We all know and love the ever-emerging and exciting Read Between the Lines shop in the Victory Park neighborhood, but this week, we were able to discover the brand on a deeper level. We had the privilege to pick the brain of Melinda Jones, the voice behind the modern greeting cards and cozy stationery.
Melinda grew up believing that the good stuff is the good stuff, which would later become the theme of her line of paper goods. RBTL’s greeting cards are ones that serve both men and women with an equal amount of thoughtfulness while providing words that speak to the heart of a celebration/situation, not just to the event.
Knowing she wanted to create something special, Jones focused on the power that a handwritten note has to connect and empower people. “A real card in the mail makes a real difference – now, more than ever,” quotes Jones at the start of her business. “I also enjoy supporting the other terrific makers we carry – any chance you have as a business owner to help someone’s side hustle become their full-time dream job is an honor”. Read Between the Lines has supported small and local business owners from the beginning, and will proudly continue supporting, especially during tough times!
While the shop had many retail suitors, the high ceilings, white walls, abundance of natural light, and the overall mission and community of the Victory Park neighborhood persuaded Melinda to open her first brick-and-mortar shop here in March of 2015. She has been bringing joy and an entrepreneurial spirit to the block every day since. Customers love Read Between the Lines for so many reasons, but Melinda herself highlights one of our favorite aspects of her business:
“[Read Between the Lines] partner[s] with local, family-owned businesses as much as possible in the creation of [the] Read Between the Lines® products – from our paper merchant to our printers, and more. It’s critical we support our community and achieve the high standards of quality and detail [that are] only possible when you hav
e strong relationships and can be on-site for production. It makes what we do so much more emotionally rewarding, and I think our customers feel that care and positivity.”
Tenants like Melinda help to make our neighborhood the warm, diverse, and loyal community that it is today! As 2020 threw many shopkeepers like Melinda a curveball, she took it upon herself to shift her business to help produce materials that people needed to fight COVID-19. Like so many other hometown heroes, Jones worked hard to supply small-batch high-quality hand sanitizer in the store’s studio and set out to design/sew reversible cotton face masks. When we asked Jones about her helpful attitude, she responded “[Read Between the Lines] love[s] figuring out challenges and making the best products possible for our customers and team!”
When not behind the counter at her own shop, Melinda is likely found spending time at another one of Victory Park’s female-owned businesses, Cafe Victoria. Melinda and Luciana Gomez, owner of Cafe Victoria, have become close friends over the years. Besides spending time catching up, Jones quite enjoys the energy, kindness, and affinity for quality that are unmistakable in Gomez’s cafe.
Both professionally and personally, Melinda strives to surround herself with family, friends, and her team as much as possible because they not only believe in her and are patient with her entrepreneur lifestyle but because they “teach [her] daily, by example, how to be a better human.”
Melinda’s goal, for herself and her business, is to simply bring joy. This is likely why Read Between the Lines is such a success because Melinda’s products have made her customers and us here at Victory Park much more joyful.
Keep on working Melinda, your friends here at Victory Park are cheering you on!