April 30, 2019
Q&A with Lizzie Casper, Paper Source Lab Store

As of February 2019, Paper Source has 129 stores dotting the 50 states. But it is Lab Store, located in downtown Chicago’s famed Loop, that stands out from the rest. Not only is the 1,800-square-foot space housed directly below the Paper Source corporate offices but it serves as a conduit for the evolution of the brand.

There, new collections, product launches, merchandising concepts and even technologies are tried out. Furthermore, HQ team members work in the store, so they can directly observe the response, explained Lizzie Casper, store manager. “(This way), they can better understand our customer and the needs of the business.”

Stationery Trends had an opportunity to learn more about the Lab Store during an interview with Lizzie Casper.

Stationery Trends (ST): There are some things that are timeless — a little black dress or the perfect martini come to mind. What epitomizes “timeless” for you when it comes to stationery?

Lizzie Casper (LC): I personally love anything with letterpress printing. The art of writing a handwritten thank you note with personalized, letterpress stationery will never go out of style.

ST: What are your three top-selling paper/gift vendors?

LC: Many of our top sellers are our exclusive Paper Source designs! Our design and merchant team work together to curate new designed-focused collections throughout the year for a continual flow of newness. Many of our best-selling items come from Rifle Paper Co. that are exclusive only to us. Greeting cards are a large part of our business, and our one-of-a-kind assortment is due to the many innovative small print vendors we carry.

ST: What have you learned during your tenure at the lab store that’s surprised you?

LC: In every location, we encourage our customers to “Do Something Creative Every Day.” At the Lab Store, the types of projects I work on with customers has shifted from planning events and gatherings, to much more immediate needs like finding the right paper for a business presentation or finding that last-minute gift before heading to dinner.

ST: If you were a stationery product, what would you be?

LC: Letterpress thank you cards! I would also prefer that they were one from our custom collections that could be personalized with my name.

ST: What is the best buy under $50?

LC: A luxe planner from our Chicago Avenue collection. These feature soft leatherette cover, gilded page edges and fine details inside.

ST: What is your best splurge?

LC: Many of our investment pieces are made from luxe, quality materials and were thoughtful designed for our customer’s lifestyle. Our favorites include our navy tassel throw or marble cheese board and knives.

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