Aha Moment: For a while, Blubaugh kept her dream of opening a shop a secret. She held onto it, until finally she found the perfect space with natural lighting, a 15-foot ceiling and a great neighborhood. She visited the space and listened to her gut. “I could really visualize how I wanted it to look,” Blubaugh says. “I was looking at this empty box, but in my mind, I’m seeing colorful rows of products, shelves filled with plants and it’s been a real adventure just in the past year little by little, making this vision come to life.”
Small Connections: Blubaugh’s choice to start Oh Pink! Party Shop didn’t just stem from her love for colors, graphic design and decor. It also came from her desire to help people make small, but meaningful connections through gift giving. “I think that there’s something really special about the connection that sending a card can bring or throwing a party can bring,” she says. “It’s really fulfilling to not just bring new products together but really work with people one-on-one and help them find something really special that maybe they weren’t even looking for.
Taking Notes: Along the way, Blubaugh has learned a lot about owning a business and keeping her spirits up, despite all the ups and downs that owning a brick-and-mortar shop comes with. “It really is a rollercoaster,” she says. “I feel like in the course of one day, or even like, eight hours, I can feel invigorated, frustrated, tired, inspired, filled, worried, anxious and joyful.” At the end of the day, the best lessons she’s taken away from her last year at the shop, is to admit when there’s things you can’t control, as well as making sure to be as flexible and adaptable as possible.
Silver Linings: When the pandemic hit, the shop already had a decent online presence, so Blubaugh was fortunate to still be able to find her footing in uncertain times. Along with that, while she was sending out gift packages on people’s behalf during COVID-19, it reminded her why she started her business in the first place. “There would be times where I’d just be crying writing these notes,” she says. “Because it’s so sweet to see that in each other’s times of need we really can be there for each other and that I can be that person in the middle.”
When You Go: 2138 W. 25th St., Cleveland, 216-314-4255, ohpinkpartyshop.com
Editor’s note: When shooting portraits of shop owners, photographer Matt Shiffler wore a mask and worked at a safe distance.
Click here to explore more than 30 local shops and boutiques as part of this month’s “Shop Local” package.
shops & boutiques
8:00 AM EST
August 26, 2020