Featured Retailer: Mockingbird Paperie

Nestled in the college town of Ithaca, New York, Mockingbird Paperie is based on the premise of love. Not only named after the owners favorite book, To Kill a Mockingbird, but begun from a love of paper and a love for her husband. Owner Suzanne Loesch says.” Hmmm, where to start…Well I guess the beginning is the best.  I have been a paper lover, crafter and artist for my entire life.  I got into paper when I fell in love and began writing to my husband.  There was a period where we were separated and we both spent most of our days writing to each other and it was then that I discovered the love and art of writing a letter. The content maybe a poem, an angry note, a testament to our love… Each envelope had to be a work of art.   Now when we open that giant trunk full of letters we are struck with its romance, but even more, what it really meant to sit down with a special pen and a few sheets of special paper and pour our hearts out to each other”.

That was the beginning, what brought us here today was a little store on the Commons “. 

Mockingbird Paperie began as Ithacards, a stationery store founded in 2008 by Emma Lou Shiek. Ithacards quickly became a local favorite for unique cards, boxed notes and fine stationery. “It was a special store that had special things.I would frequently shop there and more often than not I would enthusiastically ask the owner if she had heard of this paper or that pen and eventually when I would come back she would have what I had asked for”.

After forty years of retail entrepreneurship, Emma Lou retired in 2012.

“Last December my husband and I were walking by and noticed Emma Lou had a sign out that she was retiring.  I walked in and she said that she had a buyer for the store and it would continue on with a new owner.  Without telling my husband I slyly passed her my phone number and told her if anything happened and the deal fell through to give me a call.  3 days later the phone rang and two weeks later I owned the store.” That began the transition to Mockingbird Paperie.

 Truly a “brick and mortar” store, its charm lies in the brick walls and hardwood floors. Mockingbird Paperie has expanded its product line to include decorative papers from all over the world, unique gifts, writing instruments and a full line of the finest wedding invitations available.  “My vision for the store had to include paper from all over the world so we made it a goal to renovate the store front and slowly over the next two years double the size by knocking out walls and joining it with the store next door and turn it into a true paperie.” They offer washi papers from Japan, artisan papers from Nepal, fine stationery from France, Prague and Italy and handmade journals by local artists.  

Suzanne’s infectious enthusiasm continues, “when it became time to fill the store…. naturally Rossi was at the top of our list. Rossi’s collection of decorative papers is well, hard to describe.  It’s vastness, variety and beauty is truly a marvel.  I remember the first time I went through the samples… I was shocked that every pattern I could think of, every design I could conjure, and then a hundred I couldn’t were right there in my hands. I wanted them all. I love everything Rossi! What artistry! What beauty! What refinement! “

“We had special racks built to display all the papers. Including Rossi paper, we probably carry over 500 different prints.  If I had to pick a favorite I would have say the Rossi collection of letterpress papers are absolutely exquisite.  The texture is amazing and the designs are just brilliant.

Along with Rossi paper we carry almost everything that Rossi makes from their journals to monogrammed stationery from letterpress thank you card to boxed tin notes. Gorgeous notepads, pencils, erasers and whimsical greeting cards.

Being that Ithaca is a college town, when students discover something they like they spread the word.  I would have to say that the Mediovalis has a really strong following and the students aren’t the only ones who love this writing paper.  We have workshops and teachers who will write their special letters on nothing else.”

What sets this store apart from many other paper stores, is their workshops. Suzanne regularly offers workshops in the art of letter writing, bookbinding, (to make a special keepsake journal) or for handmade valentines, etc. Quite a special touch for customers who want to nurture their own love of paper.

“My favorite thing about running Mockingbird Paperie is hearing a few people a day say they love our store and they are so grateful that it’s here.”

“We have created a unique experience so when you walk in the store you feel like you are in a special place.  It is a labor of love and when people say things like, ‘why would you open a stationery store? Don’t you know that everything is done on computers?’ I tell them that’s not true. Just look around the store, look at all the paper people are holding in their hands. There is a huge difference in getting an email and getting a letter or a card in the mail.

 When people doubt us further I just show them our newly won award for “Ithaca’s 2014 Retail Business of The Year.

www.mockingbirdpaperie.com

Rossi decorative papers, 2014 collection

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