Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ~ Norman Vincent Peale
While everyone else is off mall crawling, shoppers in the beautiful area north of San Francisco will be hitting the specialty shops in one of Sonoma County’s most charming town: Petaluma, home of Paperwhite, a simply chic stationery and unique gift boutique on historic Kentucky Street. chic
Not far from the sea, and distance- wise only 35 miles from San Francisco, but seemingly worlds apart, Petaluma has the feel of a sprawling, agricultural town… grape vines and vineyards, grain silos and livestock abound. Yet, with its small town feel, (American Graffiti was filmed here) its downtown is large and bustling, thriving with Christmas shoppers, antique hunters and people vying to get into the many wonderful restaurants. Once known as the “egg basket of the world” they still hold a butter and egg festival.
Paperwhite’s storefront, designed in the tradition of a lively, old-world atelier and set in a turn-of-the-century downtown area, draws shoppers from around the Wine Country and bay area.
Walking into the store this December day, was like walking into an incredible Christmas designer showroom…whites, gold’s, and beautifully decorated green trees. Dazzling glass balls, ornaments, boxed Christmas cards, candles, vellums and gorgeous wraps from Italy. A review in a local paper touted Paperwhite’s choice in Italian decorative paper: “to dazzle any gift, pick up a sheet or two of decorative Italian paper at Paperwhite, or you could simply tie a bow around a roll and make that the present!”
Customers were gushing over the store and its goods… one customer said she comes in “almost daily, because things come in and out so quickly”, she did not want to miss anything.
Under the ownership and retail creativity of Carrie Smetana, who bought the store just this past spring, the place seems to come alive at this time of year. Carrie says, “The store has been in Petaluma since 2008, and I used to be a customer who just couldn’t stay away from the beautiful papers. I spent lots of time and money here”. So, when it came up for sale, she was the natural. Having worked in interior design and as a graphic designer, she knew it was a good fit. She brought in her spirited friend, Michelle, as an assistant and the two of them, with their unique sense of Petaluma and its surroundings, seem to be a very talented team.
Paperwhite has even been featured in Country Living magazine and Out and About.
All year at Paperwhite, and not only during the holidays, the store is filled with interesting letterpress cards, note books, an enchanting array of hard to find, artsy, exquisite papers, unique gifts, stationery, cards, journals and writing accessories.
Custom printing (including letterpress) is offered along with custom-formatted stationary and design for weddings and all occasions and budgets.
As a buyer, Carrie loves the Rossi Paper line, especially the decorative papers.
“Customers love them… they do crafts with them as well as wrapping and ask for Rossi specifically.”
She carries other papers but says, “I mean, just feel the difference….”, as she picks up a sheet of paper. Every town should have a Paperwhite… especially at Christmas. It is the quintessential beguiling paper store we all love to get lost in.
Our favorite thing in the store…..an advent calendar for dogs!
To all our readers, we, at Rossi1931 thank you for sharing our blog and love of fine paper.