We Opened a Gift Shop | Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts

We Opened a Gift Shop | Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts

Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
What a title. I can honestly tell you I never thought I would write that sentence. We opened a gift shop. Full stop. It’s happened. It’s here. People come and shop daily. What is life?
In 40 days we went from getting the keys to the location to our soft opening. 40 days of sleepless nights, gallons of spackle, and a whirlwind of emotions. But here we are on the other side. We’re no where near “finished,” but we’re at a point where I feel like I can take a deep breath before diving back into things. Like blogging. And videos. And sleep.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
We got the keys to our location in downtown Grand Rapids on November 1st. Look at us…all smiles without a clue in the world what we were doing. I mean we still don’t know, but we’ve learned a ton since this photo (like you can’t paint outside if it’s below fifty degrees. The awkward paint swatch on the outside of the building is testament to that gained knowledge…)
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Looking at this photo I’m amazed at how far the space has come. I remember standing in this space not two months ago thinking, “what the hell did I just do?” I  had so much doubt and fear that I had just made a terrible mistake and four year commitment to something I most definitely could not do.
I’ve tried my best to document the journey. It’s been lacking in the recent weeks as we turned our life up to eleven to get the store open for Small Business Saturday. But there are still a few videos showing you where we started and walking you through the journey.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Putting the logo on the door really made it real for me. You’d think the hours of painting and rearranging furniture to get the perfect “customer flow” would have done that, but nope. When we put that vinyl on the door it became officially our place.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
There were so many 2 a.m.’s that I thought for sure we wouldn’t be able to open for Small Business Saturday, yet we somehow pulled it off. A sneaky selfie was a must.
And people showed up. People continue to show up to shop. It’s mind blowing. When I’m able to complete full thoughts I’ll do another post I’m sure, but it’s completely astounding what can happen if you decide to do something and just do it. I’m a gift shop owner now.
Oh, Hello Paper & Gifts
I’m currently planning our calendar of events for 2020 and it’s been amazing to meet local artists and talented crafts-people to talk about workshops. Be sure to follow our Instagram and Facebook so you know what events are coming!
Thank you so much for your cheerleading and patience during the past months as I completely disappeared in a whirlwind of paint swatches and wholesale orders.
Introducing the Oh, Hello Co. Retail Line

Introducing the Oh, Hello Co. Retail Line

Guys. I sincerely thought I would never write a post like this. What feels like two years in the making has finally become a reality. Oh, Hello Stationery has officially launched its first line of retail products!!! Our collection is now available through Notions Marketing. If you’re a shop, you can order the products from their wholesale site. If you’re a customer, go to your favorite retailer and ask for them to carry our products.
I wanted to take what’s so great about the brand and expand it into a functional and decorative collection anyone can use. From new planner girls to seasoned addicts, I can’t wait for you to check out all of the new sheets and styles.
There are eleven sticker sets as well as a bunch of traveler’s notebook starter packs. We even have some enamel pin bundles. It’s been a crazy process trying to figure out how to prepare our products for retail and I swear I know more about UPCs than I ever would care to admit. But they’re here. They’re real. And it couldn’t have happened without your support. A thousand thanks.
I’ll keep you posted on where you can find the collection near you, but here are all of the sticker sets that are now available.

And there may or may not be an even BIGGER announcement coming your way in a week or two…

Three Business Books that Changed How I Tackle My Business

Three Business Books that Changed How I Tackle My Business

Three Business Books that Changed How I Tackle My Business
Although I would love to go back to college and be a lifelong learner, there just isn’t enough time (or money) in the day. So I’ve turned to business books to keep the learning going. They’re easy to read on planes, during a spare tech free hour in the evenings, or in a waiting room. I’ve read my fair share over the past year, but there are a few that have really changed my perspective on how I approach my business.
This is the book that really changed things for me. It talks about building an operating system for small businesses and how to hold yourself accountable. It gives you actionable steps on how to develop goals and long term plans. Without this book, I doubt we’d have a team of seven employees or be looking for our first retail location. It put everything into perspective and really made me think about what I want for my business. It’s meaty and filled with information, but it’s one I’ve gone back to every few months since reading it nearly a year ago.
I just recently finished this book and love how it turns logical thinking on its head. It talks a lot about how logical ideas are not always the solution to business problems. It’s important to think outside the box, try something new, and be open to failure in the pursuit of magical outcomes. I’m really not doing it justice. It’s brilliant. Definitely read it.
This book popped onto my radar at the perfect time in my life. Owning your own business comes with a lot of obstacles, challenges, and letdowns. This book teaches you how to embrace those obstacles and see them as opportunities to improve, challenge yourself, and grow. These teachings have gotten me through situations I would have otherwise froze in. I’m much more open to risk and diving head first into challenges thanks to this book.
There are SO many great business books out there that have helped me in one way or another. These three have left the biggest impact on me and continue to shape my thinking and approach to my business. What are some of your favorite business/self help books?
What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)

What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)

What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)
What I eat in a day posts weirdly fascinate me. Am I the only one? I couldn’t possibly be since they pop up on YouTube and in blogs quite often, right? Well I thought it time that I threw myself into the mix…until I realized I eat like a five year old. I almost didn’t post, but then I thought, “nah….let’s keep it real here.” So this is a realistic look at what I eat in a day. Now it’s not EVERY day, but this day in particular looked something like this…
It started with a bowl of Trix cereal. I’ve been kinda obsessed ever since they brought the shapes back. I mean come on. A rainbow explosion first thing in the morning? Who could say no?

What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)
I had a busy day of errands so I popped over to Starbucks for lunch. I hadn’t given their grilled cheese a go and it’s honestly quite delicious. Iced chai tea lattes are my lifeblood lately. I feel like I’m officially an adult, running on caffeine and not much else.
What I Actually Eat in a Day (Self-Employed)
I said I was going to keep it real with this post. For dinner I had another bowl of cereal. In my defense, it was a different type of cereal. I could have easily faked it and said we had one of our Hello Fresh or HomeChef meals, but let’s be honest…I couldn’t be bothered to make one. Not all days exclude any actual meals, but this particular day definitely wasn’t my shiny moment in nutrition. So another bowl of cereal and a couple of hours of Stardew Co-Op with my friend Lauren and I called it a night.
How’s that for honesty lol…
A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo
One thing I mention but rarely go into detail about on this blog is our second company, Oh, Hello Promo. I thought it time to finally give you a look into the world of our other business, share the origin story, and some cool products we’ve worked on recently. 
A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo
Now my husband Alex didn’t plan on starting another business, but through our expansion of Oh, Hello Stationery, he learned a ton about manufacturing products. We added mugs, home goods, and other items to our store with our designs and soon companies wanted their logos on the same products. Oh, Hello Promo popped out of the need to have a place to send businesses that wasn’t a stationery website. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo
That was about two years ago now and Promo is going stronger than ever. Alex runs the business full time while I run the stationery side of things. He has three employees and earns more than stationery does annually. He’s truly found what he’s meant to do. Alex cares about people, and it comes out in how he runs his business. 

A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo
We’ve done so many cool projects over the past two years of Promo! These photos are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what we’ve created with various companies.
A Look into the World of Oh, Hello Promo
I’m a proud wife and business partner seeing everything that Alex has accomplished with his business. One successful small business seems like a fluke, but two? I think it’s something we’re both meant to be doing.
If you’re interested in seeing more about the world of Oh, Hello Promo, just let me know! I’d be more than happy to share what we are getting up to!
What to Do if You’re the Youngest Person in Your Workplace

What to Do if You’re the Youngest Person in Your Workplace

What to Do if You're the Youngest Person in Your Workplace
Now I know I work for myself, but stay with me here. My husband Alex and I are the youngest people in our neighborhood and work networks. When people discovered our ages a few months after meeting us, we could physically feel the air change in the room. Age is tied to experience and that’s not necessarily always true. So here’s what you can do to navigate being the youngest person in your workplace.
Put your work forward, not your age. We intentionally avoided telling neighbors and work colleagues our ages. For one, it shouldn’t matter (even though it does), but two, we let our work speak for us. You’re going to feel like you have something to prove, so prove it. Generations stereotype, so put your head down and break the classic “lazy” or “entitled” stereotypes will impressing your boss at work in the process.
Find things in common with your colleagues so they stop seeing your differences first. Do you like the same music as someone in your office? Did you grow up in the same small town? Find common interests to build a relationship beyond the superficial.
Don’t take the age comments too seriously. A friend or work acquaintance will make a comment like, “Oh you’re too young to know who that is” or “You weren’t even born when that came out!” Oftentimes that’s their insecurities being projected onto you. It’s often hard for people to accept that someone younger is at the same point in life as they are. 
Avoid age references. The other side of the coin is just as true. No one wants their older age to be pointed out. Avoid the “you don’t know what Snapchat is?!” comments. Trust me. That’s now how you make friends.
There are going to be those people who just can’t get over the age difference. It’s unfortunate, but it’s also not your problem. Be proud of your personal successes while not rubbing them in anyone’s face. Work hard and be kind.