Craft Focus - April/May 2023 (Issue 96)

87 RETAILER INTERVIEW stationery that’s found in the catalogues of the big chains. Once they’ve shopped with us, seen the range we carry and the service we provide they come back for personal use stationery, cards and gifts! Tell us a bit about what you stock? Stationery for everyone! From colouring crayons for one-year olds to birthday cards for 100-year olds, and everything in between for office, home and education. We also sell gifts and greeting cards. Our shops have been described as an Aladdin’s cave of delights for stationery lovers. Where possible, we source our products from UK-based, environmentally-conscious businesses and this is a real selling point for many of our customers. For example, our greetings cards are always printed on FSC certified board. What brands do you currently stock? Are you looking for any new products or styles? I’m always on the lookout for new products or styles and when I’m buying, I always ask is it sustainable, is it recycled or recyclable and is it made in the UK? I stock many well-known stationery brands such as Silvine, Leuchtturm, Maped Helix, Pentel, Pilot, Zebra, Legami, Stabilo, Kaweco etc. You’ve taken over National Stationery Week. Tell us more! After many years of taking part in National Stationery Week as a retailer I’m delighted to be on the other side of the fence and to actually run the whole week. I’ll be focussing on solidifying the bonds between retailers, brands and customers over social media with lots of sharing the stationery love, including products, giveaways and competitions. We’ve already got some big brand names signed up to take part so do follow us on social media and enjoy the week. Do you visit any trade shows? I love a trade show, you can’t beat the immersive experience of walking up and down the aisles finding new products, discovering new trends and colours, and meeting up with suppliers and industry friends. I try and visit as many as I can with my top four being the London Stationery Show, PG Live, Top Drawer and Spring Fair. Are you active on social media? How is this useful for the business? Over the years I’ve built up a community of stationery lovers on my social media, it works so well for me not only to advertise my products and services but also to link in with the local community. During the lockdowns my social media was my lifeline. I was able to keep my customers up to date quickly and it allowed me to continue selling online. Do you have any plans for the future of the store? Workshops etc? I plan to convert part of my Wilmslow shop storeroom into an area which we can use for demonstrations, workshops, or for customers to use for meetings. We already have a collaboration with a local Occupational Therapist service who do children’s handwriting assessments offering help and advice. What’s the one product you couldn’t live without? A notebook and pen! I’m a real list maker, and usually have four to five notebooks and a diary on the go for different projects. I also have a pile of six new notebooks just waiting for the special project. In my opinion, there’s just something about writing things down by hand that can’t be replaced. My current favourite notebook is a Leuchtturm B5 dotted. Stationery Supplies 44 Stockport Road Marple SK6 6AB Stationery Supplies 57 Chapel Lane Wilmslow SK9 5JH NSW social media: Facebook - National Stationery Week Instagram - @natstatweek Twitter - @natstatweek