Kate Fortney '09
Major: Communication Studies
Job Title: Owner, Lovely Paperie & Gifts
I started Lovely Paperie and Gifts in Rocky River, Ohio this past year. Lovely is a two-part store: a gift boutique and an invitation studio. The boutique features gifts for anyone celebrating a life milestone such as a wedding, birth, anniversary, birthday, new home, new pet, etc. In the invitation studio, we work with clients to design custom wedding invitations, birth announcements, holiday cards and stationary – basically anything we can put on paper, we can create. The sky is the limit! Running a small business is the most rewarding experience. I get to do a little bit of everything, and I love the variety of work.
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Favorite Part of Job
I love my clients, and they are definitely the highlight. We form relationships with our customers and it’s so great to meet so many people and see them whenever they come into the store. You never know who is going to walk through the door. I would say we have at least one Mount Union alum a week stop in to buy a gift or just come in to say hi and show their support (which just proves how great Mount really is). It’s really amazing.
Proudest Professional Accomplishment
I think this past year in general has been my proudest accomplishment thus far. I love my store and the response we get from visitors every time they come in.
I moved to Chicago the day after I graduated from Mount Union and lived there for five years planning events and working in development. I moved to the city without a job but quickly found three! I was at a nonprofit during the week and worked for both a wedding planner and a gift boutique on the weekends. I learned a lot from the variety of work, and from there started my own events business (e.luminate creative group, Inc.) at the age of 23, planning corporate, nonprofit and social events.
Being active in campus life at Mount Union was the most beneficial thing in preparing me for my career. I learned so much about being a leader, working with people and time management.
I can’t pick just one! I had so many wonderful professors that I don’t have a favorite – but if I had to say who the most influential professor was it would definitely be Dr. Jamie Capuzza. She taught in a way that made you want to learn more. She opened my eyes to world issues and truly cared about her students. I am the person I am today because of how I was influenced in her classroom.
Mount Union Support
The Mount Union community has been so active in supporting the opening of my first store. Alumni, students and professors have driven miles to visit and shop. That’s the beauty of a small school, a strong community and a proud network!
Advice to Students
Enjoy every second. Get involved with activities and organizations that inspire you. Work hard over summer breaks. Stay close to Mount Union after you leave.
We have at least one Mount Union alum a week stop in to buy a gift or just come in to say hi and show their support (which just proves how great Mount really is).
- What is number one on your bucket list?
- I don’t have just one :-)
- Who is your hero?
- My grandparents.
- What is your favorite movie?
- "My Best Friend's Wedding"
- If you could have dinner with anyone, who would you choose and why?
- Gloria Steinem, she is just so fascinating and I would love to learn more about her incredible life.
- What occupation did you want to be when you were a kid?
- Wedding planner
- What’s one thing most people would be surprised to find out about you?
- I was so worried about finding the right college that I went on 26 college visits my senior year of high school.
- If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?
- What I am doing right now.
- What’s your favorite quote or motto?
- "Overcome the notion that you must be regular. It robs you of any chance to be extraordinary." -Uta Hagen
- Favorite book?
- "The Awakening" by Kate Chopin (from a Gender Lit class at Mount, actually!)
- Where is your favorite vacation destination?
- Pelee Island, Canada