Lovely Paperie & Babycakes: Curated, Quality Gift Destinations
If you've ever shopped locally in Rocky River for a gift, you've likely found it at Lovely Paperie & Gifts or Babycakes. Owned by Kate Fortney Horne, both shops have become destinations for carefully curated, quality gifts, whether you're looking for a special "coming home" outfit for a newborn or the latest Lilly Pulitzer dress. Since winning best gift store in Cleveland by Cleveland Magazine in 2014, they have been striving to be the premier gift store in Cleveland ever since.
Located in Rocky River near the historic Old Detroit area, both Lovely Paperie and Babycakes have also enthusiastically supported the community, whether bringing in Santa for a meet & greet or driving the Easter Bunny throughout local neighborhoods!
Meeting Santa at Lovely Paperie & Gifts. Photo Credit: CNC Home & Design
As a mom and a female entrepreneur, I always appreciate learning more about other women-owned businesses in our community. So I asked Kate to go "behind the design" and share more about the inspiration for Lovely Paperie and Babycakes, how entrepreneurship runs in her family, and how as a busy mom she "does it all" (especially around the holidays):
Behind The Designs: Lovely Paperie & Babycakes
Kate Fortney Horne was born and raised in Westlake, Ohio and moved to Chicago after college graduation. While in Chicago, Kate was a wedding planner and enjoyed shopping the amazing selection of Chicago boutiques. She was inspired by the Chicago shopping scene, and it influenced her decision to open Lovely Paperie & Gifts when moving back home to Cleveland in 2014.
She opened Lovely with the intent to be a destination paper and invitation studio with some gifts on the side, but realized clients were more interested in their gifts than the paper side of the business, so she pivoted to a more curated gift store.
As their gift selection grew, the "baby section" stood out as a destination for many clients, so she decided to move Lovely to a bigger location and opened Babycakes in Lovely’s original location in 2017. She had just had her son in 2016, and used her experience as a new mom to help fill the store with unique, high quality baby items.
"What inspired you to start your business?"
My dad was an entrepreneur, I was always very inspired by his success and knew I wanted to own my own business someday. He always told me to first find what I was passionate about, then find a way to make money doing it. I grew up dreaming of owning a wedding planning business and moved to Chicago to follow that dream. As I worked in wedding planning, I loved it but it didn’t feel like it was something I could do forever. I decided to move home and change gears to open a shop. I took my passion for shopping and applied it to my new career as a shop owner. My dad was right, driving a business with passion was exactly the advice I needed, and I am so glad I did.
"Where did your love for stationery, and curating specialty gifts and apparel come from?"
Shopping was always my favorite thing to do – when I was little I use to love to go with my Dad to pick out my mom’s birthday and Christmas gifts. When I lived in Chicago, I would spend weekends walking in and out of stores and even worked at a gift store in Chicago. I love filling the stores full of treasures that people will give with pride to loved ones.
"Why is Detroit Rd in Rocky River the perfect home for your stores?"
Detroit Road in Rocky River is the perfect home for the stores because of the people who live around the area. The community is so supportive of our stores, and we are here almost 9 years later because of their support!
"How has being a mom influenced your business?"
I love being a mom, my kids are the joy of my life and being a mom has taught me so much about the person I want to be. I would be lying if I didn’t admit that juggling a young family and two stores can be challenging at times (especially during the holidays), but they have helped me to prioritize what matters. I also use my experience with the kids to influence what lines I bring into Babycakes and the kind of items we sell. I love that my kids are growing up seeing their mom and dad running their own businesses and I hope that they grow up and find something they are passionate about for a career, too.
"Why is it important to have women-led businesses in our community?"
Rocky River is full of women-led businesses and I think that is one of the reasons this community is so successful. I believe that women-led businesses tend to look at things in a unique, innovative way and work with clients differently. I also think it is important for the next generation to see women achieving their career goals and creating something from the ground up.
"What is the most rewarding aspect of being an entrepreneur?"
The most rewarding aspect of owning my shop is the relationships formed with clients. I had no idea how many friendships I would form through the stores when we first opened. Our clients play a huge role in the success of our stores. They are extremely loyal and their input in the items we carry have helped make it what it is today.
As a mom, I also really value my flexibility of being able to balance all of the kids' events while working outside normal hours.
"What's the most challenging?"
The most challenging aspect would be when something comes up and changes my priorities for the day - i.e. IT Issues. I always joke, somedays I am marketing, some days I am the IT department, when an unannounced pallet comes in I am the receiving department…being a small business owner, we have to wear many hats and sometimes that can be challenging when issues arise.
"How do you relax or unwind at the end of the day?"
I love to go for walks in our neighborhood when the weather is nice or just spend time with my family.
"What advice would you give to yourself, 10 years ago?"
Trust your instincts and go with it. Don’t second guess what you believe in your heart to be the right call. Treat people with respect and keep things in perspective.
"What is your favorite quote?"
I have two: "Start each day with a grateful heart" and "Live the life you love.”
Get In Touch
All photos above were taken by Emily Millay Photography unless specified.
Behind The Design
Hi, I’m Natalie! I am the most organized and detailed interior designer you’ll ever meet. I help busy working parents and professionals create beautiful, welcoming homes that are functional and family-friendly.
Photo Credit: Caitlin Antje