Today I wanted to share with you a new shop in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle. Flourish Collection is a beautiful paper goods shop and this week I had the opportunity to visit for the first time. The space itself is bright and airy and filled with pretty simple paper goods as well as a few linens and pottery. They have a huge selection of letterpress which I love. There is something special about sending someone a hand written note on a beautiful handmade card.
Kristine Lynch- owner of Flourish Collection (and someone I am fortunate enough to call a friend) was kind enough to answer a few questions~
When was the official opening date for Flourish Collection?
My husband and I had a retail boutique in the Wallingford neighborhood of Seattle from 2001-2007; our current shop opened on January 26, 2013. Our first shop was called “Flourish Greetings & Giveables” and focused on stationery and custom printed invitations and birth announcements. Our new shop, “The Flourish Collection,” features letterpress greeting cards and a curated gift selection – it’s really so much more than paper products. Also, the new shop is about half the size of our old space so our offering is more edited in the best possible way.
Where do you source your wonderful collection of goods?
Everywhere! I never know where will find something great. I hung onto the contact information for some of my favorite lines from our previous shop, so that became the foundation of our product offering. I am a big Etsy shopper – I have found a ton of my favorite new lines there, as well as through some of my favorite blogs. We are also developing our own line of letterpress goodies (printing by hand on our 1920’s Chandler & Price platen press named Cornelius). I gravitate towards well-designed, uncomplicated and useful goods in my own everyday life, so if I love something, it has a place in our shop. Also, my aesthetic is rooted in Scandinavian design and my Minnesotan upbringing; this is reflected in the bright, creamy backdrop of our shop as well as the items we choose to sell. We do mix in a smattering of vintage or “found objects” to round it all out.
How much of your inventory is hand made?
I would guess 80% or more of our products are made by hand, or manufactured in small batches by individuals and small businesses in the United States. “Supporting Small” is an important part of my business philosophy, which makes my job as a buyer a bit more challenging, but also much more rewarding. And I get to interact with some of the most interesting and talented craftspeople and artists in the U.S. Nothing against large manufacturers or imported goods (we do have a few lines that fall under this category ) but if there is product we can find that is special, or fresh, or different at a fair price point, and it’s made in the U.S., we will definitely always choose that first.
How long have you been in the paper business?
Way back when, I was in college majoring in Journalism, with plans to become a television news anchor (I know, I know). Anyway, I got an internship at the Minneapolis Star Tribune doing advertising page layout – I honestly didn’t know until then that there was a career called “graphic design” until my internship (like I said, way back when). Long story short, I got hired on full time as a designer after I graduated, and got some amazing training in print design and production. I’ve been involved in the print world one way or another since then. After we closed our first shop, I took a few letterpress classes at The School of Visual Concepts and realized I needed my own press. It’s been a big learning curve but a ton of fun. I don’t get to design and print as much as I’d like, but hoping to do more in the coming year…
What is your favorite thing about your neighborhood? What else can people do when visiting you- what shops/restaurants/coffee shops can you recommend?
I love our Phinney Ridge neighborhood! We are in such a central spot: close to Greenlake, Ballard, Fremont the Woodland Park zoo, and easily accessed from downtown and North Seattle. We are fortunate enough to be close to several amazing restaurants (Cornuto, 74th Street Ale House, Carmelita. Prost to name a few) and coffee (Herkimer and Café Vita) plus Bluebird Ice Cream (Yum). We also have an eclectic offering of shops and services, with new shops opening in the coming months and the area is definitely going through a revitalization. The vibe is friendly and easy-going – we truly have the best neighbors ever.