By Sue Botos
Walking into Lovely Paperie & Gifts in Rocky River is like entering a 3-D family scrapbook. There are areas for weddings, new babies, birthdays and even new pets all tied together with a selection of unique gifts and accessories.
Owner Kate Fortney added that it was a family affair to bring her business, which has been open about three weeks, to reality. “One of my sisters is an interior designer, my dad’s in construction, my boyfriend has done all the accounting and my mom’s always here helping out. It’s really been a family project,” she said during the shop’s grand opening and ribbon cutting on March 8.
After earning her degree in communications from Mount Union College, Fortney moved to Chicago, where she had a wedding planning business. She came back to Cleveland, she said, to be closer to home and to “switch gears” businesswise.
When retail space at the corner of Wright Avenue and Detroit Road (19315 Detroit) opened up, Fortney said that, coupled with her experience in the wedding business, helped everything fall into place for Lovely Paperie & Gifts. “This is the perfect location. All the pieces came together like it was meant to be,” she said.
Anyone who remembers the tight configuration of the former store space will be struck by the open floor plan and bright colors, which popped on a typically cloudy winter day. “We really tried to open up the area,” said Fortney of the spacious display area, highlighted by some dropped ceilings and columns. A ceiling of faux tin tiles adds a touch of nostalgia to the sleek interior.
“We carry products for every major life event,” Fortney commented.
The shop carries unique offerings from about 70 vendors, including Nora Fleming platters, with interchangeable decorations, Queen Lane Designs bags, Waxing Poetic jewelry, Kate Spade accessories and custom-designed frames by artist Emmy Star Brown, who repurposes discarded window frames.
Already nominated for Best Wedding Invitations by the The Cleveland Hot List, the shop offers a full line of wedding paper items including Smock invitations, which are made from bamboo. There is also a full line of unique greeting cards and notes.
Fortney shows her Cleveland pride with a selection of Cleveland and Ohio items, including T-shirts and throw pillows embroidered with Ohio and Great Lakes maps. New-baby and bridal-party gifts are also featured, including engraved flasks (maybe for the father of the bride?). There is even a section for pets, with unique toys.
Most likely, when a customer shops at Lovely Paperie, they will be assisted by Fortney or one of her three sisters, Megan, Jessie and Chelsea. “It’s good to come in on weekends, meet people and see what their passions are,” Megan Fortney commented.
One of those customers on grand opening day was the Fortney sisters’ first-grade teacher, Jeanette DeAnna, and her husband Lino. “This is just wonderful,” stated DeAnna, as they browsed through the baby items.
Lovely Paperie & Gifts is open Monday-Thursday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Friday and Saturday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.