Turning Passion into Success

Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese ’91 and her business, Twisted Limb Paperworks.
Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese ’91 and her business, Twisted Limb Paperworks.

Last year was a transformative, and successful, year for sociology alumna Sheryl Woodhouse-Keese ’91 and her business, Twisted Limb Paperworks, a sustainable hand paper making and invitation company.

First, with its relocation from rural Indiana to a commercial district of Bloomington, Twisted Limb quadrupled its local business. In addition, with the help of two business grants, Twisted Limb was able to assist with community revitalization efforts in the area. The company created a “living wall” to serve as an employee benefit garden, as well as a vibrant storefront mural and semi-formal wildlife garden.

Twisted Limb’s most recent venture is the release of “Beer Paper,” paper made with the barley from a local brewery and available in four distinctive “beer colors.” Although it has only been available since October, Beer Paper has already received nationwide attention, including interest from major marketing firms.

Last, but certainly by no means least, Sheryl and Twisted Limb were honored in October at the 7th Annual Fuse Business Innovation Awards for West-Central Indiana, receiving the Fuse Business Award for Microenterprise of the Year from the Indiana Small Business Development Center. Twisted Limb won the award for exhibiting characteristics of a successful entrepreneur, including stable and resilient management, as well as “creativity, initiative, and vision.”

Though she continues to enjoy her company’s success, Sheryl remains focused on the environment, her customers, and of course, paper, combining all of her passions into something that she loves doing.

“It’s extremely rewarding to provide someone with the small, delightful experience of finding a striking and carefully handcrafted invitation or thank you note in her or his mailbox, especially in a world where so many of our possessions are mass produced and of inferior quality,” she says. “The fact that the announcement or note is a fleeting piece of beauty makes it even more special, and it pleases me that after it has served its purpose, it will be recycled into new paper, or planted in the ground to produce wildflowers.”

View the complete spring 2012 issue of LOYNO.

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