What do superstars like Scarlett Johansson and Melissa Etheridge have in common with Fircrest’s Paper Luxe? Well, the store owner, Jennifer Luna, is a former celebrity personal assistant and estate manager turned proprietor of fine stationery, gifts, and toys.
After graduating from Port Angeles High School, Luna moved to Southern California to study business, and like a lot of other Hollywood transplants, Luna admits to being bitten by the entertainment bug. She joined a popular talent agency after college, but the 90-hour weeks and dog-eat-dog atmosphere were overwhelming. “It was exactly like the movie Devil Wears Prada,” she said, laughing.
Luna left California briefly, and when she returned, an agent friend recruited her into the role of personal assistant to the up-and-coming actress Johansson. Etheridge followed, as did self-development expert Ali Brown.
In 2011, for personal reasons, Luna decided to return to Washington. Luna’s mother, Laurie Hicks, also relocated to Washington at the same time after working as a title professional in the Los Angeles area.
The two teamed up and decided to try something new. Leveraging Luna’s education and her experience helping clients run their online businesses, Luna and Hicks decided to venture into ecommerce.
“I started OfficeLuxe.com with my mom, and the idea was to sell business and office gifts that were pretty and designer-quality,” Luna said. “I’d always had difficulty finding these items when I needed them in L.A., so it just made sense.”
A few years later, Luna married a man from University Place, relocating there. She kept seeing signs for commercial spaces for lease and, “The gears just started moving,” she said. In July 2014, Luna and Hicks opened the first Paper Luxe storefront in University Place.
After two moves, the Paper Luxe shop is now in its third location, on Mildred Street, and Luna claims it will never move again. “We’re in a great location that is more visible and easier to access, with more room and better economics,” she said. “It was a huge jump, and a risk, but we love being on this side of town where we’re right in front of our prime demographic.”
And, as luck — or good business sense — would have it, the owners have become even more entrepreneurial. They opened a toy store in November 2018 adjacent to Paper Luxe, and they are currently working on expanding the Paper Luxe model further by using the open space in between the two shops.
“We’ve been listening to the community and what they want, and we’re working on a new venture utilizing this space that will include workshops and new products to help fit those needs,” Luna said.