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The Creative's Heaven: paper2

Why did you decide to start up paper2?
I studied interior design and worked for 10 years as an interior designer but my passion was always to do graphics. I built up the courage and started studying again at a graphic design school. Upon completing the course I opened my first graphic/stationery store in Manly ten years ago.

What was the beginning of paper2 like for you?
Starting something new is always harder than imagined but it was still exciting and I have learnt so much since opening – sometimes I focus too much on the creative and not on the business!

In your own words, what kind of material does your store stock?
Paper2 tries to stocks the complete gamete of paper products and accessories from traditional to avant-garde. We have an extensive range of journals, albums paper and envelopes, cards, ribbons and paper gifts. Our specialty is personalised stationery and invitations. I’m often working on our invitations upstairs in between the letterpress, laser cutter and various printers – we do everything in-house.

What kind of customers do you often see come in to your store?
We have a big variety of customers, from creatives wanting portfolios or outsourcing for their own design jobs to mothers and children wanting materials for their arts and crafts.

What are you looking for when you’re buying for your store?
Something unique, as I have noticed in Sydney so many stores carry the same products. This can be very time consuming but it's worthwhile.

What is it about paper that you find so special?
The tactility and that all paper is unique in its own way in terms of composition, as a simple sheet of paper can be made from cotton, linen, hemp and numerous recycled materials - not necessary wood pulp. Then there's the ability of the material to be used in so many different applications. I have seen lights, furniture, stereos and fashion all made purely from paper.

What kind of atmosphere do you want people to feel when they walk into one of your stores?
I want them to feel relaxed and then to appreciate the experience. I love it when people spend a lot of time feeling comfortable in the store and appreciating the creativity in each individual product.

How have you designed the interiors of the shop? What was the inspiration/design process?
Just as much as I source the products I also source vintage or antique relics that I can use as displays in the store. I like to keep a natural ambiance as interiors are important in the make-up of paper2. Our shop window is like a rotating exhibition of what is in the store and I love to put effort into hand making these paper props.

Any exciting plans for the future?
We are currently setting up our online store so that our product can be more accessible to people out of the area. We are also in the process of sourcing more recycled craft papers and envelopes as my customers have been asking for these products.

Tell us something about you and your shop that might surprise people.
We are very hands-on... maybe sometimes too much so as we can spend a whole day just tying ribbons on invitations and cutting round corners!

words: Seema Duggal


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