Kerrisdale Village is on the west side of the city of Vancouver. Called Vancouver’s most charming village, with its brick-paved sidewalks and welcoming spirit, it’s a great place to spend an afternoon. It offers a cornucopia of shops, eateries and services that would rival those of any bustling metropolis, while keeping its quaint village charm and warm spirit. One such store is a quirky, yet sophisticated stationary store, offering a quality selection of writing instruments, basic art supplies, unique gift cards, journals and so much more; Buchan’s has a 55 year history and has only changed hands once in that entire time. Proprietor Inna Vasilyev – Gutman bought the space in 2012 and has transformed it into a veritable shop for everyone who needs anything paper, art or gift related.
“I’ve changed the idea of the store.
It used to be just stationery, I’ve made it more like a ‘one stop shopping place’ for all ages from 1 month to 101 years old“ says Inna.
Inna is originally from Russia and had studied to be an electrical engineer. Having decided it wasn’t the career for her, she and her family moved to Israel. While living in Israel, Inna read an article about Vancouver and could not get the place and the photos out of her mind. After 6 years, she and her husband and children, packed up and moved to the beautiful place in the magazine, Vancouver… without ever visiting it or knowing anyone there. 19 years later, it is home sweet home and still as beautiful as the photos.
“Only in Vancouver can we see the ocean and the mountains in one picture. Wonderful mild climate. Nicest people. Even more, my store is located in the best neighborhood in town.”
When she first arrived she dabbled in the beauty service for a bit, but longed to be in retail. She bought a small gift and paper shop, which she still owns and is run by her son, before buying Buchan’s. “I had a smaller store (10 times smaller), not far from Buchan’s. I wanted to expand in Kerrisdale Village.”
So, “when Buchan’s came up for sale (almost five years ago) I knew it was meant to be for me, as I had it in my dreams. I was running two stores for about two years, then sold the small one.”
Buchan’s is a much bigger shop, but deceiving…. she packs in so much stock that it appears to be enormous. Her website highlights this amazing assortment of products. It seems to be a herculean task to just be able to organize it. “The inventory is huge! It would not be possible to manage it without an innovative technology such as POS (Point of sale) system. My husband, Pavel, is helping me with the IT part of the business. We have a few computers in use for the store. It is a total labor of love!”
When asked what her biggest challenge is, Inna says, “to find and select unique, high quality, diversified products to offer to our customers, to make them want to come back again and again.” We think she does a great job of it. If a customer can’t find what they want here, it would be a tall order to find it anywhere;
Beautiful cards, pretty journals, plenty of pens, markers and other writing instruments, wrapping paper, gift bags, candles, napkins and art and party supplies. Buchan’s sells high-end gift items such as, exclusive handbags, purses, toys, fragrant creams, travel bags, Disney collectibles, a huge kids section, lots of very cool collectibles, Rogers fabulous chocolates from Canada, Moleskin, Cross Pens, an entire wedding section, Lamy pens from Germany, Crane, Papyrus, Rosier Bags and of course Rossi1931.
“I don’t have favorite Rossi product, as I love everything I ordered from Rossi. I never order something I don’t like. And our customers appreciate the high quality paper and unique designs that Rossi has to offer.”
“There are quite a few best sellers in the Rossi stationery line. It depends on the season of the year. “
Obviously a very stylish proprietor, Inna works very long hours and continually gives back to her community by supporting local fundraisers.
Buchan’s Kerrisdale Stationary
2141 W. 41st Ave.
Kerrisdale, Vancouver, BC Canada