Stationery collecting is addictive and infectious – only a true stationer will understand how much comfort the perfect pairing of pen and paper can provide. Delight in cat motif notebooks, letterpress cards and washi tapes in this guide to KL's best stationery brands and shops.
Their first collection, aptly named ‘First Bloom’, set the tone for their signature style: four floral-patterned notebooks in soft shades of lilac, rose and tangerine. The follow-up series, ‘Fruit Garden’, features clean, crisp prints of blueberry, lemon, peach and strawberry – it feels like summer and looks good enough to eat. 'Oriental', the duo's third and latest collection, is decidedly more bold: the colours are darker, and the inspiration more east-leaning, such as tiger lilies and sakura. If you’re not keen on patterns, there are also plain pastel notebooks in palettes of daffodil yellow, mint green and pale pink, plus phone cases and collaborations with local labels Milktee, Pestle & Mortar, and many more.
Stickerrific, formerly known as The Corner Shop, is a retail café that does double duty as a travel journal supply store and workshop space. Apart from a few tables where one could have a cup of Gula Melaka latte and do journaling in peace (they provide printing services and a box of free washi tapes you can use), most of the space is devoted to the retail side of things. We really like the impressive collection of stickers, postcards, rubber stamps, writing supplies, washi tapes (one of the most updated and largest collections in KL), travel-size watercolours, and everything a stationery fiend would appreciate. Most of their stock is sourced and imported from Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and the United States as owners Szetoo and George go on sourcing trips every few months to keep their stock updated. Note: the café does not serve food (only drinks) as they have three adorable shop cats (Luke, Leia, and Chewie) padding around. Stickerrific also holds workshops for calligraphy, watercolours, rubber stamp carving and more on the weekends.
Mossery knows it can’t go wrong with simple but sophisticated statement-making splashes of colours. Its plain pocket notebooks and notepads are best suited to a clientele of classic tastes, but we’re partial to its more whimsical works inspired by the animal kingdom: cats playing with a ball of yarn, pugs peeking out from a canvas of marigold orange, rabbits in striped jumpers. For the organiser obsessed, you can pre-order your 2017 planner now until Oct 13. More good news: Mossery has new cover designs, and some of them feature corgis.
Mossery is available at Kinokuniya, Kasa Suasa and Markas.
Those with traditional tastes will be pleased with B’Nottee: Its notebooks, Roti pencil cases and Lipat card wallets are handmade from washable craft paper – the paper feels and wears like leather, but is as stitchable and washable as fabric – before they are hand-dyed in pretty palettes of beige, blue, brown and violet. B’Nottee has gotten slightly more playful in recent months; new products include postman tote bags, adorned with animal patches (there are Malayan tigers, tapirs, and sunbears!).
Tabiyo Shop has an appreciation for the Japanese aesthetic. The stationery house is an authorised dealer of Japan’s elegant, understated Midori Traveler’s Notebook – a notebook with a cult following if ever there was one. Classiky’s desk tool boxes, Hightide’s sleek pens and pencils, and Mark’s Inc.’s journals, stamps and stickers will send stationery lovers’ hearts aflutter. If you find yourself in Seremban, drop by the store; they've finally set up a physical shop after four years of online business.
The Alphabet Press is devoted to the centuries-old craftsmanship of letterpressing. Much like its presses’ indentations on premium paper, its letterpress goods will leave an impression on you – clever prose and puns, carefully typographed and coupled with dainty, minimal illustrations, including the ‘I pine for you’ card accompanied with a picture of a pineapple, or the phrase ‘You’re the sambal to my nasi lemak’ on biscuit-brown paper. Our favourites are the ones that are markedly Malaysian: the local food series of postcards featuring curry puffs and nasi lemak, and the line of animal cards with hornbills, tapirs and tigers.
Geek out over beautiful stationery at Papergeek’s stock of scrapbook albums, adorable felt-tip pens with cat-shaped tips, hot-dog-shaped sticky notes, colourful washi tapes, and more. Their leather journals are handmade in Shanghai and KL, and every journal comes with two refills.
Lisette Scheers’s shelves are stocked with the prettiest of prints: ang pows illustrated in Peranakan patterns, cards inspired by mid-century Malaysian window grills, notebooks designed in distinctive Chinese willow motifs. Nala is the graphic manifestation of Malaysian cultures and customs, wrapped – literally, we mean – in a swathe of kuih lapis-patterned paper.
Doodle and jot down your ideas in these handcrafted notebooks by Notbook Notbuk. Founder Kricia goes the extra mile by designing, sourcing the fabric and assembling the products herself. You’ll be spoilt for choice with her customised journals, binders, yearly planners, greeting cards and gift tags.
CzipLee may just look like a well-stocked stationery shop but it sure knows how to get a party started. The fuss-free side features aisles after aisles of writing instruments, cards, coveted Moleskine notebooks and more; while the merrymaker CzipLee offers rows of washi tapes, paper crafts and glitter powder in every shade imaginable. Upstairs, canvases, easels, paintbrushes and Copic markers entice the serious artist. Be warned: You might end up with 12 different types of black pens you don’t actually need, and an empty wallet.