New downtown Des Moines stationery specializes in ADHD planners


As the COVID-19 pandemic began to affect almost every sector of society in 2020, Britney Brown suffered from a self-proclaimed mental breakdown.

The virus threat has left Brown, a professional photographer from Des Moines, without a client and disrupted her schedule, that of her husband and four children. Brown said that through discussions with her therapists and doctors, she was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.

To help him manage his diagnosis, Brown sought out planning calendars that would allow him to structure and prioritize tasks. None that she found turned out to be satisfactory, so she created her own, resulting in Imperfect Inspiration, a specialty stationery business.

The company opened its first outlet on October 1 on the first floor of AP Lofts at 340 SW Fifth St. in downtown Des Moines.

“I designed an agenda because I couldn’t find one that suited me,” Brown said. “There are a lot of challenges that people with neurodivergency have that can make you feel like you’re a failure, when in fact, you just don’t have access to the right tools or don’t have the resources. best suited for your brain to function optimally. “

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Launched online in February, Imperfect Inspiration offers eight different calendars, optimized for various uses. It also contains habit and goal trackers, reward boards, sensory kits, pins, stickers, and other items.

Brown, who studied design at Iowa State University, said his planners are inspired by the bullet journal, a method of organization focused on building lists. She said her models take the guesswork out of people using other planners.

Items on sale at the new Imperfect Inspiration specialty stationery store in downtown Des Moines.

“If people don’t know how to plan, they can’t plan,” Brown said. “What you’re trying to do for people with ADHD, or anyone, is teach them to prioritize their time.”

Brown initially promoted his calendars on TikTok. In the first week, Imperfect Inspiration recorded over 500 orders.

Now, with over half a million TikTok followers, Brown has fulfilled thousands of orders. His new store will not only provide a base for the business, but will also serve as a studio available to rent for co-working, meetings, classes or birthday parties.

“I think Des Moines has been missing for a long time, it’s a co-working space option that’s more geared towards creatives,” Brown said. “Now more than ever there are a lot of people working from home and they want to find another place to go to work for a while.”

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Hannah Rodriguez covers retail for the registry. Contact her at [email protected] or on Twitter @byherodriguez.

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