Soul paper is a gem of a paperie (and a bit of a creative hub) in the heart of the largest city in central Saskatchewan, Canada; Saskatoon is often called the “Paris of the Prairies” in similarity to its river, the many bridges and abundance of Art Nouveau architecture.
Soul Paper was founded by Susan Gallagher and Alexsandor Pozsonyi, a husband and wife team educated in interior design and self-described as “paper afflicted”*. Their love of paper, typography and that old world feeling has inspired them to create a place that nurtures the human spirit and inspires personal expression.
*Paper afflicted: An excitable individual that expresses much appreciation for paper products, stationery, paper goods, bespoke gifts and books. Sometimes, expressing emotions to the point of excess.
– Commonly a known hoarder of notebooks, writing instruments, paper and greeting cards and/or all the equipment, knowledge and determination to create all the above from scratch.
– If this individual does not have the knowledge, will often go to extremes to obtain the education and will with vigor, share said knowledge with everyone, whether asked or not.
“Both Susan and I have had a love for paper, stationery and art for as long as we can both remember. My passion came from my mother, a printer. And Susan had a dream of having her own paper shop since she was little. You know, the type of paper shop that only existed in the 30’s, 40’s or 50’s. A shop with a bell over the door, creaky floors and that old school stationery store smell/feel you’d find in France or Italy.”
Both originally graduated with degrees in interior design and went on to lead successful careers in their field for close to 20 years. Having had enough of the corporate world, and after years of dreaming, 8 years of planning, Soul paper became reality,
“We both realized that this is where our hearts truly belong.”
“We are Saskatoon’s purveyors of quality brands such as Midori Travelers notebooks, Scout books, Rhodia, LAMY, Cavallini, Rossi1931, Kaweco, Faber Castell, Palomino, Tim Holtz, and Ranger. We also carry papers from Japan, Nepal, India, Italy, Korea, United Kingdom, Europe, Australia and the USA. Soul Papers carries many supplies for art journaling, mixed media and other paper arts.”
Alex recalls, “There is a very long story as to the name, Soul Paper. But in short, it is aptly named and represents a feeling. Every gift, letter, or life changing event starts with paper. And every memory that we carry with us is inclusive of paper in some way. Our corporate tagline and mission is “Feed Your Soul Every Day”.
To that end, they foster the sharing of joy when lives are celebrated and stay connected. Alex notes, “That’s why we carry a curated assortment of stunning papers, stationery, greeting cards, gift wrap and gift items that speak, from one soul to another. Our store tries to maintain a 70 to 80% curated selection. Susan researches, scopes and connects with of all our independent vendors, small, ‘mom and pop’ artisans, crafters and creators of true bespoke, high quality, often handmade paper goods.
The selection and vision is truly Susan’s and her curated approach is what the ‘feel’ of Soul Paper really is.”
The last Thursday evening of every month, from 6pm, to 8pm, the community is invited to meet, socialize, play, create and “feed their soul” in free workshops. It is come -as- you are and features special artisan events such as calligraphy, mixed media arts, pen clinics, and much more. “The response to our awesome classes has in fact, totally shocked us. We are so happy people are having fun, and we are truly enjoying it with them. The studio workshops create a place of community and bring inspirations to life; no art experience required. “
These two are definitely old paper souls….in just under 2 years of business, they have learned that the way to champion the love of paper is to share and promote: Facebook, Instagram, blogs, contests, radio interviews, and workshops. “We love sharing and that is what Soul Paper is about, you: what you can do, what you can share… your power, your spirit, and your soul. If we can share the ride with you while you find that creative spark, perfect!”
One of the founding cornerstones of their shop, is their belief in HAPPY MAIL.
Susan explains, “one of the disappointing things in all our lives, is going to the mailbox every day to find …un-happy mail: flyers, bills, summons to appear in court, tax forms. You know the depressing, trivial, mundane mail. The stuff that we want to forget. But Happy Mail is that card from Auntie Gertie for your birthday, or pictures and a notecard from your son away at camp, or that touching letter from a lost friend traveling the world reaching out to reconnect….and it makes us feel special. It makes us feel loved. It means something. These are the letters we save in a shoebox for safe keeping and further reflection. Happy Mail creates moments that touch our souls. This is the power of paper and pen.”
Alex shared this story with us, which quite frankly is one of our favorite stories regarding how a customer “discovered” Rossi:
“We are a Rossi paper vendor and quite honored to carry the line since the day we opened. But the real reason we carry Rossi goes back several decades. My mother was a printer and in the year I started art college, a friend of hers was closing his business. He invited me to raid his stash of large paper sheets and take what I wanted. I took all the Rossi.
For 4 years I used the most expensive and beautiful papers for my projects and was considered ‘the rich kid’. The truth was, I was dirt poor, ate crackers and slept in a basement but, I had the most luxurious project paper and was envied. After college I sourced a vendor and used the paper as a standard over French & Italian competitors. Yes, it has been a long standing addiction.”
“Letter writing…. we still believe in it and promote it. We are passionate about the written word and sharing with those we love, hand written notes, cards, letters and journaling always created with the care and attention they deserves. Old school writing…. It means something”
“We are just doing what we love. The bell rings over the door, and someone is smiling as they walk in. We just want to ensure that that dear soul is still smiling as they leave us too. Our first goal – keep them happy and spend some time with them. Period. They made an effort to come and see us. If they make a purchase, great. If they don’t, we are simply glad they came in and spent time with us.”
118 20th Street West
Saskatoon, SK Canada