Thursday, February 3, 2011

A Fairy Tale

Another snow day here in OKC. It's amazing how much you can get done at home when you actually are at home. Clean house, filing done, wash caught up- yipee!

 Two posts in a row- I feel like I'm in a 10 step program- one day at a time. It does feel good and thank you to all who have left a comment. It speaks to your tenacity, loyalty and/or persistence that you even still check this thing. Thank you.

After I finish this I am going to try and make it to the store; I miss my peaceful little haven. Since I'm still at home I am at a loss on what to post - can't show you any of the new goodies. Umm...On occasion I'm asked how the heck I got the store. Guess that would be a good topic since I'm starting this whole new chapter. It was sorta a fairytale....

Once upon a time a fair queen with her king, princess and two adorable but quite rambunctious princes ruled the kingdom on 16th. It was a happy kingdom, or so the queen thought and she had many royal tasks to keep her busy. Her duties were not those of your typical royal nature such as weaving, spinning or dancing. Her royal duties included carpooling, Junior Leagueing, PTAing, mentoring and meetinging- lots and lots of meetings. The queen filled her life to the brim with stuff, all of it was good stuff to help others but it was too much. Truth be told,  she would have been wise to spend more time with the royal family and her charming castle.

The queen, however, was not alone in her busyness. She found a trusted lady in waiting who worked with her on all her crafty projects. Whether it was creating sets and costumes for plays, planning an auction, creating holiday extravaganzas, or taking the trip of a life time, the two were a team and worked well together. It seemed that prosperity and goodness would rule in the kingdom but alias like in all good fairy tales, there was a dark cloud brooding on the horizon.

One evening after the final play of the year and while working on an auction set for the next day,  (yes,  the queen was crazy I realize that now- and yes,  this is the same queen that until today, wasn't able to complete two blog posting in a row- same person I swear!)  the king made a royal proclaimation. He was leaving and the kingdom was being divided. The queen had been blindsided; she never saw this coming and after many tears, prayers, counseling (both professional and the girlfriend kind), and some excellent detective work by her very own Charlie's Angels (some day I will post about this episode- it is the only event from the past 5 yrs I wish I could relive. It's a testament to womens' intuition, wisdom, loyalty and smarts- way to go girls!)  the queen discovered that the king liked her lady in waiting even more than she did- a lot and the lady in waiting was waiting no more! 

The queen was at a loss for what to do next. She had to regain her kingdom and provide for the royal heirs. Years before she had worked for a solicitor (attorney) but it wasn't the most flexible- why prince Em was still in school- and a paralegal was definitely not the least bit creative; choosing between red or blue labels on an exhibit file was as creative as it got. She decided to go to her favorite art store, 7 Minutes Later , to see if they needed help until she could figure out her life.

 The store owner did not need help but did want to sell the store so she could have more time with her grandchildren. For months the queen said " I don't have the money, I don't have the time, I don't have the experience (she had never once set foot in the business school), I don't know what I'm doing." The shop owner was very patient and remained true to her plan. Finally one day while the royal family was vacationing in FL the shop owner asked the queen what she was willing to pay. The queen watched as the princess was flying in the sky on a para sail and she threw out a number knowing - like her daughter, it was a pie in the sky- and to her great astonishment at that moment she became a shop owner. Her friends Brown and Kathryn vowed to never leave her on the beach alone!

Now the transition began to make the store her own. Although the queen can't take credit for the name Paper Crown, it seemed so very fitting " he will give a crown of beauty for ashes" Isaiah 61:3. That is exactly what he did. He took the queen's darkest moment and turned it into the most peaceful creativity sanctuary- with a whole lot of help from some wonderful people.

Over the past 4 years, almost 5, the store has transitioned into a wonderful creative haven. This fairytale kingdom would not have happened without the help of so many. Thanks to Corrine who kept the store afloat during that 1st tumultuous year- I thank you for all your help when it was just an accomplishment some days to get out of bed.

Cheri normally isn't on her side but I've spent the past 30 mins. trying to rotate and I give- sorry Cheri!
 Thanks to Ms. Cheri. Actually Cheri has been here longer than anyone and we hope she always will. Cheri teaches 1st grade during the week and works and sings at the store on the weekends. We love your beautiful voice and contagious laughter. You are a team player and we are so lucky to have you.

Next is our beloved Franc- Franc Franke what a great name. She is our bubbly people person who makes everyone smile. I know people come in on Thursdays just to see Franc- I do. She has a way of making everyone feel welcome and completely at ease. Franc also teaches classes and has quite a following.

Jackie- how many times have I told you you are my own personal angel?! You have gone above and beyond to help the store succeed whether it's dressing Girdie, posting on your blog, or helping plan an event you have done so much simply out of the desire to help.

Thanks also to all our wonderful teachers. You have inspired so many - Holly and Donna we miss you! You Red River girls I still can't believe you drive 3 hours to teach, are we lucky or what!

 Thanks also to all our loyal customers and friends. We have all gone on this journey and many of you have been with us every step of the way. We value your support but even more your growing friendship.

So you can see,  the queen decided to create a new kingdom, one where creativity rules and she is surrounded by those of the most noble character. Like all good fairytales, this story has a Prince Charming (however instead of a white horse,  he has a white pick up and boots) but we will save that chapter for later. Let me just tell you I love the Pioneer Woman but she and the Marboro Man have nothing on this love story : ) Like all good fairy tales this has a happy ending.

That's how Paper Crown came to be and hopefully I can get to the store so you won't have another long and rambling post tomorrow. It was kinda fun and probably a little therapeutic. Just so you all know- I realize I'm not in any way, shape or form a queen and I definitely don't have a kingdom- just a fun way to tell my story!
Stay Safe and warm!    

and yes, she was my best friend!


  1. Cindy, this post made me teary eyed. I don't know what to say, but this makes me love you a little more. xoxo

  2. Cindy,
    I'm so happy that your fairy tale is past the darkest days, and has a bright, sunny future! I enjoyed reading it. My heart breaks for what you've been thru... Maria

  3. Such a fun and entertaining read! I love it!

    I enjoyed reading about your incredible staff team too! Great gals!!

    And, I can't wait for you to share your Prince story!

  4. Cindy you have been through so much and now you are headed in the right direction. Keep up the good work. Loved the story!

  5. I'm so glad you decided to tell this story!! I loved reading it!! I know I feel blessed that I found such a great store and store owner!!! :) You make my day when I come in to shop!! And I know Avery is so excited to see "the nice lady at Paper Crown!" Thanks for putting up with Chatty Avery and Natalie clogging up your toliet!! LOL!!

  6. What a story Cindy, wow! Your store is always a stop when I come over to OKC and of course seeing you, Franc and Jackie! The classes at Paper Crown are over the top and I wish I was closer and could take each and every one!
    Looking forward to reading more and as always, wishing you continuing success!

  7. Cindy, I am so delighted that you are blogging again! I hope that this is therapeutic for you, it seems like it will help you heal. I love your writing.

    Do you realize the joy that you have given to so many of us with Paper Crown? We love you!

    Franc--*sigh* I love her so very much, she's one of my favorite, most delightful people in the world.

  8. CiNdY...
    and you thought you weren't a blogger! i love faerie tales, there's always that dark knight, damn him...but there's always the prince in the pick~up to make for the hApPy ending...! you go girl, so proud of you. and yEs. you are a blogger!!! franc

  9. Cindy, now everyone not only knows your story but we also know you have one more talent to share....writing. Thanks for sharing your story and mostly your wonderful store, talents and friends with us. I love the time I spend at PAper Crown. Oh, and by the way, I don't know the lady, but she was definitely NOT your best friend!

  10. I love you!!! /s/ The Prince in the pick up

  11. Cindy, you are wrong! You are a queen. I had no idea the troubles you have been through--you are always so sweet and so kind. I love Paper Crown and would be so sad if I didn't have it to go to and visit, and learn and BUY!!!

    I am glad you found that handsome truck-driving, boot-wearing prince!

  12. Cindy -

    Isn't God wonderful? I loved the way your wrote your story and I got chills over my whole body when I read the verse from Isaiah. I love that verse.

    XOXO - Janet Daugherty

  13. Cindy,

    I have called Paper Crown ground zero for so many of us who come, often or not and met up with others of our kind who want connection and creation, one and the same.

    Thank you for this raw look at your story. I am very touched by it. I am sure this next chapter will be so much more enjoyable and truly good stuff.

    I am sending you a hug and a chest bump girl!

  14. You write BEAUTIFULLY, Cindy! Just another of your many talents. Please keep this blog going. I LOVE it and YOU! Thank you for all your kindness and concern for me and my health over the past couple of years. I appreciate it more than you know! Paper Crown is by far my favorite store and I'll be seeing you soon, as I need more for this wedding "stuff" I'm working on!

  15. Such a wonderful, touching story. I am insanely in love with your store. It is not your typical scrapbook store, the way you display with your antique furniture, etc....makes for such a dreamy experience. I can't wait til the roads clear up a little more. I have been itching to make the drive up there for over a month now!

  16. Cindy, I cried for about 5 minutes after reading this. After going through so much pain, you have emerged a stronger, happier, and more creative woman. God has created a wonderful life for you. You're a great writer...more frequent blog post please!
    Love, Valisha

  17. Valisha,
    You are sweet. Lord knows you witnessed all that mess. I'll make you a deal- I'll post if you teach a class!!! People ask all the time and you are one of the most creative people I know- please! Hope mike and the kiddos are well. Thanks for being part of my gaggle- honk honk
    Love, Cindy

  18. What a story! I worked with Cheri for many years before I retired and love her dearly. Continued blessings to you. I love Paper Crown!

  19. Wow! I knew there was a reason that I have become obsessed with your store. It is a watering hole for kindred creative spirits.