Ever since I was a young girl, I had a passion to be a Nurse. By working hard and studying in my free time, I was able to put myself through nursing school. Upon receiving my Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Delaware, I started my career as a Registered Nurse in the ICU. Having a lot of energy myself, I was drawn to the hustle and bustle of being a critical care nurse. Even though I was working the 60-80 hour work weeks, it didn't matter because I enjoyed helping those in need.
As I established myself within my career, I was able to take some time to travel. It was through these travels that I realized I was drawn to design, marketing, and the sales portion of the business. Knowing these were my interests, I decided to do some research on the retail industry. Although I didn't know where this research would take me, I was able to eventually decide to search for an opportunity that highlighted these interests….or maybe start something of my own.
It may sound a bit crazy, but I knew designing was in my blood. So, I decided to start a personalized stationary company called "Paperweight." Throughout the beginning stages, I would take the daytime to work on my business, and use my nighttime hours working in the hospital. After many days and nights working hard, balancing my time, and setting one letter at a time, I was able to grow the business and expand! Putting my nursing career on hold was a risk, but I'm so glad I took the business full-time. The rest is history!
In 1979, Paperweight was born. Our first store opened at St. Anthony Main in Minneapolis, Minnesota. I had a dream for all things beautiful, so with love and fearlessness, I expanded my product lines and the stores to include cards, gifts, candy, and lifestyle apparel.
As all companies might experience, concepts evolve, and change. In 1992, my late Husband and I decided to expand our lifestyle product line and work closely with locally-made products. Because of this expansion, our second store, "Love From Minnesota," was born! In the expansion of our product offerings, we added locally-sourced gifts, home goods, and food. It was a perfect match and we were so happy that we were able to bring to life the local flavors of Minnesota!
As time went on, we imagined new opportunities, concepts, and stores. All these came to life! The success of Love From Minnesota opened opportunities for years to come and we are now in our 46th year. We now operate 21 stores in Minnesota, Chicago, and Florida. Outside of malls and suburban communities, our stores are located in airports, state fairgrounds, and Navy Pier. We also have a wholesale and distribution company that has proven to be successful as we curate new products, designs, and opportunities for our products to be in other stores. As a minority certified woman-owned business, I am proud to represent locally made products into our mix of concepts and bring enjoyment to our customers.
Our business is a family business. We work together in bringing extraordinary experiences, memories, and culture to each of our markets. We want you, our Customer, to be delighted and enjoy all things special while visiting one of our stores. With the expansion of our family of brands, we have rebranded our company to include LOVE FROM USA, our corporate name. Please visit any of our stores, Love From Minnesota, I Love Minnesota, Minnesot-ah!, iCandy Sugar Shoppe, Lokel Minnesota, Love From Chicago, Dock Side, I Love Chicago, Accent Chicago, This Socks!, The Neighborhood, Art-K-Texture, and many more.
Love From USA believes in doing good for others. Over the years, we continue to partner with organizations like The American Cancer Society, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and local area schools in providing help, aid, or assistance in any way we can. Please help us in continuing to give back and see how we can make a difference together.
Lastly, as a reminder, small business is hard work. We all make mistakes and have missteps, but the heart and soul of a dream are worth much more. Thank YOU to all our employees and customers who have helped build this business over the years, and for keeping this dream alive. It means a lot and the love we share for each other is a heartfelt opportunity for our soul.
You are our most powerful resource, and we LOVE sharing it with you.
Patricia Chinander & Family
Owner and Founder