Thank you, Columbus Underground for advocating for small business! On Paper was recently featured in a well written article and I am so appreciative of their efforts. If you've made a purchase from us in the last six months, thank you a million times over. You have helped our shop survive through the end of 2020. There have been some questions on social media and other platforms for more detail on our plans so I wanted to share what I know as of today.
After 23 years and the Christmas holiday, we will vacate our space at 737 N. High Street as soon as we can get it packed up. We're doing this because a) it's too big (it may not feel that big but we have a big dungeon-y basement) and b) we haven't had the support we need to afford the rent. We know how pretty our shop is and how good it makes you feel. We know.
So yes, we’re moving on but our mission is more important than ever. In a time when people have been locked down, pent up, missing their loved ones or solely communicating through a screen, our business connects them in a real and tangible way. The effort taken to send snail mail has a way of touching people in a sense that digital communication just can't match. While weddings and other major social experiences are being postponed or going micro, the invitations and day of stationery represent hope for a more normal future.
Even before the pandemic, my thought was that I would streamline our product offering to be hyper focused on our mission. I’m a marketing nerd and I believe a single-minded focus is the best kind. I knew the retail landscape was changing and it would just get harder and harder to compete. I left a cushy career in corporate marketing and bought this business 11 months ago. It’s been around for 23 years. I wasn’t planning to make any real change for at least a year. I thought I had more time and then the world went up in flames and my small business owner friends and peers and I (especially in downtown Columbus) were dealt blow after devastating blow. I'm tired (and broke) but more determined than ever.
We're starting to phase out of many of our hand creams, perfumes and jewelry (so get 'em while they last.) You can read more about that in our apothecary collection. While we've done well with these products, they don't make as much sense without the heavy foot traffic on our block. We think people will search us out for our core products like fine stationery, leather journals, sealing wax, the best collection of greeting cards in the region, and the list goes on and on.
Our mission will be harder to accomplish online. But, we plan be alive and well (hopefully well) on e-commerce and we'll expand our custom design studio space so that we can continue to serve our beloved couples and clients. It's possible, we'll have a smaller retail footprint in our studio but it's very unlikely that it'll be on High Street or in the Short North at all.
We're kicking around a few other scenarios. We may find a smaller space (think North Market) or maybe even two smaller spaces (and dare we dream to have even more in the future). We may pop up, short term or long term, with a friend or partner that shares our mission. We will continue fighting to live another day. I would love to hear your thoughts and ideas. How can we better serve you? What are your unmet needs that we can fill? The best way for you to share is by commenting on this blog post. It takes a village. Now, I need to get back to marketing so we can sell some stuff! Nose to the grindstone, pen to the paper. Until next time…