A Day in the Life of Urbanic

Hi Everyone! Our new baby has arrived – so I’ve asked some of my favorite creative mamas to help out while I’m away on maternity leave. This week, one of my favorite ladies and the owner of one of the most amazing stationery stores – Audrey from Urbanic – will be sharing a few posts, from birthday parties to thoughts on running a successful business. Thanks Audrey! –Nole

Hello Hello!  It’s good to be back here guest blogging again, and even more wonderful for such a special occasion! It’s a true honor to fill in for Nole while she takes her maternity leave. For those of you that don’t know me, my name is Audrey Woollen and I have a shop in Los Angeles called Urbanic Paper Boutique. I’ve known Nole for many years and really value our friendship. It’s a rare and amazing thing to find a person in this world that shares the same passion and enthusiasm for paper! I contribute a post here monthly, called Urbanic Faves which is a round up of inspiration that we’re feeling in the shop, but for this weeks posts Nole suggested that I take you on a journey with me of what life at Urbanic looks like. This week, I’ll be giving you a glimpse into the front and back end of our retail shop as well as a peek into our family life.  I will also be sharing some tips of things I’ve learned along the way!  First up, a typical day in the shop… life at urbanic 1 pt1 2 600x977 A Day in the Life of Urbanic A typical day starts at 9am. We officially open at 10 am, but have found that an hour of prep time before our doors open is hugely beneficial for progress. There are usually 2 and sometimes 3 of us working at a time. With so many different facets to the running the shop (many of which often happen simultaneously) it really takes a team to keep this going.  I am extremely grateful for the 5 amazing staff members that we have. Each person plays a big role at Urbanic and it’s our talents combined that make us who we are as a brand. Each day we kick off with front end presentation. Every detail matters here, from cueing up our curated tunes, lighting our featured candle, product entering, tagging, merchandising, and most importantly, working with our customers! There is a slew of email correspondence which takes place daily, as well as our client gift wrapping service, both of which we handle collectively.

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In the back of the shop we host the ‘Urbanic Wedding Lounge‘. This is our by-appointment suite where we work with couples creatively to choose and customize wedding invitations and personal stationery. We have a design library with of a wide selection of options that we’ve hand-picked from the best designers across the country. Our team assists with design concept, layout, proofing and project management of the orders. We often work with couples for a few months throughout the process and build relationships with them along the way. It’s the BEST feeling when a bride comes in to pick up her invitations and we get to see her eyes well up with tears of joy upon receiving them. There are usually hugs all around and we feel privileged to have had a part in such a monumental event in their lives.

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The creative process behind the business is enormous, but also my favorite part about the environment! There is always a work in progress happening with new things forming. These projects show themselves in many different ways! Our store windows entail brainstorming, sourcing, crafting and then finalizing the plan with the install. You can see some of our favorites windows here. When merchandising around the shop we like to constantly re-invent ourselves with new concepts and fresh displays. We work creating blog posts, newsletters, promotions, store events, collaborations, and of course there is the buying and curation of the merchandise we carry. In addition to all of this, we’ve recently started making little video promos of happenings around the shop. Here’s one below of one of some of the amazing mail we’ve been receiving.

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My husband Joshua and I built Urbanic together in 2006. Since then, we’ve had 2 little boys, and together this is our family business! Joshua and I handle the not so glamorous parts of the company (finances, lease, building maintenance, operations… oh I could go on.) Although he is working more on making videos these days he is still a huge part of all that happens here.

As you can see, a lot goes down each day around here at Urbanic! We keep a digital store log where we document everything. This communication is key to keeping us all on the same page and helps us keep track of customer orders, daily interactions, basic store functioning and the progress of projects. Towards the end of the day the log is finalized, the sales are counted, the orders are faxed in, and the doors are closed… all in preparation for the next day.

photos by Joanne Pio & Jessie Webster


Friday Happy Hour: The Robert Frost

Fall is barreling towards us, so here’s a quick look at an unusual and clever fall cocktail: the Robert Frost. – Andrew

The Robert Frost Cocktail Recipe OSBP 23 Friday Happy Hour: The Robert Frost

The Robert Frost Cocktail Recipe Card Shauna Lynn Illustration OSBP Friday Happy Hour: The Robert Frost

Illustration by Shauna Lynn for Oh So Beautiful Paper

The Robert Frost

3/4 oz Bourbon
3/4 oz Dry Sherry
3/4 oz White Port
1 Dash Orange Bitters

Combine everything with ice and give it a good stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon and an orange slice. Enjoy!

The Robert Frost Cocktail Recipe OSBP 13 Friday Happy Hour: The Robert Frost

Sherry, a Spanish fortified wine, is an uncommon and underrated cocktail ingredient that adds a rich complexity to a drink. For my Robert Frost, I like a dry, nutty Amontillado sherry, which is plenty sweet enough on its own. But if you’re using a particularly dry sherry, like a salty Palo Cortado, you should consider adding 1/4 oz simple syrup too (which we did the very first time we made this cocktail – one of our first recipes!).

The Robert Frost Cocktail Recipe OSBP 25 Friday Happy Hour: The Robert FrostThe Robert Frost Cocktail Recipe OSBP 1 Friday Happy Hour: The Robert Frost

The Robert Frost is brown and deep but surprisingly still light, since it’s mostly made of low-proof and slightly sweet fortified wines. The sherry adds a bit of a savory bite. And that garnish of citrus slices is perfect – so aromatic. I don’t know why I don’t use this on more drinks…

The Robert Frost Cocktail Recipe OSBP 6 Friday Happy Hour: The Robert Frost

The Robert Frost is the invention of DC bartender Derek Brown for a White House party a few years back, and we first had it at Brown’s amazing speakeasy-style bar, the Columbia Room. If you’re in town and love to drink, you must give it a try. To do otherwise is a big mistake.

Photo Credits: Nole Garey for Oh So Beautiful Paper

Guest Post: A Day in the Life of Erin Austen Abbott of Amelia

I’ve asked some of my favorite creative mamas to help out while I’m away with our new baby. Today we get a look behind the scenes at a day in the life of one of my favorite retailers – and mama of a sweet little boy – Erin Austen Abbott of Amelia! –Nole

4:30 AM

My day starts really early…. I wake up and sort of take it in. It’s the only “me” time in my whole day. I might just sip on my coffee and watch a little TV, go for a jog or answer emails that came in over night. Sometimes, I just get on Pinterest and get lost for an hour. Lately I’ve been working on a writing project each morning, which has been productive. Whatever the case may be, I try to make it relaxing.

5:30 AM

My son, Tom Otis, begins to stir. I let him talk to himself for a bit and really be ready to get up. We all have our different ways of waking up and his is a slow start. I can hear him talking to his favorite stuffed animals, saying good morning and random words sound out through the babble; school, park, venture.I make his breakfast before going in to get him because he is READY to eat first thing out of bed. We sit together while he eats and talk about what he dreamt about or what the day might entail. We watch for birds out of the kitchen window and enjoy the stillness of the morning together.

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6:00 AM – 7:30 AM

Tom goes to Montessori school, so we usually play a bit before getting dressed. We read books, stack blocks, color…. all the sorts of things a toddler loves to do. Lately, we are on a big hide-and-go-seek kick. We play it several times a day. We are packed up and ready to hit the road by 7:30.

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7:30- 8:25 AM

The drive to school takes awhile, as we live a town over from the school. Tom usually gets a little snack in the car and we listen to the radio, signing along to whatever SIRUS XMU plays. We look for animals, like deer or wild turkeys and big trucks on our drive. Tom usually spots the trucks from pretty far away (he’s all boy). Waiting to go into school, Tom gets in the front seat with me and we cuddle a bit while watching the PBS app on my phone. What is it about Curious George?? Saying goodbyes. Not the easiest part for me, but I know he’s getting such a great education and I do have to get to work after all. I wish I could be with him more, but I do love what I do. I feel torn about this all the time…

8:35 – 10:00 AM

Starting work before the shop opens. I treat this like office hours. I grab a coffee from Oxford Canteen, the restaurant attached to the building Amelia is in, then start in on my writing deadlines, I get my next rounds of designs ready for Otis & Co or the Amelia brand leather bag collection. I contact Amelia Pop Up Party representatives about their parties and upcoming news, I respond to emails, I work on orders, I frame photos if I have a show coming up, etc…. A lot gets packed into that hour and a half.

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10:00 AM

Open for business!! Amelia opened five years ago and I’ve been working behind the counter ever since. When Tom was born, I started getting a little help, but I’m still here, 10-2PM each day. When there aren’t customers in the shop, I continue working on my various projects and do all the store ordering and package up the daily online orders.

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2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

My employee, Shelby gets to work and I run to mail the online orders. I like to get them out as fast as they come in. I can’t handle that weighing me down, so I stop by the post office each day. Then I head to pick up Tom and his friend Josie, that I care for each afternoon, after school. We might head to the park or to the local children’s book store, Square Books jr. just depends day to day.

4:00 – 5:45PM

The drive home. Tom is usually spent from the day, so he just plays with a small toy in his seat and we take the scenic route home. Once home, Tom and my husband hang out and Tom usually gets his second wind since his fun daddy is there to play. They might build a fort or play more hide-and-go-seek or watch Curious George. Sometime they go for a walk, while I make dinner for Tom.

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5:45PM – 6:45PM

Toilet, bath time, more hide-and-go-seek, reading, prayers, night night. This is my favorite time of my whole day. It’s a solid hour where we can be focused solely on family time and laughing with Tom, reading to him while he bathes, telling jokes (he’s at the stage where he gets it), and just having genuine togetherness. After bath, we sing the same song, that I wrote, that I’ve always sung to all the kids I’ve nannied for (I started my first nanny job when I was ten, 28 years ago and didn’t stop until I was 7 months pregnant with Tom).

“This is the way we brush our teeth.

Brush our teeth. Brush our teeth.

This is the way we brush our teeth.

Every single day.

We brush them to the left.

We brush them to the right.

We brush them up.

We brush them down.

We brush them all around.


This is the way we brush our teeth.

Brush our teeth. Brush our teeth.

This is the way we brush our teeth.

Every. Single. Day. Hey!”

Afterwards, Sean and Tom hide. I find them. I hide. They find me, followed by getting Tom into his pj’s. He picks out a book to read, we cuddle up together, read then say prayers. I get him as “snug as a bug in a rug”, turn out the lights, close the door. We get “I love you mommy, I love you daddy”, through the closed door for about a minute before he’s already close to being fully sleep.

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6:45- 9:00 PM

The full day is winding down and I now start making dinner for Sean and myself. I’m so tired by this time, so we usually just eat around 7:30, while watching a movie or TV show. By 9:00, I can’t stay awake much later, so I head to bed. I try really hard to get all my work done early in the day so that from 5:30 until 9:00, I can be fully tuned into family life. Of course, that’s not always feasible, but something I’m certainly aware of and make an effort to do.

Thanks for following along in my day to day. It is busy but I wouldn’t change a thing. I love my job and creative freedom. And most of all, I love savoring time with my son. He gets to see both of his parents doing what they love and I think that’s really important. We should all love what we do for a living, right?

Hello!Lucky: San Francisco Guide

Hello Lucky San Francisco Guide OSBP Hello!Lucky: San Francisco Guide

It can be tricky planning a trip to a city chock full of restaurants, shops, and coffee stops. If you’re anything like us then you love a day spent perusing the places the locals love. San Francisco is a vibrant city with some of the most contrasting enclaves, and this is what makes it so special. We are excited to share our go-to spots nestled in a few of our favorite nooks. – Eunice and Sabrina of Hello!Lucky



Foreign Cinema- Amazing food and even better ambience. This is our go-to for group dinners.

Lolo’s- Great food, great drinks, great atmosphere. Jalisco spices with California vibes.

Lolinda- Argentinian cuisine. For dinner- or head upstairs for rooftop brunch.

Trick Dog- The best bar food you have ever had, drinks to match.

Flour + Water - Delicious with a cool ambience and the Dough Room, their private dining room, it’s a fantastic venue for special occasions


Stable Café- Lovely outdoor patio with WIFI

Four Barrel- You will find a line outside almost any time of the day, and yes, it’s that good!


Voyager – Women and men’s fashion & accessories from local craftsmen.

Bell Jar- Great for gifts! Women’s fashion and home decor.

Taylor Stitch- Lovely and locally made men’s fashion.

Paxton Gate – A quirky cabinet of curiosities full of fascinating finds such as a taxidermy unicorn, a wall of pinned insects, and drawers full of nifty rocks and minerals.


Mission Bowling Club – Family friendly until 7!

Urban Putt – SF-themed miniature golf with cocktails, burgers and pizza. Family friendly until 8!

Dolores Park/ Mission Dolores- A jungle gym with a view. Something you and the kids will enjoy.




Rich Table – A block away from the hustle & bustle of Hayes- wonderful space & food.

Smitten Ice Cream- Tasty and trendy- surrounded by boutiques, beer gardens, and juiceries.

Bar Jules – a cozy little café that serves delicious plates created from local and seasonal produce.


Blue Bottle Coffee- Down an alley, in a garage kiosk, you will find one of the best fresh cups of coffee.

Ritual- Another great coffee shop!

Biergarten- Great spot for lunch! They serve German brews & cider, sausages & pretzels.


Welcome Stranger- Cool camp themed boutique for men.

Rand & Statler- For the fancier things in life.

Reliquary- Every time you enter it’s like Indiana Jones’ greatest adventure!

Lavish- Lovely paper goods and gifts shop.




Nopa- Make a reservation for dinner or hop on their family table. Try the burger and a blue bottle martini!

State Bird – This spot has gotten a ton of attention since its opening so grabbing a table isn’t easy. Not exactly a last minute restaurant, but well worth planning ahead!

La Urbana – Delicious modern Mexican cuisine.

Mojo – A great place to grab lunch & has a patio.

Little Star Pizza- Not your average pizzeria! Their deep dish is a game changer.


The Mill – You will question the $4 toast until you try it. The is the type of coffee shop you could hang in all day – but bring a book or a friend, it’s a wifi free zone.

Madrone Art Bar – It’s a fun place for a cocktail, and they have themed nights like Motown Monday.


The Perish Trust- Old treasures and new, The Perish Trust is a place to feast your eyes! Right next door to The Mill.

Rare Device- Great finds by local artists! Cards, prints and home decor.




Off the Grid- It’s a seasonal gathering of food trucks at a cul de sac off Haight. Offerings stretch from dinner to dessert. There’s live music to get things moving!

Alembic – This menu is not your average, with options like bone marrow and pickled quail eggs, your adventurous side will thank you.

Magnolia Gastropub – A great microbrewery and restaurant – great atmosphere and food!

Second Act - This market is located in the old theatre, it’s a compilation of vendors selling an array of food & drink.

Haight Street Market – They have a deli that makes great sandwiches & a place to rest your feet.


Club Deluxe – Pizza, drinks, & jazz.


The Booksmith- Lovely bookstore where you can also get your paper fix!

Tantrum – A quick walk from Haight will land you at this circus themed kids boutique in Cole Valley. It can’t be missed!

Crossroads – One of the many consignment stores on Haight. If you feel like hunting there are always treasures to be found!

Mystery Mister – Great mix of carefully curated vintage clothes and curiosities.

La Rosa Vintage – Another fantastic spot for well curated vintage clothes.


The Conservatory of Flowers Very Alice in Wonderland.

The DeYoung Museum- For fine art & they have wonderful exhibits.

The Academy of Sciences- A great science museum with a planetarium, aquarium, and rainforest.

Stow Lake- A boathouse with rowboat rentals.


Where to Stay & How to Get Around


There’s is no better way to be immersed than to stay at an Airbnb. You will get to experience the real spirit & charm through an authentic San Francisco home.

Get Around

We are one of the best cities for public transportation! Muni & Bart make commuting a breeze, take Bart in from the airport and use Muni around town. If that’s not your thing, get techy and download one of the many rideshare apps- we recommend Lift, Sidecar, and Uber.


Enjoy your visit!

Pretty Paper in the Office: Wall Clocks

Whether at the office or in the grand scheme of things, time flies. (Um, how is it fall already?) When I’m in the thick of it, I find myself glancing up at the clock, even if I happen to be in a room that doesn’t have one! Depending on your choice of clock, they can even pull double-duty as functional pieces of art or sculpture. No matter the style in which they do it, a wall clock will always make sure you’re right on time. - Julie

PrettyPaperWallClocks Pretty Paper in the Office: Wall Clocks

No. 1 Tanker clock by Schoolhouse Electric; No. 2 Toki wall clock from Canoe; No. 3 Mr. White wall clock from West Elm; No. 4 4040 Locus Industrial clock from Urban Outfitters; No. 5 Dots.. wall clock by Priscila Peress; No. 6 Overlook wire clock from CB2

{images via their respective sources}