It was 1948, Nathan Bower, had served as a Marine in WWII and returned to get an education from Cal Berkeley on the GI Bill. His first job was selling envelopes for National Envelope in San Francisco, California. While working at National Envelope, Nate decided that he wanted to start his own envelope company and in 1953 opened Western Envelope Corporation. The business grew and in the early 60’s he opened a second location in Los Angeles. In 1964 he created a business, called Papercone, that manufactured paper collars to place over drink bottles for advertisement. In 1967 Nate realized that the envelope business was becoming very competitive. At that time he sold Western Envelope to Transo Envelope while maintaining the Papercone business.
Nate had a great vision; he saw a need for a manufacturer of specialty envelopes. Specialty envelopes are typically large, expandable, made with unusual materials, have unique closures or printing, and are difficult to manufacture. Using the resources from the Western Envelope sell he put all of his time and energy into expanding Papercone into the specialty envelope market in California. At that time, there were no expansion envelopes made on the west coast, they all came from companies in the east. He capitalized on that opportunity and Papercone began to prosper. In 1970 Papercone began to convert DuPont Tyvek into expansion and flat envelopes that have a very unique look and are nearly indestructible. Envelopes made with Tyvek propelled the company to new levels of sales and growth over the next few years forcing the company to expand both manufacturing and sales.
In 1978, Nate’s son, Brooks, opened Papercone Corporation’s second location in Louisville, Kentucky. The Louisville location allowed Papercone to economically sell and deliver specialty envelopes to the larger east coast market. The Louisville plant flourished and became the larger of the two operations over a few years. Brooks’ invested in R&D and production equipment to become a world class specialty envelope manufacturer. He truly revolutionized how specialty envelopes are manufactured today. As the cost of doing business in California steadily increased, Papercone made the difficult decision to close its San Francisco plant in 2000.
When the Bower family started their business in 1964, their goal was to proudly serve their customers with the best specialty envelopes and packaging in the industry. More than 50 years later, Papercone is still family-owned, and today provides world-class products, service, and the largest range of specialty envelopes in the industry.