Located in Parnell, a suburb of Auckland, Passion for Paper opened in 1996 and was the first fine stationery store to have opened in New Zealand. In addition, they do indeed “sell to the world” and ship for a flat rate…almost anywhere.
Parnell is Auckland’s oldest suburb, full of charm and character. Established in 1841, the land was purchased and subdivided in to 36 blocks to create Auckland’s first suburb. By the 1900s Parnell was connected to the city by roads and rail. It now has a vibrant mix of rich heritage and upscale modernity. The streets are still lined with buildings and homes that reflect colonial character and charm, interspersed with quaint shops, fashion boutiques, award-winning restaurants and lively bars. Parnell has the reputation of being the “creative quarter “of Auckland with the largest number of galleries on a single street.
The beautiful shop on 217 Parnell rd with its high ceilings and intimate space is set in an 1880’s historical building, which according to Paper For Passion’s owner, Kim, “has an amazing ambiance”. (NOTE: Currently this space is being renovated, so temporarily the shop has been moved just up the road to 272 Parnell Road. While not as charming and old world as its “home”, Kim has still managed to convert it into a gorgeous space, all the while continuing to build her online website. Soon, it will be time to move back to 217)
The exquisite offerings at Passion For Paper, however, have not changed; an extensive selection of quality Italian and European papers and a melange of artisanal international items…calendars, large art wrap, Italian leather notebooks, writing instruments, handmade note cards, and one of the most extensive Italian gifts wrap collections anywhere. In addition, An essential element of the sensory experience during a visit to Passion For Paper are the wonderful fragrances of Officina Profumo-Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, established in 1612 in the ancient city of Florence.
As to the inspiration behind the founding of Passion For Paper, Kim explains, “Although I trained in accountancy, I had decided I wanted my own business, but was not quite sure in what field. This dilemma was solved for me whilst living overseas in the early 1990’s and during my first trip to Italy. I was inspired by the beautiful paper shops there, and reminded of the love of ‘all things paper’ I’d had since childhood. I wanted to bring these beautiful products back to New Zealand for other people to enjoy.”
Kim Helas ”Whilst living in England, I researched the products I wanted to include in my range and made appointments to visit various suppliers mostly in Italy. Establishing these relationships was an important part of the business for me, because I wanted to deal directly with the people whose passion it was to produce the products, so I could learn as much as I could about the products and their manufacture, and build good, long-term business relationships.”
Arriving back in Auckland in December 1995 , Kim put in motion the importing of these products, searched for and decided on premises, and on 30 November 1996, the doors of New Zealand’s first fine stationery store were opened.
Now, over 19 years later, Passion For Paper continues to source….. and sell… the world’s finest wrapping papers, everyday stationery, leather journals and other writing accessories. She travels internationally to trade fairs to find unique products, but, she says, “not all my suppliers are large enough to exhibit at trade fairs, so I personally visit my existing artisan suppliers, and seek new ones by visiting Italy or other parts of the world. If I see beautiful products I think will work, I make direct contact that way.”
Kim says she remains as passionate now as she was at the beginning of her business about the products she selects for her customers, and that “buying from family businesses, such as Rossi, which have their own unique history and story of success, brings a sense of nostalgia and provenance to each item sold in my shop.” Kim adds, “This ethos has been at the very heart of my business, and has ensured a great and continued loyalty from my customers, for which I am truly appreciative.”
The best news for most of us who do not live in Auckland, is for a flat rate of $30NZ, you can have these products as well. Passion for Paper portrays an extensive line of products on line. www.passionforpaper.co.nz
Created with an appreciation of the finer things in life, and in the spirit of fun, we present our exclusive range of Passion for Paper cards. Using finest quality deckle-edged card from Italy, the cards are inspired, printed and luxuriously hand-finished in New Zealand
Kim is a huge fan of Rossi products particularly, “the many and varied designs of wrapping papers – for all kinds of purposes, but especially paper crafts and gift wrapping.” The stores…both online and in Parnell, carry a large assortment.
“I have worked with Mattia Rossi since first meeting him in Florence in November 1995 – he is one of the kindest and most honourable people I have ever met. Ordering from the other side of the world has never been an issue – Francesca, with whom I place my orders, has always been most helpful and is a pleasure to work with. As for the products themselves, they are simply beautiful; both in their design and high quality – you can tell they are made by people who genuinely love what they do, with a fine attention to detail.”
Kim sums it up, “This year marks the 20th Anniversary of Passion For Paper, which I think is proof that, even though we live in an electronic age, both the traditional and the new ways can work alongside each other. I think this milestone also shows that, for many people, the time taken to write a personal note on beautiful quality paper is still an important part of life, and hopefully will continue to be well into the future.”
A true passion for paper, indeed…..
PASSION FOR PAPER
272 PARNELL ROAD
PARNELL, AUCKLAND 1052
Ernie (cat) and Sky (rescue dog) are ‘my boys’