Papersmiths is a stationery, book and magazine shop in Bristol, UK. Established in 2014 by Kyle Clarke and Sidonie Warren who had a small one room graphic design studio. They decided to turn the front half into a shop selling things they love. Both the shop and studio quickly outgrew the first space and Papersmiths is now located in a Georgian building in Clifton. The clean minimal space was designed by Studio B, Kyle and Sidonie’s branding and interiors studio that occupies the two floors above the shop. Stationery lovers and paper fanatics are fans of the assortment that includes current best sellers, the fountain pens from Kaweco and Lamy, and the multitude of ink colours.
Who inspires you The superwomen in my family, my calm and logical dad, and my boyfriend/business partner Kyle Clarke.
What inspires you Vibrant, playful brands like Hey Studio, Papier Tigre, Write and Sketch, and GF Smith.
Before I was a shopkeeper I was a primary school teacher
Hardest lesson learned starting a business Employing people that will fit with culture as well as having right skill set.
Best lesson learned opening a shop Getting to grips with the numbers – investing in good sales reporting software.
Task I like to delegate What I’m not good at, first and foremost bookkeeping because I do it so haphazardly.
Advice for anyone opening a shop Do the maths before you get carried away with the creative.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop Mick Jagger
If I wasn’t a shopkeeper I would be travelling around the world
Perfect day off Breakfast at Katy and Kim’s in Montpelier, browse the indy shops on Gloucester Road, a walk along the harborside, a gin and tonic at the Pump House and finish with a funghi pizza and Bellini at Bosco.
Favourite neighborhood coffee shop: Anna Cake Couture
I wish I could… Find a house I’d like to buy and adopt a cat
On the Future of Retail
“Online is essential for the modern retailer. Our social media marketing drives sales, not only to the website but instore too. Customers can keep up to date with what’s new and back in stock.Those seeking out something different and unique will continue to shop in bricks and mortar stores. Tactility is so essential when purchasing items of quality and the physical shop allows you to see and feel items in the flesh. When shopping with a nod to lifestyle goals, e.g. post-yoga on a Saturday with your Dachshund and a takeaway flat white, the customer wants to take their time, to browse and touch and feel. They want to walk away with a perfectly wrapped parcel tucked inside a heavy-weight bag, sealed with love. A click isn’t enough, there’s no satisfaction in it, no gratification until three days later when DPD show up with a cardboard box.We get a lot of online publicity for Papersmiths, but the driving force is not just the products we sell, it’s often about the interior of our physical shop. I think there’s an important place for the bricks and mortar shop as well as online and Papersmiths will continue to embrace both!”
6A Boyces Avenue, Clifton Village, Bristol
Photography courtesy of Papersmiths