Business FAQ Pink Loves Brown

Pink Loves Brown, Closing Up Shop

I intended to take only a brief maternity leave from my stationery shop, Pink Loves Brown, after August was born. Just as I had done with Eleanor. The first time around, I closed for six months, and I foolishly thought that I could reopen much quicker the second time around. I was a WAHM already — I’d been around the block! I knew what to expect! Six months? Let’s go for six weeks!

I didn’t know what to expect. The shop stayed closed a little longer. Then a lot longer.

Pink Loves Brown at the Renegade Craft Fair, 2007

We considered reopening the shop last year when Brandon lost his job, but we decided against it. The blog, and the opportunities that came along with it, would support our family far better than my stationery line. Going full-time here has gone well, and so I quietly (finally) closed the shop a couple of months ago. I don’t know why it took me so long to write about it. I shuttered something that was successful, which is a hard thing to explain. I sometimes think of the way I write about our life as having my hand on the five-second delay, not because I’m hiding anything or afraid of letting something slip, but because havings a tiny bit of distance helps me get perspective. Closing the shop was difficult. It was a huge part of our lives.

Pink Loves Brown in Venus Magazine, 2008

I started my stationery business in 2005, after requests started picking up from friends and family (and friends of family) to design invitations. Like many new stationers, I became interested after designing my own wedding invitations. After a few custom invitation projects, I realized that I was more interested in creating a line of greeting cards and stationery, and so I focused my attention there. The shop did well, and picked up a fair amount of press coverage. I came out with new design collections every 4-6 months, and promoted them on the blog and through my shop’s newsletter. Over time, I added buttons, magnets, bookplates, and paper suitcases to my shop’s wares.

Pink Loves Brown Pocket Mirrors

Pink Loves Brown Personalized Stationery

We finished the basement with the intention of moving my studio down there (along with creating the laundry room, play room, and storage space). We did move everything downstairs, but only utilized the space for personal use. There are only so many hours in a day. The time I devote to work, time away from Brandon and the kids, needs to be spent as productively as possible. That meant letting the shop go and closing that chapter. I know it’s not a surprise, and that I should have come to this point much sooner, but here we are.

Pink Loves Brown Paper Suitcases

In an effort to clear out my inventory before we move, I’ll be selling the remainder of my paper suitcases for the next week. All sales will be final, and only the paper suitcase category will be active. Everything else in the shop will be listed as “out of stock,” but I do still have plenty of inventory left. So all of the other stuff you see in the shop? Freebies, with purchase! Bonus goodies will be included with each order, grab bag style.

(And if you’re a local stationer in need of card stock, envelopes, or cellophane card sleeves and boxes, let me know. You’re welcome to my surplus of supplies if you’ll come pick it up.)

Pink Loves Brown Stationery Sets

Some of you have been reading for a long time, and you probably remember when the shop was open. Some of you have even been customers! The shop was a huge part of this blog’s journey, and whether you’re new here or have been around since the beginning, thank you.

Update: The paper suitcases are now sold out (I’ll ship everything out by Monday morning at the latest), and someone will be picking up the surplus supplies.

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  • Jo
    July 16, 2013 at 4:08 pm

    I’m just sorry I didn’t realize you had a shop prior to its closing!
    Any chance of getting the stationery by other means? I have a few styles that I’m interested in, but don’t want to take my chances with a grab bag.

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 4:11 pm

      It would be too difficult to try and fulfill orders from all the items in the shop, since so much of it was personalized, or things that I have in inventory are not yet packaged. That’s why I figured I’d just do it grab bag style. If anyone wants to make note of a request in the order comments though, I’m happy to try and honor it, but I just can’t guarantee it.

      • Jo
        July 17, 2013 at 4:40 pm

        Fabulous, thank you :)

      • jennifer
        July 31, 2013 at 10:07 am

        I’m interested in buying your paper suitcase 30-40 pcs. I want to used it as a giveaway for my baby’s 1st birthday. Thanks.

  • Roxy Schmid
    July 16, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Fellow stationer. Very interested in inventory that you’re trying to get rid of.
    I live in the Chicago suburbs and would be available to come by and pick stuff up!

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 4:59 pm

      I sent you an email!

      • Roxy Schmid
        July 17, 2013 at 11:48 am

        I sent you an email about pickup — let me know if you got it :)

  • Catherine
    July 16, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    Oh, those mustard and grey scalloped cards! I regret not buying lots more packs while I had the chance. They were much complimented!

    Best of luck with the clearout and the move. Onwards and upwards!

  • Catherine
    July 16, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Nicole, I remember reading about your shop on Apartment Therapy and discovering your blog. I’m sorry that chapter in your life had to close, but it seems like it was a really happy one with lots of great memories. I ordered some suitcases for myself, and also got blue ones for my boys, since they are such collectors. Thank you so much. I’m excited to follow this next chapter in your life. :)

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 5:00 pm

      It was a happy one. I hope your boys enjoy the suitcases — Eleanor and August always like them.

  • michele
    July 16, 2013 at 4:35 pm

    i tried to order some suitcases, but when i get to the cart it tells me the site cannot be confirmed secure for the transaction. is there a different way to order?

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Oh, I’m sorry about that. I thought that I’d turned the SSL off for orders, but it seems to be giving you a problem. I’ll look into fixing it. I’m not collecting any sensitive information through the site though — all payments are being processed through PayPal.

  • Kelly
    July 16, 2013 at 4:39 pm

    Hi Nicole- I’m a Chicago suburb raised stationer and would be very interested in your extra supplies you are clearing out. I would be happy to come pick them up. I have family in melrose park that could be there whenever is convenient for you. Thank you!

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 5:01 pm

      Thanks. There are a couple of people in line before you, but I’ll be in touch if they don’t work out!

  • Kristin
    July 16, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I tried to order the red(with blue) and the blue(with red) suitcases – it kept telling me my order was complete, but I couldn’t get to the confirmation. I started again, but it’s saying that you are out of stock and closed, so I’m not sure if I was successful or not.

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 5:02 pm

      They’re selling out fast. If you got an email confirmation and paid through PayPal, then I have your order. If not, it didn’t go through.

      • Kristin
        July 16, 2013 at 5:15 pm

        It showed Paypal as the only payment option, but when I clicked on the Confirmation Button it never went to the next page (Page 3) where I assume I was to enter payment information.

        (Or else I ordered multiple suitcases by repeatedly clicking “Confirm Order”!)

        No email confirmation, so it must not have gone through.

  • fellowoakparker
    July 16, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    I have some of your cards (with the pink and brown silhouettes of women series) that I bought years and years and years and years ago from the Barbara’s Bookstore that used to be on Lake Street. I use them as art in my office. Good luck with your new venture–and congrats on the new house.

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 10:38 pm

      Ah, yes! I sold some of my cards at the bookstore when I worked there, and they continued to carry them after I left. So nice to hear that that’s where you picked them up!

  • Misty
    July 16, 2013 at 7:33 pm

    I bought personalized book plates as bday gifts for my friends a few yrs back. They were beautiful and definitely a hit at the party! cheers to future endeavors, Nicole and fam!

  • Laura
    July 16, 2013 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve been meaning to buy something from your little shop for YEARS, so I’m glad I was able to do that before you closed up. Thanks and good luck!

  • Lilis
    July 16, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    arhg at this time I wish I was living nearby you, all the stocks are lovely.
    envying all the people who can grab the paper suitcase…:p

  • Logan
    July 16, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    So glad I read this before everything was gone! Just ordered a brown suitcase. Very excited!

    • Making it Lovely
      July 16, 2013 at 10:37 pm

      You’ve got one of the last suitcases! Just a few more left before every color is completely sold out.

  • Weiya @ Enjoyer of Grace
    July 17, 2013 at 12:22 am

    Hi Nicole! I’ve been following along for awhile now and am so SO glad to have caught the last of your suitcases too! I’m so sad that those pocket mirrors aren’t available anymore…they’re adorable! I love all the patterns you used – especially the ones in blues and pinks! :) Much blessings to you and your family!

  • roxana
    July 17, 2013 at 1:44 am

    I’m Local and a fellow card maker! Do you have anything left? I’m very interested in getting some more stock!

  • Nancy McKenzie
    July 17, 2013 at 6:37 am

    Hi Nicole: I just came across your site and blog today. I LOVE your product, and was trying to purchase some of your suitcases, but they all say sold out. From reading earlier posts, it looks like there were ordering issues with the suitcases. Are they really all sold? I would be interested if you still have some available.
    Much luck to you as you move on to the next chapter in your life.

  • Shakila
    July 17, 2013 at 7:52 am

    I’m so sorry to see the shop go. Especially since I just moved to Chicago. Gives me a whole new perspective on your post. I’d love to come pick up some of your surplus stock. Can you tell me when and where?

  • Caitlin @ Our Natural Heritage
    July 17, 2013 at 8:24 am

    Congratulations on your success! I really need a bit of extra money so I often think about opening an etsy shop, but considering all the time I would spend making, photographing, advertising, and shipping the product – it just never seems like it would be worth it and maybe I should just to something more straightforward, like work in a restaurant, LOL.

    Anyway, I used your pink suitcase at our wedding and now it holds all of our cards and mementos :) I love it!

  • J Bagley
    July 17, 2013 at 8:45 am

    Are the suitcases all sold out?

  • Bere
    July 17, 2013 at 10:04 am

    I have been reading your blog for a while now and i’m so happy i had a last chance to purchase one of your products! I’m looking forward to it’s arrival :-)

  • Susan
    July 17, 2013 at 10:14 am

    I loved your periodic table of sentiments cards from the first moment I laid eyes on them. I think that may even be how I discovered your blog??? I ordered them way back then and would love some more… Any chance they’re still up for grabs if I order a suitcase?

    Hugs to you – I’m happy for you that you are able to support your family.


    • Making it Lovely
      July 17, 2013 at 11:37 am

      I have a handful of the cards left. If you place an order for a suitcase, make a note and I’ll try to get the cards included!

  • Crissy Perham
    July 17, 2013 at 10:57 am

    Are all the suitcases gone already? I’d really love to buy a set…light blue, blue, red or green? Let me know! Thanks and best of luck on the move!

    • Making it Lovely
      July 17, 2013 at 11:36 am

      I just released 6 more (3 hot pink, and 3 red) suitcases that were part of a duplicate order.

  • Jillian@TheHumbleGourmet
    July 17, 2013 at 11:54 am

    What a shame. I loved your designs, especially the periodic table greeting cards. I can totally understand the idea of being stretched too thin; glad to hear that you are able to make it all work!

  • Cher
    July 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    I’m in Oak Park and would love to pick up any surplus stock you have!

  • Christa M
    July 17, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    So sad to see that chapter close, I’ve been around since before Eleanor.. but I know that just means you’ve got a great future ahead. I am one of those people who has always envied those who can get their stuff together and make it happen (Make it lovely?). Did you happen to ever do a post on how you just went for it? I can’t remember. I am a creative type with all the tools necessary except for the $$ and the balls. I need a push. You are a true inspration.

    Glad I was able to order the hot pink that just became available!!! Perhaps it will inspire me to move forward! Best wishes to you Nicole!

  • Lisa
    July 17, 2013 at 1:24 pm

    Looks like I missed them all… Darn!
    Congratulations to you and your family for moving on to the next step. I’m sure it is hard to see your business close, but I wish you nothing but the best in your current endeavors.

  • christine wellner
    July 17, 2013 at 1:58 pm

    Pooh! I subscribe to your blog via e-mail and did not receive the info until today (Wednesday), but now it seems all the suitcases are gone?!?! I’ve seen them elsewhere and always thought they would be perfect for my kids and their collections and treasures (or heck, even my own). Plus the added bonuses would be great (I’m crazy about cool paper things!). Please let me know if there are anymore hiding over there and I’ll be happy to place an order, pick up, or whatever. Very fun to see where this blog takes you next – the new house looks FANTASTIC – can’t wait!
    cheers, Christine W.
    (ps, i’m sorority sisters w/J & P, so I especially love any posts where you mention your extended fam ;)

  • Lydia
    July 17, 2013 at 8:37 pm

    Hi Nicole,
    Love your work! I’ve been reading your blog FOREVER, but I don’t comment often. I started designing custom invites and announcements after creating the printed pieces for my own wedding, too! I’m considering branching out into cards and stationery. Any words of wisdom for a designer starting something new? I have a lot of design ideas, but I’m not sure what to do next!

  • Jess
    July 17, 2013 at 8:42 pm

    Are all of the suitcases sold now?

  • Carrie Lea
    July 18, 2013 at 11:15 am

    A day late and a dollar short. Dang it! And I’ve been waiting around patiently for almost forever years for you to re-open. I guess it just isn’t meant to be.

  • melinda KE
    July 19, 2013 at 4:47 pm

    Oh, it makes me sad to see your shop close! I’ve been holding on to some of your cards that I bought years ago at the Renegade Craft Fair, your shop has been such an inspiration to me over the years!

  • Carole
    July 22, 2013 at 11:45 am

    I purchased gifts for my Chicago and California families from your shop–that’s how I found your blog. Sad to see the shop close for good, but it’s important for you do follow your heart. Good luck with this next phase of your career!

  • Amanda
    July 29, 2013 at 8:15 pm

    Your shop is actually how I found your blog . . I forget where I read about your cards, but I bought a birthday card for my brother even though his birthday had just passed the week before. I held onto it all year and gave it to him on his next birthday. Worth the wait, he loved it :) It’s bittersweet to see it go, but I understand completely.

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    I’ve seen a lot of your work. I’m a fan. Sad to see shop closed but you are inspiration. Thanks a lot.

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