Our deeper purpose is to build connections.
Watson Paper Design creates a way for tiny citizens to connect with each other in a fun, non-digital way. The bag tags are made for swapping and sharing, ultimately leading to new and stronger friendships. Our mission is to help kids express their interests, then connect with each other and everyone in their path over those shared interests in the process.
The bag tags are a conversation starter and connection builder, whether that’s over a hobby, or sharing a laugh about a shark joke.
If even just one kid is able to make a new friend or feel less alone, then we’ve done our job!
Inspired by Hand
Every tag tells a story.
Hi! My name is Erika,
After two decades in the corporate world, I decided along with my close friend and collaborator, Jo Garces, to launch Watson Paper Design in 2019. What began as our passion project named after my family’s backyard owl, “Watson,” Paper Design has taken on a larger purpose. The idea partially came from my upbringing, having moved around with my family frequently, and as the new kid in school, I always looked for ways to connect with and make new friends.
Our tags, which can be used on bags from backpacks and lunchboxes to sports bags provide kids an opportunity to connect, find and build their communities through shared interests and the conversation provoking designs – all hand-drawn by Jo. Whether it’s a Superhero, unicorn, or favorite sport, we ultimately hope to create an easy avenue for kids to make friends and feel included.
A longtime Austinite, I live in the capital city with my husband, two children (seven-year-old Hudson and five-year-old Beckett), and Black Lab, Josie.
Watson Co-Founder and Designer
Hi! My name is Jo,
Finding that the artistic gene runs through my family, it wasn’t a stretch that illustration would be a significant part of my life from the beginning. With two decades of experience creating adult educational videos that utilize designs as a tool for explaining complex concepts, I have been fortunate to be able to utilize my talent and passion in a variety of ways.
In 2019, I joined forces with longtime friend Erika Dunham to launch Watson Paper Design, which provides an opportunity for kids to connect with each other in a fun way through collecting and swapping conversation-provoking bag tags.
As the brand’s illustrator and designer, I similarly used illustration to achieve a higher goal; to spark a dialogue and spread a message of kindness and compassion. we are striving to amplify the brand’s primary mission through an expanded line of designs and partnerships in the future.
Raised in Colombia, South America, I moved to Austin in 1980 to raise a family including my three sons. I love applying my skills in the community as well, volunteering with several local organizations to help with design needs and teaching art classes to elementary students.