Black Ink to Close Store on Swarthmore

Black Ink, one of Circling the News favorite stores for gifts and holiday items, will close its retail location at 869 Swarthmore at the end of the month.

In the 2020 Circling the News Gift Guide this editor wrote: “One of the first years I ‘shopped’ for a newspaper’s gift guide, I happened on Ted’s Toffee ($28), which is sold only this time of year and found at Black Ink. I bought a jar to share, but unfortunately, it was so yummy, I mostly shared with myself.

“Every year I double check to see if they have it—and they do, yum, a great stocking gift for someone who has everything. While I was at the store this year, I discovered exquisite snow globes ($50 to $78).”

On Friday, June 16, Black Ink store owner Patti Black sent out a letter to customers.  “I have decided to close our Pacific Palisades store at the end of this month,” Black said, adding that last year the store had the biggest sales ever. “Lack of sales is not the reason I am closing.”

She said that she is moving to an online-only store with plans to launch a gift website in early July.

“We’re working hard to make it so that you’ll still be able to order your Black Ink favorites: canvas bags, cutting boards, leather luggage tags and more,” Black said. “I’ll still be showing you all of my favorite finds from trade shows.”

Black Ink opened on June 15, 1998. The night before the grand opening, her oldest, Sean, graduated from eighth grade at Corpus.

Black was a former CBS news producer, who decided to open a fine stationery store. “I had no idea what I was doing,” she wrote. “I dove in headfirst not knowing what the future would bring.”

Her husband died unexpectedly in 2001. The financial crisis in 2008 saw many Palisades stores shuttered.  Internet shopping wiped out many small businesses.

Patti Black

Through it all, Black was part of this community. Her store was a place people could drop in. Some customers became life-long friends, and because of the nature of the store, Black celebrated holidays with everyone.

She wrote, “closest to my heart and what I’ll miss the most is sitting down with the brides. Hearing their stories of how they met their partners and helping them create their dream wedding day.”

On her website, Black wrote “We are passionate about making our customers’ dreams come true . . .custom invitations are an art form. It’s all about the design elements: the colors, the inks, the fonts and the layout. These are the things that set your event apart.”

In her note, she thanked her loyal employees, and the friends who went to trade shows with her.

“I am forever grateful for the friends that hosted last minute holiday sales to support my kids educational fund,” Black said, and added that the store kept her family going, the mortgage and tuitions paid, prom dresses and baseball uniforms purchased. “This I will never forget.”

She is hosting a soiree at the store to celebrate her customers from 4 to 6 p.m. on Wednesday, June 28.

She added, “Come say ‘see you soon’ – never goodbye. It will be a joyous send off.”

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One Response to Black Ink to Close Store on Swarthmore

  1. Lifelong Palisadian says:

    It’s so sad to see another successful local business leaving their physical space in the Village, another loss of community. We’ve seen this play out before since a change in the Village in recent years, and we will probably see more of the same until this phase passes.

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