Posts Tagged ‘Store feature’

We are so thrilled to pick up our store features again. This time we’re kicking off with a great shop we love in the UK called Postmark. Postmark has two shops, one of which is located in Balham, just a little south of our offices in London Bridge. When Postmark in Balham opened their doors they added greatly to to the the area’s increasing reputation for being a shopping destination for those seeking out a more individual retail experience. We chatted a bit with the owners to give you a little more insight into this great independent boutique.

We are a small family run company based in South London. Run by a team of passionate card lovers with over 25 years experience, we pride ourselves on our hand picked selection of cards. We mainly deal with small independent publishers with over 95% of them based, designing and producing in the UK.

Our Balham store first opened it’s door in 2004 and soon became a neighbourhood favourite. We won the title of ‘Best Independent Card Retailer – London’ in 2008 and the buzz and excitement this created was the catalyst for us opening our East Dulwich store in December 2008. In 2009 we then became the first company to retain and win this award twice. This award is the industry ‘Oscars’ and rewards and recognises excellence in the greeting card industry.

We pride ourselves on customer service and are always looking for new and exciting ways to stand out from the rest. In both our stores, you can use the first of it’s kind, in house postal service. Each store has an in store postal service, enabling customers to send their cards and parcels to anywhere in the world without even leaving the shops. Just pop in, pick a card, write it and we will do the rest! We have been finalists in 2007,2010 and 2011 for ‘Best Retail Initiative’ for our fresh and intuitive retail ideas. From our ‘Golden ticket’ campaign to our most recent ‘Beat the postal price increase’ campaign starting in November 2012.

While Hello!Lucky is one of our favourites we also stock cards from Caroline Gardner, Urban Graphic, Simon Drew, Noi Publishing, Almanac Gallery, Rachel Ellen, Pigment Productions, The Art File, ArtPress, Stop The Clock to name just a few as well as numerous small up and coming publishers who we feel could be the next big thing!

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us Postmark and thanks for being such a supporter of our cards over the years. You can shop Postmark’s great inventory of cards online or visit one of their two locations if you are in the UK.

This week we’re continuing with our vendor feature series and highlighting the lovely indie shop ink & peat. ink & peat is both a retail store and a floral design shop based in Portland, Oregon. It opened in 2009 by Pamela Zsori, who spent 15 years as a designer in the fashion industry before deciding to open up shop. As you can see from these photos her thoughtful displays and bright beautiful products make for a stylish and welcoming space. We asked Pamela some questions about how this unique shop got its start and what makes it so special…

How long have you been in business? 

We have been open for 3 1/2 years.

Can you tell us a little bit about the neighborhood where ink & peat is located? 
ink &  peat is in an up-an-coming section of the Boise-Eliot neighborhood in North Portland. Many of the shops and restaurants were built in old warehouses.

What inspired you to open ink & peat?

I was a textile designer for many years. My boyfriend and I wanted to move to Portland from San Francisco and I started thinking of ways to re-invent myself. I had an “a-ha moment” at 5 in the morning while I was shopping on the east coast for antiques. I started thinking about what I would be willing to get up early for – I loved antiques, home decor, and flowers. I soon started taking night classes in floral design and thinking of ways to incorporate all the things I love into one career. It ended up being this lifestyle store called ink & peat!

How long have you been carrying H!L cards? 

We have been carrying Hello Lucky! cards for 1 1/2 years. I love the sense of whimsy and seeing people smile when they pick them up.

Do you have a favorite or best selling card from us?  

The Spring Chicken card sells well – Portland is definitely a chicken town – so many folks raise them in their yard. I always love Julia Rothman’s unicorn card – maybe because I grew up in the 70′s!

From what’s selling in your store right now what do you think is the next big trend?

I’m not sure about the NEXT big paper trend – but right now people can’t get enough whales!
In home decor, there is definitely inspiration from Native American handcrafts and there is a lot of color coming on strong. I think people are ready to climb out of this tough economy and need some bright inspiration and a return to handmade goods.

Some of the most significant members of the Hello!Lucky family tree are our trusty wholesale carriers. Though many of these vendors live far far away, we still think of them as close friends. We’re delighted to begin a regular blog feature in which we visit the amazing spaces that carry our greeting cards and gifts. These stores make the H!L name shine and so we’re excited to give you a deeper look into their lovely boutiques and indy shops. Today we’re visiting Urbanic, a sweet paper boutique in Los Angeles started 5 years ago by adorable husband and wife team Audrey Tantaros and Joshua Woollen.

Can you tell us a little bit about the neighborhood where Urbanic is located? Urbanic is located on Abbot Kinney Blvd in the Venice area of Los Angeles. Our street is full of hip, eclectic shops and restaurants in the local neighborhood of Venice (not the touristy part). Abbot Kinney is a creative shopping strip and bursting with good food, style, and design. An absolute must see destination when visiting Los Angeles!

What inspired you to open Urbanic? I’ve had a love of all things paper for as long as I can remember. My husband and I shared a long distance relationship across the country when we first met through letter writing, so the sentiment of a written letter will always be important to us. Once engaged and on the hunt for invitations we realized how difficult it was to find options that were unique and a reflection of who we were.  All of this combined with a dream of becoming a boutique owner gave me an A-HA moment to open Urbanic.

How long have you been carrying Hello!Lucky cards? Since we opened 5 years ago! H!L was one of our very first lines at the shop and have been with us ever since.

Do you have a favorite or best selling card from us? Quite honestly, our customers love all of what we choose from Hello!Lucky. Different seasons bring on different favorites. I usually try keep “birthday girl” in stock because she is part of what drew me into the line originally, and of course the sock monkey is always a hit. Lately the seagulls and L.A postcard greetings have been some of our best sellers.

From what’s selling well  right now what do you think is the next big paper or wedding trend? Pops of interest and unexpected color (ie. edge painting, backing patterns, printed center wraps, neon). Handwriting fonts – be them casual or script, people are loving fonts that have character and they’ve never seen before. Novelty Reception Pieces – drink flags, coasters, and signage of every sort!

Anything else? We’re thrilled to be the first boutique featured on the HL blog!

Thanks Urbanic for all your beautiful work! If you live in the Los Angeles area, go say hello! The shop is located at 1644 Abbot Kinney Boulevard, Venice, California 90291

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