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… 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.
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.
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.
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.