Saying Goodbye to Little Brown Pen

Nichole Robertson, Paris, Rue Montorgueil

For the past few months, we toyed with the idea of changing the name of our studio from Little Brown Pen to Obvious State. Evan and I have some very exciting projects planned for 2013 that will take us in new directions, and felt that the legacy of Little Brown Pen was limiting how we saw the future. But inertia kept us from changing, and we put off the decision.

Well the universe gave us a big kick in the pants this past weekend when our website, littlebrownpen.com, suddenly stopped working. A quick investigation revealed an unauthorized transfer of our domain. Without boring you with the details, we no longer own the domain, and we’re not sure we’ll get it back.

Now that the initial shock is over, however,  we’ve found the silver lining. We inadvertently got what we wanted! And now 48 hours later, we have our new site, our new name, and we’re ready to get back to work on all the great projects we have planned for 2013 (fear not, Francophiles, there’s more Paris-related fun on the way).

We would really appreciate it if you update your bookmarks and spread the word. The one real loss is our inbound links. We hope people can find us!

We both want to thank you for your support over the years, and hope you’ll enjoy coming along for the ride this year.

- Nichole

58 Comments

  1. Karen A. Chase
    January 7, 2013

    Some decisions we make, and some are made for us. Either way, I have found it is my approach to that change, my ability to adapt and handle it with grace and enthusiasm, that has turned those decisions into a positive thing. Change is an opportunity for growth, and I’m so excited for you that the foundation for your new growth is one you’ve longed for. Of course you’ll miss the old name, but who you will be come… ahh, that perhaps will soon be Obvious State. Good luck!

    Reply
  2. Nichole
    January 7, 2013

    Hi Karen.

    Thanks so much! You are right. Sometimes abrupt change can push us in the right direction. I’ve certainly had moments in life that pushed me (abrupt move to Paris in 2009 was one of them).

    Reply
  3. Lindsey
    January 7, 2013

    New year, new chapter! Albeit uncomfortable, change is good. We all know this. And I have to say, I really like this change! Hope you’re settling in nicely to your new digs!

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 7, 2013

      Thanks, Lindsey! We are really excited. I would NOT want to relive the hell of the weekend, but things look great on this side of it.

      BTW, I will see you in Paris a lot this year. ;)

      Reply
  4. Virginia
    January 7, 2013

    Such is life. I think you’re right though, it was all for the best. I just had a snafu that sent all 35000 of my photos into ONE giant event in my Iphoto library. It took me days to divide them all back up but in the process I got rid of about 10,000 duplicates and junk photos. Now that I look back on it, it too was for the best. I’m more organized and smarter…I hope.

    Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you two cook up this year. I’ll spread the word.
    V

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 7, 2013

      Oh no, V! I can’t imagine that. I am sure you are better off on this side of it. ;)

      Reply
  5. Kris
    January 7, 2013

    I wish you all the best with your new adventure! Life is about the ride. Change is good, it keeps the ride exciting and fun! I look forward to seeing where your new path takes you!
    Enjoy!!
    ~Kris

    Reply
  6. Anne
    January 7, 2013

    I like the new name! Good luck with the new site, I’m sure it will be a great succes. Look forward to keeping up with you guys!

    Reply
  7. cathi
    January 7, 2013

    Good Luck with the new change – I have to say that I really like it. Looking forward to hearing about your exciting adventures this year!

    Reply
  8. Aisha from Expatlogue
    January 7, 2013

    Well you certainly know how to roll with the punches – the new site is sizzling! The world works in mysterious ways and you’ve come up smelling of roses in this instance. Best lof luck for 2013.

    Reply
  9. Gayle
    January 7, 2013

    Yes, I logged on yesterday and found LBP was gone…stopped my heart, so I am glad to find this post. Amazing that this could happen…happy for the new direction, but not sure what Obvious State is telling us.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 7, 2013

      Hi Gayle!

      Thank you. We’ll definitely be posting more about our name and direction in the near future. My projects are still very much related to Paris, so not much will change on my end. It’s where we’re going together and my husband’s work that’s rather new and exciting (well to us, anyway – ha!).

      Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      Hi Gayle. Thank you! We’ll be sharing our new projects soon and I’m heading back to Paris in the near future. ;)

      Reply
  10. Susan
    January 7, 2013

    Oh wow, well yikes + yay! Here’s to a new year and new beginnings!

    Reply
  11. Greg Grimsley
    January 7, 2013

    I am so glad to see you a new home and that it is up and running. Best wishes for even greater success in the weeks, months and years ahead. Your work is inspiring!

    Reply
  12. Amy
    January 7, 2013

    Talk about the universe giving you a huge sign! I am sure you’ve just gone though a SUPER stressful weekend, though. Hope you guys enjoyed a glass of wine (or three) after you got this all up and running. It looks amazing and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

    Thanks for the memories, LBP. And heLLO there, Obvious State!

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      I think so! I am feeling really positive about it now (three or four reds later).

      Reply
  13. S/V Blondie-Dog
    January 7, 2013

    Thank you for all the delightful Parisian snapshots!

    Reply
  14. Cathy
    January 7, 2013

    Hi Nicole. gotta admit I freaked a little when I checked LBP this a.m. and YIKES! you weren’t there. But I found you and that’s the important thing. Glad you’re happy. Good luck to you and Evan in your new endeavors. I’ll be watching :)

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      Thank you Cathy! I was equally freaked on Saturday when I couldn’t access the site. Nuts!

      Reply
  15. Dee
    January 7, 2013

    In as much as we angst- sometimes a push (yes, the one that knocks us over the edge) is just what we need to move us closer to our dreams… Obvious State [of being in Paris] … hmm, I cannot think of a better one. Good luck with your new site and best wishes for an adventurous 2013!

    Reply
  16. Lesley from Lamps Plus
    January 7, 2013

    So sorry to hear about all your website troubles, Nichole! That stuff is SO not fun to deal with. But I’m excited for this rebirth of your website and your brand. Looking forward to what 2013 has in store for you!

    Reply
  17. forest
    January 7, 2013

    good for you for looking at it positively. Change is not always easy (so much more simple just to keep doing the same thing) but it’s usually for the better – so looking forward to seeing what kind of new things you have in store.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      I am a firm believer that change is good. And from this side of the weekend it’s feeling really good!

      Reply
  18. Risamay
    January 7, 2013

    Yikes! But congrats :)

    Reply
  19. zielone-buty
    January 7, 2013

    :(

    I’ll be missing Litte Brown Pen.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      Hi Zielone-buty,

      The only thing that’s changed is the name. So hopefully you’ll enjoy it just as much. ;)

      Reply
  20. Elizabeth
    January 7, 2013

    I FOUND YOU!

    Oh, I was so worried when I did my usual blog rounds at the end of the day and you weren’t there. An etsy search turned up your ParisPrintShop, which led me to the words “formerly Little Brown Pen” and my heart just sank! Thankfully, I kept reading to find you here.

    Bookmark is now updated, and I look forward to seeing all that’s new in 2013.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      So nice of you Elizabeth! I am planning to spend a lot more time here this year. :)

      Reply
  21. Georgianna
    January 8, 2013

    Hi Nichole, Wishing you and Evan the very best, which I know will come your way as you two are golden! Been so pleased that Obvious State has been so successful and very much looking forward to your new endeavors. Well done on turning the unwanted motion to your advantage!

    You’ve got me a bit terrified though about the domain loss. Can it happen so whimsically? Oh, dear (said the owner of many domains and websites)!

    Anyway, I’m sure this new direction will be brilliant. :)

    G

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      Thanks Georgianna! The domain issue is definitely not normal. As information rolls in, it’s clear there was a major screw up.

      Reply
  22. Sylvana
    January 8, 2013

    Thank goodness I found you. I hope you will continue to write and inspire readers as you did in Little Brown pen. I love that site.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 8, 2013

      Hi Sylvana,

      In fact, I hope to write more. I was so busy with client work last year, that Little Brown Pen took a back seat. Client work is behind me (no more this year!), so I plan to get back to my own creative pursuits. Thanks for following along and for your kind words!

      Reply
  23. gaby@stilelemente
    January 8, 2013

    Like the saying goes ‘change is the only constant’… a bit rude of the peson(s) responsible for the unauthorised transfer of your domain… but you landed on your feet and like you said… the universe gave you the nudge. Needless to say I’m sure your success will continue.

    Reply
  24. Michelle
    January 8, 2013

    Funny (well actually not funny at all) the same thing just happened to me. I’ve been morning over the loss of my web identity but in the back of my mind thinking about how I’ve growing apart from it for some time. You’ve just motivated me to let it go for good (not that o think I could actually get it back) and move on to something new.

    I’m looking forward to seeing what you and Evan are working on since it’s always awesome.

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 9, 2013

      Oh no, Michelle! Sorry to hear it.

      Embrace the chance, though. We definitely felt like we needed a new outlook, and as annoying and horrible as this ordeal was, we are better off for it now.

      Still sorting through what happened and stumped.

      Reply
  25. l o v e l y t h i n g s
    January 9, 2013

    oh…I feel like I’ve been stalking you because I kept checking and clicking and could not understand why I was being re-directed…I’m sure this must have caused you much frustration, but it looks like you have it all figured out. I love your work…both of you!
    annie

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 10, 2013

      Thank you Annie! I was so annoyed thinking about all those people clicking and loading a blank page. The good news is, looks like we may be able to “purchase” our domain back. A waiting game, I guess, but eventually, we will be able to redirect.

      Thanks for your kind words!

      Reply
  26. Jackie Donahue
    January 10, 2013

    I couldn’t find you! Thank goodness for Twitter :) Looking forward to all the new projects. Hooray!

    Reply
    • Nichole
      January 10, 2013

      Thanks, Jackie! And yes … thankful for twitter.

      Reply
  27. Helle
    January 10, 2013

    Considering I don’t do Twitter or Facebook, it’s really lucky I found you again – I was one of those perplexed people when LBP didn’t show up anymore. A push is sometimes really good, even if one does not necessarily think so at the time. I’ll be looking forward to following your work here.

    Helle

    Reply
  28. renae
    January 10, 2013

    Wow! I’m so inspired by the grace with which you’ve handled this transition. Looking forward to more wonderful things from Obvious State :)

    Reply
  29. Terri
    January 11, 2013

    Congrats on your big move. I can just imagine how ticked I would have been if I were you, upon discovering what happened with your littlebrownpen.com domain. Here’s to great things for your new digs! I will definitely continue to follow your adventures and journey.

    Reply
  30. Milsters @ Little Pieces of Light
    January 11, 2013

    Yay – I thought for a second when I first read the subject line that it was going to be bad news! But I agree with Karen’s comment: some decisions we make, other decisions are made for us. What matters is how we react to them, and it looks like you have taken all of this into an amazing new direction for you! I’m excited to see what 2013 holds in store for you. In the meantime, I shall be updating my links with your new site! :)

    Best
    Milsters

    (http://www.littlepiecesoflight.com/)

    Reply
  31. Kathryn
    January 11, 2013

    always a good thing when you can find the silver lining. the new name is great.

    Reply
  32. Marjory
    January 16, 2013

    Glad I use bloglovin to read your posts. Love your openness to change. Bravo! Best wishes for an exciting 2013 of beautiful flow.

    Reply

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