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The best stationery stores in NYC

Get over to a great stationery store that offers modern greeting cards, invitations, paper goods and more

Photograph: Camille Fernandez
Greenwich Letterpress

So you've already stopped by one of NYC's many gift shops and now all you need is the card. Whether you’re shopping for wedding invitations or simply want to send a thank-you note, we can help you find a great stationery store that offers plenty of neat, modern options. Frequenters of arts and craft stores will go nuts over the raw materials at shops like Paper Source and Paper Presentation, while traditional types will favor the classic options at Blacker and Kooby. Check out some quirky and unique stores, like Greenwich Letterpress, Cursive and Foxy & Winston.

RECOMMENDED: Read more about the best shops in NYC

Find a great stationery store

Blacker and Kooby

For nearly half a century, Fred Kooby has been running this prim-and-proper stationery boutique. 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). 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.

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Upper East Side

Bowne & Co. Stationers

Located in the South Street Seaport Museum, this letterpress outpost is home to NYC’s oldest operating business, established in 1775. Here, in-house artist and master printer Robert Warner uses 19th-century presses to print custom announcements (50 for $165) individual greeting cards ($5) and more. A trip to the shop doubles as a history lesson: Shoppers can watch cards being made with presses dating back to 1844, and the neighboring studio, Bowne Printers, offers three-hour workshops ($75).

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Financial District

Cursive New York

San Franciscans Douglas Duncan and Michael Schultz carry exclusive labels 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). 

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Flatiron

Dabney Lee

Southern California native Dabney Lee Woglom opened her appointment-only namesake stationery boutique in 2012, offering a signature range of cards, invitations and home goods. Marked by bright colors and eye-popping prints, stationary box sets (25 cards and envelopes for $75) come monogrammed in sleek Lucite boxes. Additional finds include personalized, 150-sheet notepads ($50–$65), wine tags (8 for $34) and holiday photo cards (25 for $120).

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Downtown Brooklyn

Essex Card Shop

A dizzying assortment of cards and office supplies packs this East Village institution, where you’ll find polka-dot Crane & Co. thank you notes (10 for $19), gel-tip pens in a rainbow of colors ($2–$4) and a vast selection of postcards printed with vintage black-and-white photos of NYC ($1). You can also stock up on 3-D decorated cards by Papyrus ($5–$8) and metallic gift boxes for jewelry and other trinkets ($1–$4.50).

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East Village

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). Letterpressed invitations (100 for $545–$690), announcements (100 for $545–$690) and personalized stationery (100 for $420–$630) offer designs befitting elegant occasions.

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Red Hook

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. The bulk of the selection is designed in-house by sisters (and third-generation printers) Beth Salvini and Amy Swanson. 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. 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.

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West Village

Jam Paper

This isn’t some stuffy stationery shop, which is why New Yorkers have flocked to it for 55 years. The family-owned-and-operated store houses a massive selection of paper goods in its 7,500-square-foot flagship space—from floral wedding invites (50 for $45) to small, foil-lined envelopes (25 for $5). Peruse the aisles for blank fold-over cards stocked in more than 20 colors (10 for $5) and snap up gifting supplies, too, such as handmade geometric-print wrapping paper ($4).

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Midtown

Lion in the Sun

Opened in 2002 by Melinda Morris, 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 to design whatever customers conjure up. Up front, goods from independent designers stock the aisles.

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Park Slope

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. 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.

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Carroll Gardens

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).

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Flatiron

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.

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Boerum Hill

The Village Invites

This 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). 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). 

Comments

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