Retailer Spotlight: Lion in the Sun
After a career in nonprofit and event planning, Lion in the Sun owner Melinda Morris noticed there was a need in her neighborhood for a great paper shop. With a younger demographic, she knew the couples taking up residence would need a place to go for wedding invitations, birth announcements and the like. So, 15 years ago, she opened her shop as an offshoot of the family business that originally opened in 1982.
“From day one I have made it a mission to focus on local artists and new and emerging brands, (not all local).” — Melinda Morris, owner
Since 2002, this seemingly quaint shop in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn has sat on the corner of 7th Avenue and 5th Street. As a historic neighborhood of primarily brownstones, stores tend to have smaller footprints and therefore cater to more mom and pop shops, although this has changed dramatically in the past five years, said Morris. “I have always been so proud to live here and contribute to the community and the neighbors repay us with that same loyalty. They really support the privately owned businesses and are appreciative of a well curated selection that they can’t find in the big box retailers,” she said.
While the shop carries a mix of products ranging from small gifting items, jewelry and accessories, it focuses primarily on paper and related goods. But it’s the go-to place in the area for custom printing and personalized paper products. In fact, 60 percent of the business is focused on all elements of custom designed and printing-related items.
“Being able to curate my own vision of what I think people will enjoy and make them happy,” is what Morris loves mostly about her shop. But she also loves supporting other small businesses and independent artists, as well as being socially conscious. “I love that I can express my focus on items (cards, books, gifts) that maybe raise money for a cause I care about and think are important to support or that give a shout out to social justice issues and supports and educates at the same time.” Sometimes with a sense of humor, of course.