Owner: Brittany O’Brien
Why Bellingham? “Bellingham is so unique in its town size - not too big but has accessibility to big cities like Seattle and Vancouver, British Columbia. The outdoor aspect of Bellingham is great. Being near an abundance of hiking and running trails and water - geographically, there is nowhere better.”
Favorite shop downtown? Heroine Clothing, Ideal, Bison Letterpress, Temple Bar, Tide Lines. “Really any business that is taking up tiny real estate and putting it to good use.”
No event is too small at Spruce on Cornwall Avenue. Brittany O’Brien, owner and senior designer at Spruce, is all for any excuse to throw a party or treat yourself. Believing Bellingham was missing a fun, on-trend celebration shop, she opened Spruce to fill that gap and build a place to come for anniversaries, weddings, graduation, birthdays or any other event you can think of. Design has always been something Brittany's passionate about. She has fond memories of spending time after school everyday in a similar shop in California where her mom worked. Brittany always enjoyed pulling the lever on the print machine and watching a design come to life. She went to school for graphic design, falling in love with the print medium.
After working for a commercial design firm, she worked from home, freelancing wedding design work. Three years ago, she set her business plan in motion to expand beyond the wedding invitation market. The year Spruce opened, she was voted Entrepreneur of the Year by the Bellingham Business Journal, which was a warm welcome to the downtown area. Although she wanted to stay focused on stationary, Brittany wished to keep her options open, so she picked the name Spruce. She also chose the name for its double meaning. The tree meaning represents the northwest, and how she works with businesses that are environmentally conscious. And of course the other meaning of the word applies: to make things look fun and pretty.
Spruce offers custom invitations, event branding, a variety of social stationery, paper, envelopes, balloons and party supplies. Those who are interested in custom designs can work with Brittany to create something uniquely special or get ideas from the ready-to-print design books in the shop. Although designing wedding invitations will always have a soft spot in Brittany’s heart, she encourages people to “celebrate the everyday.”
Brittany appreciates interacting with the community through her business and establishing relationships. She likes getting to know her “regulars” and really enjoys collaborating with other businesses such as Bison Bookbinding & Letterpress. Now that her business has been around for a couple years, she is seeing the benefits of name recognition. She is proud to be featured in publications such as Martha Stewart Weddings, Seattle Bride, Bellingham Alive! and more. As Spruce continues to grow, Brittany hopes to continue to collaborate with other businesses and create exceptional designs for all occasions.
Find something to celebrate at 1422 Cornwall Avenue
Today's post was written by Kristin Foster, Media Intern.