Features

July 3, 2023 • Carly McFadden
Stationery Store Day: 8 questions with founder Kristina Burkey

Kristina Burkey

The second annual Stationery Store Day will take place across the world on Aug. 5 this year, announced Kristina Burkey, owner of Calliope Paperie and founder of Stationery Store Day.

In June 2022, Burkey went on Instagram Live and broadcasted her launch of Stationery Store Day: the first day that celebrates independent brick-and-mortar stationery shops. Immediately after the announcement, Burkey said, shops began to join in on social media.

By July 2022, the Stationery Store Day Instagram account already had 2,000 followers, and the first Stationery Store Day took place Aug. 6, 2022.

Stationery Trends managing editor Carly McFadden interviewed Burkey to learn what’s in store for Stationery Store Day 2023.

ST: Share with our readers what Stationery Store Day is all about. What is its mission?

KB: Stationery Store Day is a day to celebrate the independent paper shop! I feel like the ‘specialty store’ doesn’t get any more special than a store devoted to pens and pencils, notebooks, cards and everything in between. People say, ‘print is dead,’ and ‘no one writes,’ and that is 100% false. Stationery Store Day gives we purveyors of papers a day to say, ‘Here we are!’

ST: What inspired you to create and found the occasion?

Photo courtesy of Kristina Burkey
Stationery Store Day 2022 was celebrated by shops worldwide, including UK-based Papersmiths, pictured. Photo courtesy of Kristina Burkey.

KB: I am a big fan of Record Store Day, and I was watching a documentary about it and these two guys just — came up with it. They decided it was going to be a thing and now it’s a huge thing. I thought, ‘What if stationery stores had a day? Bookstores do. Why can’t stationery stores? It would create this analog trifecta: books, music, writing! Hmm…maybe we can team up one day.’ *Makes a note.*

Also, I get asked where stationery shops can be found all over the U.S. and in the world, like, a lot. So I was thinking there needed to be a centralized list of all the paper shops everywhere. So along with the day itself, stationerystoreday.org also has a list of stationery shops by location that stretches from Alaska to Australia.

ST: How did the first annual Stationery Store Day go last year? What are some notable memories or wins from the day?

KB: The first Stationery Store Day was bananas for me at Calliope. I was super busy but was worried that maybe because I was the founder and made the most noise that it would be centralized to me, but by the end of the day I realized that was not the case.

I saw shops in Italy tag the SSD Instagram, and I couldn’t believe it had that reach in just a couple months. I had only announced is the June before! In the weeks that followed, I heard many shops had their best summer Saturday ever and even surpassed Small Business Saturday. That really made me so happy.

ST: How have you prepared for the 2023 edition? Will there be any changes from 2022?

KB: For starters, I started prepping in January, not June! This year, I offered a line of official merch to all the retailers designed by an independent artist; this year, it is Eloise Narrigan (@eloise.draws) that included notebooks, stickers, tote bags, the works! They could pick up as little or as much as they wanted and would be added to our “official retailers” list, which just means customers would know these shops carry the merch on SSD.

Every year, I plan to have merch available designed by a new artist. I personally respond to the aspect of “collectability,” and I find my customers do as well, so I think people being able to get the official tote each year, etc. will be a big draw.

ST: What can people expect with the 2023 Stationery Store Day celebrations?

Photo courtesy of Kristina Burkey.
The Paper Mouse, pictured, also celebrated Stationery Store Day last year. Burkey, center, showcases merch from the occasion. Photo courtesy of Kristina Burkey.

KB: I want this year to be BIG. I have about 100 stores on the “official retailer” list, but I know other shops will prepare their own celebrations — and I can’t wait to see it.

I’m really excited about this year’s merch, and I think people are going to go wild. I’m starting this new tradition with a bang. Last year, I designed all the merch myself and only had a couple things made. People still loved it, but this year I went all out!

Every store celebrates differently, and I have seen special-edition products offered, giveaways, good bags. Wherever you are, I think you can expect anything from your local shop.

ST: How can someone get involved?

KB: Any way you like! To get on my list, all you have to do is shoot me an email ([email protected]) and let me know where you’re located and a link to your website, and I’ll get you added! I am offering merch pretty much until the week before, you need only register on our retailer page to get a login.

ST: What types of promotions do you recommend retailers try this year?

KB: I mean, a goody bag to the first customers in the door is something people love. If you have a new product line to introduce, Stationery Store Day is the perfect time to release! Maybe have a pop-up with a local maker or something as simple as putting balloons out front with a cute sign!

ST: Is there anything else Stationery Trends readers should know about Stationery Store Day?

KB: Yeah — DO IT!

This is for shops to get people in the door, get people excited about stationery and gather paper-lovers together! There’s no reason to not take part. There’s no “buy-in,” no gates to cross. You can celebrate however you like. Only you know your customers and what they like! But do the thing and make sure you tag it with #stationerystoreday @stationerystoreday, so I can see!




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