June 9, 2015

Shop Spotlight: Paperish Mess

Howdy friends!  I've taken the time to ask a few juicy questions of some of the fine folks who carry my products in their shops.  I send my goodies out to many places I never get to visit, so I thought I should learn a little more about these habitats where you might find a Betty Turbo card in the wild!  Please check these folks out if you get a chance! I mean, they obviously have great taste...

For starters, please tell me your name, what shop you represent, and where you are located:

Sean Murty & Lisa Muscato (soon-to-be Murty! We just got engaged after 10 years of high school sweetheart-ness). The two of us own Paperish Mess in Chicago, IL. Located within the very cute neighborhood of Ukrainian Village.

Are there any specialties your shop is known for?

We sell handcrafted wares from over 100 different artists, focusing on stationery, jewelry, home decor, and art prints, among other handmade pieces. We also have a rotating gallery space where we host fine art openings, installations and the occasional pop-up shop!

What are five things I'd be sure to see if I wandered the neighborhood where your shop is located?

1.) Beautiful architecture-- Ukrainian Village is known for it's old churches nestled between apartment buildings-- each are breathtaking up close (but, really even from afar)!
2.) Super cute local businesses! Just within the past year, there's been so many new additions to Chicago Ave, It's been so fun to see the growth and development of our neighborhood and people investing themselves into creating a vibrant and welcoming atmosphere.
3.) Friendly smiles! We see so many neighbors-turned customers-turned friends walking around, enjoying the local offerings. We live just a two-minute walk away from the shop and just within those 2 minutes we often end up saying hi and chatting with upwards of five different people along the way! It's super fun.
4.) Trees! Trees are such a rarity in a big city and there are so many trees along the sidewalks and within backyards in Ukrainian Village! It makes for a really pretty walk while exploring the area.
5.) The skyline! Though it's not in our neighborhood, you can still see it very clearly from our intersection and it's so cool to be able to be a straight shot to downtown and enjoy the view, but be just far enough away from the hustle and bustle of major tourist attractions.  

Which occasions do you think are most underrepresented in the world of greeting cards?

House/Apartment warming cards, Sympathy cards, Graduation cards. People ask for them all the time, so we heard enough customer requests and made sure to make these selections available, among all of the other occasions too.

Are you an artist or craftsperson yourself?  If so, please tell me a little bit about what you create:

Yes! Lisa creates jewelry from vintage bookpages (this is how we got the name of the shop-- I always had little paperish messes around me!). Sean is a woodworker! We have a wood studio downstairs and you can often hear him hammering/sawing away on custom furniture projects, creating record crates for vinyl collectors and of course, more displays for the shop! :) 

Does your shop have any resident pets or mascots?

Oh yes, we do! Mishka! aka ShopKitty. She is usually asleep in a little drawer underneath the children's section

Describe the most exciting or weird customer you have ever had. 

It's probably not super exciting to anyone else, but to us-- it's great. We had been open just a few days and an adorable couple stopped in to purchase artwork for their house. It had been one of the biggest purchases we had rung up at that point. Pretty sure my hands were shaking as I entered the credit card number.  After that, they would stop in often for new pieces, eventually commissioning Sean to make them a coffee table, sending us a postcard of their baby boy's birth announcement, and often referring us for custom furniture projects. It's been so fun getting to know them over the years and we are incredibly grateful for all of the support they have shown to us, as is the same with all of our customers of course. :) 

If your shop had a coat of arms, what images would be on it, and what would your motto be?

A siamese kitty, a hammer and a writing pen. (stationery has quickly become one of our best-selling items, so we've become very stationery-focused over the past year especially). Our motto: "Pet Cats, Write More, Make Stuff."

And lastly, because I'm Betty Turbo, I must ask: What is your favorite dessert?

Lisa: PIE! or Napoleons. Yum. Sean: Coffee Ice Cream! or Starbursts. 

Check out more Paperish Mess on their website, Facebook, twitter, and Instagram!

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