Stationery sources

I find myself answering questions on "where do you buy your stationery?" so often that it has become cumbersome to direct folks to "that sidebar on my blog," not to mention that it feels incomplete - I've always wanted to talk a little bit about why I like the ones I patronize. So here I am creating a new page dedicated to this topic. I'll do my best to keep it updated, but please do let me know if you see a dead link or any errors.

I am not paid by any of these brands or retailers, they are just online sources where I have purchased stationery for years and have been pleased by the result. Retailers listed in alphabetical order.

  • 16 Sparrows
    16 Sparrows is "the mothership to the Letter Writers Alliance," sort of the umbrella organization. They sell witty, sometimes sarcastic (and warning, sometimes adult-themed) stuff. (The LWA is listed separately below.)
  • Amazon.com
    Don't flog me here for endorsing a giant, folks, but I am on a budget and as an Amazon Prime member, I can get an incredible array of stationery delivered right to my doorstep for a reasonable price. I'm not gonna lie: I get an awful lot of fine paper products from Amazon. Since you asked.
  • Chronicle Books
    Chronicle Books publishes some very cute stationery: paper and envelopes, notecards, and postcards, too. They tend to be trendy, and the paper quality varies wildly, but I always check back on their new releases to see what fun stuff is afoot. I tend to be especially fond of their postcard boxes; the paper quality on those is usually quite good, thick stock with matte, ink-friendly backs for writing messages. I've blogged about Chronicle Books products a lot over the years.
  • Crane & Co.
    One of the oldest paper producers in the USA, Crane produced U.S. paper currency for many years (and possibly still does?), and makes incredibly high-quality 100% cotton writing paper. Their products are pricey, but they offer a wide array of lovely options. See my blog posts about Crane paper.
  • Dark Horse Comics
    This is an oldie-but-goodie. I am not even certain if Dark Horse is producing new items any more, but they still have many older products available (and, if truth be told, I find a lot of them on Amazon). Their stationery is generally based off of an artist in their comic lines, and it is fantastically, delightfully weird. Some of it is seriously odd. If you like offbeat stuff, and/or highly decorated paper with highly decorated envelopes, this definitely deserves a look. I've done many photo-heavy Dark Horse blog posts, but the caveat is that a lot of these designs are now discontinued and hard to find. But not all of them.
  • Etsy
    Etsy is amazing. If you haven't visited yet, you must. It is essentially an online marketplace for individual sellers, and all the items are either hand-made or printed by the artist, or vintage items. Full disclosure, I have my own etsy shop, Missive Maven on etsy, where I sell my own new postcard, notecard, and sticker designs, along with vintage stamps and stationery. But I spend an awful lot of money on other awesome etsy sellers! If you like letterpress, handmade stationery, fun ideas, and supporting very small businesses, go check it out right now! Also, if you're into vintage stationery, etsy has an especially fantastic selection. Since Etsy is a big happy umbrella, I'm not going to list my favorite etsy sellers separately, but I'll give you a little mini-list here of a few of my favorite etsy shops:
    I've made purchases from, and been very pleased with, all of the individual Etsy shops listed above.
  • The Florentine Shop
    Italian stationery, imported into the USA. You can find these products elsewhere, but I've ordered from The Florentine Shop numerous times and have found their price/quality ratio to be among the best.
  • Goulet Pens
    Goulet Pens is a very small, family-owned business with spectacular customer service. I've been one of their customers almost from the very beginning. They sell pens and inks and other writing accessories, and they're also a fantastic source for quality stationery. They carry some of my favorite brands, including Clairefontaine Triomphe, G. Lalo Verge de France, and Original Crown Mill, and they offer interesting package sets and samples. If you like fountain pen ink, their fountain pen ink samples are fantastic, and were revolutionary when they first came out. Doing business with them is a pleasure every time. You can also check out my blog posts about Goulet Pens products.
  • International Girl Aerogrammes
    I'm not really sure what's up with the name on these aerogrammes, as they seem pretty well suited for any gender, but as stationery they're pretty fabulous. An aerogramme, or aerogram, is specially designed airmail paper that folds up on itself and seals to form its own envelope. Their designs are whimsically original, on high-quality paper, and while they're a touch pricey, they have an admirable mission. They're environmentally friendly, being 100% recycled, and they are created in support of "The Slow Arts": "We believe that happiness and kindness come through slowing down and taking time: savoring the moment and being aware." That's a fundamental characteristic of snail mail, yes? For more info, have a look at some International Girl blog posts.
  • Janetstore
    Kawaii isn't for everyone, but if you're into it, Janetstore is a great source. They're based in Taiwan.
  • JetPens
    JetPens specializes in stationery mostly imported from other countries, especially Japan and Germany, and they carry a lot of things in the USA that are very hard to find elsewhere. They focus more on writing instruments, but they have all kinds of wonderful notebooks and accessories, too. I've also been a JetPens customer nearly from the beginning, for a number of years, and am as pleased as punch with their incredible customer service, not to mention really great prices and speedy shipping. Plus, free shipping within the USA on orders over $25 is seriously cool. While their paper offerings are more notebook-oriented, they do have some great pads of writing paper (they're a fine source for Rhodia), and offer some cool sampler options where you can buy just a few sheets of paper to try it out. They also have some great organization features of their website, where you can search for paper by ruling, line width, paper weight - awesome stuff. If you're into organization, JetPens is a great resource, too. Also, fun little accessories: stickers, scissors, pen holders, you name it. There are quite a lot of JetPens posts here on my blog to check out as well, and though I've posted in the past about products they no longer carry any more, there's still some great eye candy there.
  • The Letter Writers Alliance (LWA)
    I am a big, huge fan of the LWA. I've been a member for years. I've written a ridiculous amount of blog posts relating to the LWA. And, I'll note, I really love their products as well as the organization. What's linked above is their non-member shop, but a whole lot more awesome stuff is available behind the login to members. And a lifetime membership is only $5, so if you're spending time on my blog and are actually interested enough to read all this text I've written... why are you not a member? Five bucks, people, and they do all kinds of giveaways and free downloads and member goodies. And did I mention they sell some really fine stationery, too?
  • Lettersets.com
    Another great source for Kawaii, based in the Netherlands.
  • ShopKawaii.com
    Yet another fine source for Kawaii stationery... and if you're in the USA and would like to avoid international shipping costs, ShopKawaii.com is located in Pennsylvania.
  • Victorian Papers
    Victorian Papers is a product line of The Victorian Trading Co. They offer some charming designs, of varying paper quality, in a lot of price points. I am going to date myself seriously here when I tell you that I've been using Victorian Papers stationery for more than 25 years. I have some nostalgic loyalty to the company, and they seem to have made the jump to a brick-and-morter-plus-catalog business to a mostly online business quite successfully. (Caveat: have patience, their website does load rather slowly.) If you like Victorian and Edwardian themes, I do recommend their products. For a look at some of their designs in action, see my Victorian Papers stationery posts.
Where do you buy your stationery? I'd love to hear from readers in the comments section about your favorite experiences. Happy shopping!

23 comments:

  1. You listed some of my favorite places too! I love JetPens, LWA, and Isabell's Umbrella on etsy. This is a great list! I personally also like Boygirlparty and Paper Pastries.

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    1. Thanks, Cindy - oh yes, Boygirlparty and Paper Pastries are great, too!

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  2. I'd love for you to check out Steel Goddess on Etsy also . . . not my company in any way, but just ordered from her and have never gotten such gorgeous paper in my life. The art is breathtaking and the feel of a fountain pen on this slick paper is bliss.

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    1. Wonderful, thanks for adding this recommendation. You like fountain pen on slick paper? I tend to have issues with that.

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  3. You have listed some of my favorites, and I see I'll be adding a few of your favorites to my own list.

    I highly recommend FishCakes O Boy (https://www.etsy.com/shop/fishcakesoboy), Green Banana Cards (not much writing room on the back but LOTS of fun, https://www.etsy.com/shop/greenbananacards), soobeeart (https://www.etsy.com/shop/soobeeart), and Architette Studio (https://www.etsy.com/shop/ArchitetteStudios)

    Also, those who love kawaii and want to visit shopkawaii in person, it is in Pittsburgh, and I live in Pittsburgh. Let me know if you visit, and we can have a fun meet-up and I'll take you to another favorite shop, which doesn't sell online, but is fabulous .. WildCard, http://www.wildcardpgh.com/

    You know ... there could be a whole tourism business centered around fun places to buy stationery .....

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    1. Oh lovely, PostMuse, thanks for the recommendations! You have floated this idea of stationery-buying meetups in other contexts, and I must say it does sound like great fun.

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  4. Daedalus Books -- deadalesbooks.com -- has some amazingly cheap boxes of cards and postcard books and stationery sets......but I usually make all my own stationery....

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  5. Lovely list. I've purchased from many of the sources. I buy pens from both JetPens and Goulet and like them both. Goulet especially since they're so homey, with the videos, and they're a small family owned place. They pack the goods with a tiny lollipop, too, which is sweet. oops, sorry, didn't mean to pun. Can't wait to check out some of the other places.

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  6. mypaperkittens on etsy has the most beautiful 8.5 x11" stationery sets for writing long, long letters.

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  7. This is a great resource you have created! Thank you for sharing your sources for fine stationery and pens!

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  8. I have ordered from The Missive Maven herself and the service was stellar as was the service from Letter Writers Alliance. I have also done business with Goulet pens and their service is fast and friendly. Thank you for the list of other stationery sources.

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    1. Thanks so much for your comments and your endorsement, Dora!

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  9. I love http://cute-stationery.co.uk . Good prices, she delivers quickly and often pops in free stickers.

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  10. www.yozocaft.com has great Kawaii letter sets, postcards and fun stickers to decorate your mail

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    1. Thanks for the suggestion, FMH, but that link didn't work. I took a guess and added an R to the url, and perhaps your suggestion is http://www.yozocraft.com/?

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  11. Would it be possible to add Pen Chalet to the list. We carry stationary products such as Rhodia, Clairfontaine and more. Thanks for your consideration

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    1. Hello Pen Chalet -- This page is a list of favorite places where I myself have purchased stationery, and I've never made a purchase from your business. However, this comment section is for others to recommend and have dialogue, so if you have anything to add, please feel free to do so.

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  12. I like Kind Words Stationery shop on Etsy. She has many nice designs and will work with you to give you what you want. She also uses fountain pen friendly paper (Tomoe River).

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    1. Looks really lovely, DRogers - thanks for the recommendation! I am particularly taken with the fountain pen friendly paper concept.

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  13. I would like to add the amazing "Flow Book for Paper Lovers" that is published in the Netherlands and comes out annually. It is filled with great stationery and other paper goodies.

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    1. Interesting, thanks! I wonder if they have a website?

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  14. Just discovered your great site.
    Thanks
    Paul

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    1. Thanks so much, Paul! I'm sorry it's terribly out of date right now, but I'm really glad you're enjoying it.

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