New Bellingham store focuses on special invitations


RetailTipSheet SPRUCE

Brittany O'Brien sits in her store, Spruce, a new stationary and design store, on Railroad Ave. on Wednesday, July 3, 2013 in Bellingham. O'Brien has been designing event invitations and announcements for the past nine years before opening the retail store last month.


While more people rely on the instant communication of email, texting and social media, Brittany O'Brien is banking on when it comes to the big events, formal invitations are still the way to go.

On June 25, O'Brien opened Spruce stationery and design at 1422 Cornwall Ave., next to Pure Bliss Desserts. The store focuses on helping people find the right invitation for a variety of life's big social events, including weddings and baby showers. O'Brien will help customers find a unique design for invitations or show many of the ready-made styles. The store also has bulk stationery and other accessories, including cake toppers.

Previously O'Brien was in the wedding industry for nine years, doing custom invitations, but felt there was a need for a store in Bellingham. Her products come from independent artists, and many have an environmentally friendly focus, she said.

Although Spruce just opened, O'Brien is already seeing the benefits of being next to Pure Bliss and Chocolate Necessities, two businesses that have a celebration focus.

"It's been a great fit; we're already seeing a lot of walk-in traffic," she said.

Despite the increasing number of ways to communicate instantly, O'Brien said more people are coming back to the slower forms of connecting with others, because it adds a nice touch to events.

"I think people are trying to get back to that intimacy of connecting in this fashion, rather than doing it digitally," she said.

The store is open 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. For more information, visit or call 360-366-8069.


Tenant improvement plans were submitted to remodel the former Brown's Beauty & Barber Supply space at 2815 Meridian St.

... Permits were submitted for a four-story, 42-unit affordable housing building at 1122 Cornwall Ave.

... At 1224 Harris Ave., Suite 106, permits were submitted for tenant improvements to put in Melange Spa.

... A tenant improvement permit was filed to put in a new deli tenant at 113 N. Samish Way, which is currently home to Subway.

... Gardening expert Ciscoe Morris is scheduled to visit the Bellingham Ace Hardware store at 1 p.m. Sunday, July 21, to talk about gardening and sign autographs. The store is in Sehome Village Shopping Center, near REI.

... Soy House Restaurant, which is opening a second Bellingham location at the former Boss Tweed building on 400 W. Holly St., has applied for a state liquor license for beer and wine.

... Also applying for a restaurant liquor license is A Que Tacos at 2012 Main St., Ferndale.

Reach DAVE GALLAGHER at or call 715-2269.

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