On November 30th, I announced via Instagram that my new Somerville store will NOT be called Dear Miss Dolly, but will carry the name Calliope, and be consistent with my current branding.
The short version is basically I felt the name change to Dear Miss Dolly was the wrong decision. I thought I would be comfortable renaming even a concept store that would be nothing like the Natick location, but I wasn’t. I have worked very hard to make Calliope Paperie a name, MY name, and it is because of that hard work I was found and pursued by Bow Market.
Even though the developers didn’t want even a HINT of a chain at their new marketplace, they were flexible when I explained how important it was for me to keep the name Calliope, and are permitting me to move forward at Bow under that name.
I am VERY excited to serve the community of Somerville and bring them weird cards and lovely things and make them feel as loved as Calliope’s hometown of Natick.
See you soon, Union Square!
I’m opening another store!
I know what you’re thinking; “You just reopened! How could you open ANOTHER store??”
Sometimes, an opportunity just comes along and you have to grab it, ready or not. That’s how I ended up opening Calliope a year and a half ago! The right spot in the town I wanted opened up and I had to go for it! And when I opened, I had only 2 goals for its future: to make this little Natick store bigger, and to open a second store closer to Boston. I haven’t had a chance to move Calliope closer to downtown and make her bigger so that leaves my other goal. Coming soon to a city near me: Dear Miss Dolly, a concept store by Calliope Paperie.
Now I REALLY know what you’re thinking: “…the fuck?”
Let’s start over and I’ll give you the short (ish) version of how this all went down.
A new marketplace for artists and small business has been under construction in Somerville, MA for quite some time. A couple friends of mine have been signed up for spots since almost the beginning and it looks like a really great thing for the area. Union Square is in a weird phase of sort of getting on its feet, but also thriving because of a few well-placed and awesome restaurants and shops. It also plays host to many a street festival throughout the year.
A few weeks ago, I was contacted by the developers of the market and they asked if I wanted to come check it out and apply for a spot. At first I said no. I had just reopened and I couldn’t even fathom a second store right now. But the idea kind of ate at me. So we had a meeting, then another. Rob and I talked it over, ran some numbers, and I pitched a proposal. They had some questions. Mainly, would my store be a second Calliope? They were concerned about the look of having a “chain” in their market. (Imagine that? ME! A CHAIN!) I assured them no, this location would be very different from Natick but still they hesitated, and asked if I would be willing to use a different name.
You guys know how much the name of my store means to me so of course I really struggled. But I gave it thought and I talked it out with my mom and we realized there were some benefits to a full concept format, including a new name, so I decided to name my new, sassy little store Dear Miss Dolly, after one of Calliope’s sisters, my Auntie Dolly. With that decision, I was offered a lease, it’s been signed, checks have been written. We’re in business. Dear Miss Dolly opens at Bow Market next Spring.
Dear Miss Dolly will still have THE best card selection as Calliope does, but you might find the humor a little on the spicier side and the artwork a little edgier. Like her sister, Dolly will still have an excellent selection of notebooks and listpads but she’ll also have some fun gifts like enamel pins and candles.
Just like Yaya Cal, I never got to meet my Theia Dolly but my mom told me she was quite a lady. Never married, dated guys half her age, strutting around New York City with short, spiky hair and red lipstick. And she was a helluva saleslady. Sounds like my kinda gal.
There are still a million details to figure out. I have to restock Calliope after Christmas and fill another store with different stuff at the same time. I have to design a brand new look to go with this new concept. I have to HIRE PEOPLE. I have to deal with shit like payroll and all the new SUPER FUN taxes that go along with that. Then there are the questions that linger up ahead…what happens after the lease is up at Bow Market? Do I find a new spot in Boston? Is this the beginning of a REAL chain of Calliope Paperie? Those are the questions that have to stay “out there.” I can’t even think about that right now or my head will explode. That makes a mess.
So get excited, Somerville! A seriously awesome little stationery store is coming your way with YOUR interests and YOUR neighborhood in mind. I am super pumped to figure out the best way to outfit this tiny little space with as much fun shit as I possibly can without it being a fire hazard and I hope you will all keep up with what’s going at Bow Market and keep your ears perked for our opening!
WISH ME LUCK!