By Emily G. Peters
Say what you will about Valentine’s day, but a gift or card is never a bad idea. With last week’s business spotlight on flowers, Monrovian stationery artisan KC Hopper makes a fitting combination for the upcoming holiday or any special event.
Passing through a few hands in its 13-year history, KC Hopper is now run by a pair of childhood friends, Lavender Dots graphic designer Julia Wing and entrepreneur Earl Kim. Wing made the transition into design after an unfulfilling career teaching overseas.
“I began taking classes in graphic design and it opened up a whole new world for me. I started designing my own greeting cards and creating wedding stationery for many of my friends and family who were getting married,” she said.
“It was then I knew this was what I wanted to do for a living: to create beautiful and memorable things that would bring people joy.”
KC Hopper offers unique stationery, wedding and event décor, like personalized laser-cut name signs and cake toppers (their most popular product). For custom invitations, they provide an intensive design service that allows clients to touch, see and control everything down to the ink. But to really set the store apart, Wing and Kim look to their fellow local artisans.
“We are always on the lookout for cute, locally made items that we could stock in our shop,” said Wing. “Currently we have a line of handmade bath and body products by Soap Savant, a beautiful jewelry line specializing in both dainty and statement necklaces by Orendia, adorable greeting card lines by Fiber and Dye, Heidiroo and Revel Creatives and the most darling Monrovia postcards by PJ Designs.” Each artist is a Monrovia local or from a neighboring area.
“It’s really important to support small and local businesses,” said Wing. “I believe it makes KC Hopper different from other invitation and stationery shops.”
Wing’s advocacy for unique, local products rings true—particularly as a hallmark of tight-knit Monrovia. Before the duo’s advent to the city last March, she was unfamiliar with the area. The support she encountered took her by surprise.
“I was born and raised in the San Fernando Valley, and it’s like being in a bubble when you live there. The second I visited Monrovia, I instantly fell in love with it,” she said. “Everyone here is so supportive of each other and it’s apparent how much the community means to everyone. I knew that Monrovia would be the right location because it’s beautiful, homey, safe, there’s always exciting new events happening, and it’s such a fun place to be in with some really cute and unique shops.”
To give the town a glimpse into their offerings, the shop will host a watercolor calligraphy workshop on February 10 in partnership with their vendor, Revel Creatives.
“Participants will learn the basics of calligraphy and get to create their own Valentine’s Day card,” said Wing, with tickets available in-store or through her Etsy shop, lavenderdotsdesign.etsy.com. A handmade work of art for your valentine? That’s an invitation worth saying “yes” to.
KC Hopper is located at 401 ½ S. Myrtle Ave. in Monrovia. Contact the shop at www.kchopper.com | 626.357.7643 | firstname.lastname@example.org and follow along on Facebook @kchopperinvitations and Instagram @kchopperinvites.