Half Street Shop is Born

A year ago we were frantic, excited, stressed and in panic mode. We certainly weren't chill-axing in the middle of the street, laughing at each other while wearing coordinating outfits.  Why?  Well, you see, all the sudden we pulled the rug out from under our feet and decided to start a new business. Well, mostly new.  I had been running my own invitation and stationery business, Designs By Jolene, since 2012.  Paul's woodworking hobby was growing into a consistent side gig.  In order to keep the momentum going, we needed a quick plan.  While we thought about keeping DBJ and starting a new business for Paul's woodworking, we knew that would be twice the work to run two businesses. For the sake of simplicity, we decided to start fresh with one new business.

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We played the business naming game for several weeks.  Business names are hard, guys.  If we ever have to name a future pet or child we are in trouble. Thankfully, both our pets came with names.  Do babies come with names? Please say yes.  Anyway, fast forward to an evening of us sitting on the couch throwing out names.  Nothing was sticking.  Finally, one of us said "Half Street?" ( I think it was me- I'll take the credit ;)  Several minutes, days and weeks later we finalized on Handmade On Half Street.  Also known as Half Street Shop. 

Why Half Street?  The inspiration was right under our nose the whole time.  The name was inspired by our childhood neighborhood.  Paul and I grew up across the street from one another, on a half street (avenue to be exact), in a really cool neighborhood.  Hi friends!  Have you ever a seen a half street?  A half street or avenue is a regular street with "1/2" thrown on the end of the name.  I'm certain city planners did this as a joke, and forgot to tell the rest of the world it was meant to me a joke.  The "1/2" looks a little odd on the street sign and will throughly confuse anyone you ever need to provide your address to for the rest of your life.  Thank goodness for the internet and keyboards so you can type your own darn address these days.  Aside from this tiny logistical challenge, half streets are the bees knees.

Now for a small sidebar convo about our really cool neighborhood.  Paul and I first met as kids in the late 80's.  My family was the last to move into the neighborhood.  There were SO many kids to play with.  It was awesome.  We rode bikes everywhere and rode the school bus together.  Played yard games during the day and night games after sunset.  There were sleepovers, camping trips, rollerblading, street hockey, pond hockey and block parties, to name a few. We made lifelong friends and memories on our half street.  And, we met each other.  If we could bottle the magic we experienced in our neighborhood, we would.  Until we figure out how to do so, we'll just name our business after it. 

Along with naming the business, creating a brand, a logo and figuring out allllll the other details to make us official, we decided to a build a shop for Paul.  In the middle of winter. In Minnesota. Smart, right?  More details on the shop later, but I will tell you we survived the first year.  It was a crazy first year, but somehow it all worked out.

Now that you know the inspiration for our name and a little about us, here is what we do at Half Street Shop.  I'll still be busy creating custom invitations for all events - weddings, birthdays and showers, along with stationery and gifts.  Paul will build custom wood furniture, dog dishes and home goods . When we're not busy hand making our goods, we will be traveling to local arts and craft shows in the midwest to share our goods.  You can find more of our handmade goods here and here.

Without further ado, I would like to officially introduce you to our new business, Handmade On Half Street.  Instead of spelling out our old half avenue addresses, we will be sharing our story and handmade goods.

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