth, marriage and raising a family, among them.


Tessa's mom, Ramie, created elaborate scrapbooks for Tessa and her sister that detailed their childhoods, and presented these treasures to her daughters on their graduation from high school. Tessa reinforced her passion for art in her college studies, as well as continuing refining her artistic skills at home.

Ten years ago, after Tessa got married and started her own family, she continued the tradition of creating detailed scrapbooks to capture the unforgettable moments in the lives of her four children.


In 2020, Tessa and her husband, Devon, welcomed their oldest child, Ronin, through a paternal kinship placement. Ronin and Devon share the same biological mother, who became pregnant with Ronin when Devon was 16, leading to Ronin being placed in foster care at the age of 5.


By 2017, Tessa and Devon, who had already tied the knot, moved in with Tessa's great grandfather who was in Hospice care. This move not only allowed them to care for her great grandfather but also provided an additional bedroom for Devon to foster Ronin before legally adopting him.

It is a very high priority for Tess to be able to stay home with her children during the day, work on her own timetable around her family's schedule, and of course, earn income doing what she loves.


In 2020, Tessa's sister asked her to design her wedding stationary. The overwhelming enthusiasm that she received from family and friends encouraged her to put her artistic skills out there professionally, and in Fall of 2021, she set up her first vendor booth at a bridal show with her partner and mother, Raimie. Tessa says the she never really considered herself an "artist" until she started putting her work out there professionally, even though art has been such an important aspect throughout her life.

As people shared their enthusiasm with her work, her confidence rose. She loves working with paper as it is unique and nostalgic. Handmade items are becoming so much more popular as customers are more aware of the environmental cost of mass produced goods, as well as the desire for individualism. In tapping into her familial artistic lineage, she brings generations of creative energy into her business, and in doing so has been very successful in doing what she loves.


Not only do Tessa and Raimie create award winning wedding stationary, they also craft greeting cards, shadow boxes, paper flowers, and wax seals. The intricate shadow boxes are created in the Polish art form of "Wycinanki". Crafted from up to 17 layers of paper, this craft often depicts scenes from daily life.

Fussy Cuts Papery is the very definition of a family business. Her husband takes a very active role in parenting their four boys so that Tessa is able to set up her vendor booths at shows with her mom, and both her husband and father assist in helping to pack the boxes for shipping. Ronin has his own role in Fussy Cuts with branding and packaging, in exchange for a Fortnite monthly subscription.

While attending the annual 'I Made It Market' in Pittsburgh, Tessa and Raimie had the pleasure of meeting Jenn Orefice, one of the daughter/co-owners of Songbird Artistry. There's a unique connection when two mother/daughter partnerships intersect, and a special bond was established between them. Songbird Artistry takes pride in showcasing and endorsing stationary, shadow boxes, and pre-made wax seal sets from Fussy Cuts Papery, helping both parties achieve their shared goal of supporting their families through their art.



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