Back to school is fast approaching, and this article by Erin McGann points out that we don’t have to save all the cool stationery for our children.
The joy of new school supplies in September was something I looked forward to every year. Cracking the spines of new notebooks, a neat pile of pine-fresh pencils, virgin erasers – it was the promise of a fresh start that intoxicated me at back to school time.
Despite the fact I am nearly completely paperless, the promise of a new notebook is irresistible. Why leave the new stationery to our kids this autumn?
Back to School for Mom: Great Vancouver Stationery Shops
Tucked just off Main Street, Hache is an oasis for washi tape lovers. Washi tape is a Japanese paper tape, usually patterned, that feels a bit like masking tape, but looks much cooler. You can dress up plain notebooks, containers, candle holders – the list is endless. I also love the tiny letterpress sets, paper pads in the shapes of fruit and leaves, and cute paper clips. Beautiful floaty clothes in a restrained palette of greys and blacks make up the other side of the shop.
Paper-ya is another beautiful paper mecca, and probably one of the first places Vancouverites think of when looking for handmade gift wrap, intriguing cards and little notebooks. Established in the Net Loft at Granville Island since 1986, I remember spending my hard-earned allowance money on a beautiful journal when I was 10. It’s definitely worth a back to school visit for yourself.
Ask on Twitter for advice on where to get a cool notebook and overwhelmingly the answer comes back: Regional Assembly of Text on Main Street. A cute shop full of interesting paper goods, it stocks handmade buttons, paper labels, gift boxes, cards, and notebooks of every size and description. One had bird silhouettes on the cover (insert Portlandia joke here), another had a stenciled bicycle, and yet another was hard-bound with Carpe Diem on the front. Not only that, there are little stations to make your own buttons and stamp personal messages on your purchases.
I would never have stepped into Room In Order on Davie Street for stationery, but I live in the neighbourhood and have become obsessed with this destination for all things organization. They carry a large number of notebooks, notepads and journals by Knock Knock, a witty, and sometimes rude, stationery company out of California. Who doesn’t need a pad titled ‘WTF’ at the top in giant letters? Or, for those less sweary occasions, ‘NAG NOTE’? Room In Order also has a small but well-curated collection of pencil cases and desk accessories.
If you’re feeling crafty, Urban Source on Main Street has a great selection of papers, some handmade, some industrial cast-offs. You buy a paper bag and then fill it with papers, bits of cool shaped cardboard, cones, ribbon, plastic weave, transfer foils and other things beyond description. They also have a small corner of individually priced items, including paper labels, little notebooks and quirky stamps. There are the makings of a super-cool, unique notebook in here.
While you do your back to school shopping, why not stop in at one of these stores and get a little something for yourself? You deserve it!
Erin McGann is a writer, mom, amateur cellist and keen cook. Having spent seven years living in London, England, she’s learning how to say apartment instead of flat and drink coffee again. She blogs at Mummy & Monkey and tweets as @erinehm. She’s also one of our Top 30 Mom Bloggers for 2012.