Best stationery stores in New York City

These indie stationery stores offer modern greeting cards, invitations and paper goods that put Hallmark to shame.

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Whether you’re shopping for wedding invitations or simply want to send a thank-you note, these NYC stationery stores offer plenty of unique, modern options. DIY mavens will go nuts over the raw materials at Paper Source and Paper Presentation, while traditional types will favor the classic options at Blacker and Kooby. For quirky items, check out Greenwich Letterpress, Cursive and Foxy & Winston.

RECOMMENDED: Best shops in NYC

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Blacker and Kooby

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Charing Cross leather-bound calendars, $32–$49 each, at Blacker and Kooby

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Cursive New York

  • Lisa Jones Studio animal greeting cards, $8 each, at Cursive New York

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Sapling Press greeting card, $6, at Cursive New York

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Foxy & Winston

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Foxy & Winston elephant-print throw pillow, $42

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Lisa B. cashmere socks, $22 per pair, at Foxy & Winston

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Greenwich Letterpress

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Greenwich Letterpress

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Greenwich Letterpress bacon birthday card, $5

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Greenwich Letterpress mixtape baby card, $5

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Kate’s Paperie

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Oblation telegram thank you card, six for $20, at Kate’s Paperie

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Twig & Fig metallic foil letterpress card, $8, at Kate’s Paperie

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Lion in the Sun

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Fierce Mally hand-drawn note card, eight for $19, at Lion in the Sun

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Campbell Raw map-covered accordion notebook, $35, at Lion in the Sun

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Papél New York

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Andy Pratt cityscape note cards, six for $18, at Papél New York

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Chewing The Cud alphabet stamp set, $28, at Papél New York

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Paper Presentation

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Scalloped damask box, ten for $13, at Paper Presentation

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Year CD cards, $14 each, at Paper Presentation

  • Paper Source

  • Paper Source embellished paper boxes, $5–$20 each

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Village Invites

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Sample invitations, 100 for $1,500–$1,600 (including reply cards), at Village Invites

  • Photograph: Camille Fernandez

    Sample save-the-date cards, starting at $3 each, at Village Invites

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Blacker and Kooby

Blacker and Kooby

For nearly half a century, Fred Kooby has been running this prim-and-proper stationery boutique, and though he’s watched as paper companies shrink their lines and e-cards replace formal invitations, his own business has grown from a single storefront to the better chunk of the block. Attribute this to his loyal clientele, who appreciate proper etiquette and classic taste—tenets that are best represented by the wall of Crane & Co. place cards (ten for $9–$100), and selection of Caspari greeting cards ($3–$9) and Charing Cross leather-bound calendars ($32–$49). Kooby’s daughter, Vanessa, oversees the custom-design department, whose shelves are jammed with sample books from lines as mid-range as William Arthur and as elaborate as C’est Papier. Aside from paper products, the store also stocks Kolo photo albums ($17–$50), Tizo picture frames ($17–$150) and fine writing instruments ($39–$495) from Waterman, Parker and Cross. (212-369-8308, blackerandkooby.com)

  1. 1204 Madison Ave at 88th St

Cursive New York

San Franciscans Douglas Duncan and Michael Schultz had a wholesale paper business before moving to the East Coast and subsequently opened the original Cursive on the first floor of ABC Carpet & Home in 2005. Five years later, they expanded to a second location inside Grand Central Terminal, offering even more refined greeting cards from independent designers—many of whom the pair discovered on their travels abroad. Some labels are carried exclusively by Cursive stateside, including British brand Lisa Jones Studio, which embellishes illustrated animal cards ($8) with plastic googly eyes. Domestic highlights include Oregon letterpress studio Hat + Wig + Glove Company’s simplistic rock quote cards ($6), featuring throwback lyrics such as "Love is a battlefield." The pair of paper sanctuaries also carry journals ($20–$80), prettily packaged soaps ($10–$36) and other charming hostess gifts, such as John Derian glass trays hand-decoupaged with exotic birds ($200) and Beehive Kitchenware pewter bird-shaped cheese markers (four for $64). Grand Central Terminal, 87 E 42nd St at Park Ave (212-867-5550) • 473 Broadway at 19th St (646-602-3806) • cursivenewyork.com

  1. Various locations
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Foxy & Winston

Drawing on her fashion-design and textile studies, owner and illustrator Jane Buck creates cohesive collections of whimsical paper ($4–$18) and home goods ($18–$45), featuring recurring patterns often inspired by the animal kingdom. Throw pillows awash in elephants ($42) match postconsumer recycled folded note cards (six for $14), while surprisingly stylish hedgehogs poke their noses across silk-screened greeting cards ($4) and organic cotton-canvas kitchen towels ($18). Owls, bunnies, Buck’s pet beagle and—for visual vegans—artichokes and tugboats are other common playful motifs, but letterpressed invitations (100 for $545–$690), announcements (100 for $545–$690) and personalized stationery (100 for $420–$630) offer designs befitting elegant occasions. There’s also a small assortment of gifts from other independent designers, including Carol & Tusk organic embroidered pillows ($75–$105) and Lisa B. cashmere socks ($22) made in Pennsylvania. (718-928-4855, foxyandwinston.com)

  1. 392 Van Brunt St, (at Dikeman St)
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Greenwich Letterpress

As its name implies, this mint-walled boutique is devoted to letterpress goods, including quirky cards ($5–$6), maps ($10) and calendars ($24–$30) created in the artisanal printing style. While you’ll find items from independent brands such as Snow & Graham and Hammerpress, the bulk of the selection is designed in-house by sisters (and third-generation printers) Beth Salvini and Amy Swanson using an on-site, manually operated letterpress. Passersby can watch through the window as pre-designed wedding invitations (50 for $350), matching R.S.V.P. cards (50 for $325) and birthday cards ($5) adorned with a black-and-white cookie and the phrase "To my better half" are crafted with love and a bit of droll humor. The Great Lakes Goods clipboard calendars ($24), Sukie silk-screened cartoon animal gift tags (32 for $20), and Greenwich Letterpress’s own line of cutesy enamel pins ($10) and pencils (eight for $8) engraved with slang words or TV teen couples (Zack & Kelly, Dawson & Joey) all make for unique gifts. (212-989-7464, greenwichletterpress.com)

  1. 39 Christopher St, (between Seventh Ave South and Waverly Pl)
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Kate’s Paperie

As other shops grow and globalize their businesses, this paper haven has taken the opposite approach, consolidating from a five-store chain in Manhattan and Greenwich, Connecticut, to just one Soho location. Purchased by independent paper lover Angelica Berrie in 2008, Kate’s focuses on items with an artistic edge, such as Christian Lacroix printed notebooks ($12–$40), Twig & Fig cards ($8) featuring metallic foil letterpressed onto harvested-wood veneer, and Paula Skene boxed note cards (eight for $20) hand-embossed with the Brooklyn Bridge. Those with more traditional tastes will be pleased to find D’Arconte hard-engraved gold-trimmed note cards (eight for $25), Graphic Image colorful agendas ($17–$97) and Campo Marzio rollerball pens ($18–$110). Gift wrapping is the store’s forte, as evidenced by the assortment of more than 50 different single sheets ($3–$20), many of which are designed and individually screen-printed by artist Charles Lahti, and could easily be framed as bargain art. You can even enlist the store’s wrapping services ($7–$35) to impressively embellish your boxes. (212-941-9816, katespaperie.com)

  1. 435 Broome St between Broadway and Crosby St

Lion in the Sun

Opened in 2002 by Melinda Morris, a former event planner whose mother owns the original Lion in the Sun on Long Island, this Park Slope offshoot has the most comprehensive selection of paper goods in the neighborhood. The back half of the store is devoted to custom invitations, and features five communal tables where you can sit and peruse sample books from industry stalwarts such as Regas, Dauphine Press and Smock. Yet the department’s biggest draw is its house line, PostScript Brooklyn (100 invitations for $700–$1,200), which commissions New York artists (cityscape illustrator Andrew Torres and watercolorist Katie Fischer, among others) to design whatever customers conjure up; a recent patron ordered invites decorated with a piano and high heels. Up front, goods from independent designers stock the aisles, including Fierce Mally hand-drawn note cards (eight for $19) sending love from nyc, and Campbell Raw map-covered accordion notebooks ($35) and photo albums ($98). Each month of Albertine Press’s calendar rips off into a letterpressed postcard, engaging your letter-writing skills at least 12 times a year ($30). (718-369-4006, lioninthesunps.com)

  1. 232 Seventh Ave, (at 4th St)
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Papél New York

Named after the Spanish word for paper, this fanciful shop places an emphasis on eco-friendly, timeless stationery with a modern edge. Paper airplanes hang from the ceiling of the mint-walled space, which California transplant Raegan Hirvela opened in 2009. A room divider fashioned from reclaimed coffee tables purchased at thrift shops around the city provides a private nook for flipping through sample invitation books from sustainable lines Bella Figura (100 invitations for $625–$1,140) and Smock (100 invitations for $570–$1,080). In the retail area up front, vintage suitcases contain the work of fellow Brooklynites, including Andy Pratt cityscape note cards (six for $18) and Harland Brooklyn Card Co. simple neon-kissed greeting cards ($5). We’re also partial to Giftsland single sheets of wrapping paper ($5 each) made from lokta, a tree-saving Indian plant, that are patterned with mustaches, bicycles and peacock feathers, and Chewing The Cud alphabet stamp sets ($28) that are perfect for creating an initialed envelope seal. (718-422-0255, papelnewyork,com)

  1. 225 Court St, (between Baltic and Warren Sts)
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Paper Presentation

Consider this family-run business a department store for paper goods. Founded in 1990, Paper Presentation fills its 19,000 square feet with more than 100 different sizes, styles, materials and copyrighted colors of printer-friendly paper (25 sheets $7–$14), which can be used for in-house thermography (100 pieces for $167–$250), engraving (100 pieces for $320) and letterpressing (100 pieces for $320). Savvy present-givers can design their own hang tags on scalloped note cards (25 for $9) to match and affix on gift boxes, ranging in shape from basic rectangles to origami flowers (ten for $13 each). Once you’re able to tear your eyes away from Marc Tetro graphic wrapping paper (two sheets for $12) and Arboreal patterned versions printed with soy ink (two sheets for $10), head to the front for office supplies such as Cavalinni & Co. desk and wall calendars ($13–$22), alongside loose greeting cards that blow Hallmark out of the water. Our favorite is a Year CD card ($14) that comes with a disc of 20 original hits from a designated year, available for 1930 through 1987. (212-463-7035, paperpresentation.com)

  1. 23 W 18th St, (between Fifth and Sixth Aves)
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Paper Source

A national chain that began as a small Chicago stationery store in 1983, Paper Source has become a go-to resource for both ready-made paper goods and all of the materials you’d need to make them yourself. A few tables are strewn with quirky gifts from other vendors, such as Goodnight, iPad, a coffee table–worthy parody of Goodnight, Moon ($15); Rifle Paper Co. spoon-emblazoned recipe cards ($14); and Fred sock monkey wine carriers ($12), but the majority of the vast inventory is from the company’s own brand. You’ll find everything from solid-color paper (ten sheets for $3–$6) and embossed thank-you notes (ten for $16–$19) to patterned gift bags ($3–$9) and rolls of satin ribbon ($4–$8) in a rainbow of colors. The embellished paper boxes ($5–$20) could double as elegant storage and prewrapped gift receptacles. DIY types should spare five minutes for a free demonstration of Paper Source’s embossing heat tool kit ($24), a raised-ink system that involves stamping special ink, pouring on powder and then blasting it with a 650-degree dryer to create on-demand thermography. 63 Spring St between Broadway and Crosby St (646-484-5764) • 309 Columbus Ave between 74th and 75th Sts (646-861-2879) • 102 Smith St at Pacific St, Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (718-858-4524) • paper-source.com

  1. Various locations
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The Village Invites

Although this pair of stationery stores run by copy and printing company Village Print primarily caters to brides-to-be, paper lovers of all stripes are bound to find something to take home. The small, appointment-only midtown space is best suited to engaged couples, who can flip through sample books from William Arthur and Bella Figura in pure solitude. The Village Invites’ close relationship with independent letterpress companies, such as three-person Chicago outfit Alice-Louise, allows clients to customize save-the-dates (starting at $4 each) and invitations (100 for $1,500–$1,600, including reply cards). Those without a ring on their finger will be more content perusing the spacious West Village location, which is a popular destination for formal business stationery, often done by Crane & Co. (100 for $300–$500). Funky greeting cards mostly come from eco-friendly brands, such as Apartment 2 funny photo cards ($4), La Familia Green hand-cut collage styles ($4) and 1canoe2 hand-painted versions ($5). There’s also a smattering of offbeat gifts, including Cupcake Provocateur sexy aprons ($42), Rifle Paper Co. magnetic shopping-list pads ($10) and Peter Pauper Press ticket-stub albums ($16). 20 E 13th St between Fifth Ave and University Pl, second floor (212-220-6195) • 10 E 39th St between Fifth and Madison Aves, second floor (212-220-6199). By appointment only. • villageinvites.com

  1. Various locations


Users say

3 comments
ykelly
ykelly

Great recommendations. I would also add Pickett's Press into this mix. With it's gallery-like showroom on East 74th overlooking Lexington Ave, a trip here is an artistic experience. It's always nice to see that boutique stationery is alive and well as it should never go out of style. Warm regards, Yun Kelly, etchedinpaper.com

Adrienne Kierans   Manager, The Village Invites
Adrienne Kierans Manager, The Village Invites

Thanks for your support Holly! We are thrilled to be included amounst the best in the city. It's been an exciting year and having you as a mentor has made all the difference. Looking forward to another amazing year!

Holly Bretschneider
Holly Bretschneider

What a great article! It's so wonderful to see such a fabulous array of successful independent stationery boutiques ~ proving that there remains a thriving market for high-quality stationery and invitations delivered with exceptional service. While I know several very well, I loved seeing new shops that I'd not yet heard of. Kudos to all! Warmly, Holly Bretschneider President & Founder, Boutique Profits President & Chief Style Officer, Salutations Fine Stationery