Trend Watch: Name Designers Increase Consumers Love of Stationery

Share Article

The trend of household name designers (Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Martha Stewart, Vera Wang) joining the stationery world has increased consumer love of paper. The overall appeal of browsing and shopping a paper store is enhanced when consumers instantly recognize certain paper styles as being from favorite name designers. Also, buying one of these designers' products is now affordable to all, as stationery items can often be one tenth the price of other fashion items.

Until recently, the stationery industry was dominated by large established paper printing companies with widespread appeal and by smaller designers who worked primarily in paper and appealed to certain niches.

Austin paper store owner Kathy Schwartz remembers, "When I first joined the world of stationery, I had to learn an array of designer names I had never heard of. To be sure, I knew of Crane's and William Arthur before - but Whitney English or Anna Griffin? I came to learn that each of these designers had a style and story to tell, and I enjoyed learning of it and telling customers about it when they visited my store, Silver Papery."

If one entered the business anew these days, they wouldn't face such a steep "designer learning curve". Many of the new designers --Vera Bradley, Lilly Pulitzer, Kate Spade, Martha Stewart, Vera Wang, to name a few - are names we all are familiar with from their other product lines such as clothing, handbags, linens, china, etc. These designers have decided to branch into paper products, and the consumer is definitely the beneficiary.

These household name designers see stationery as a relatively low risk expansion. Startup costs of putting your designs on paper are small compared to the cost of other possible product line extensions. The results are stunning. Paper makes an excellent canvas for showcasing their designs. What could be better than " a blank sheet of paper" for putting one's signature designs in their best light.

The consumer response has been great. Customers immediately recognize the work of the name designer. Paper store owner Kathy Schwartz says, " The Vera Bradley stationery line flew off the shelves. There was no introductory period as there normally is with new lines. Customers embraced it and we found we needed to reorder almost right away."

As a result of the immediate consumer recognition, an affinity for paper is reaching a wider variety of people. No longer is it just the domain of the life-long paper afficionado who likes to talk letterpress vs. engraving and labors over the perfect font choice. One can immediately become a fan of the designer stationery lines with very little prior knowledge of paper. For example:
If you have seen a Vera Wang wedding dress, you will see the connection when you see her "lace" note cards,
if you have seen a Lilly Pulitzer dress, you'll be thrilled to see her cut out paper doll dress note cards.

One can also own a designer item without investing as much in it as you would normally expect. A Kate Spade note card set is ten times cheaper than one of her handbags. A Vera Bradley agenda is a more economical way to take these exciting patterns with you as you go about your daily business.

In this way, carrying name designers has actually enhanced the overall appeal of browsing and shopping a paper store. Just to come in and see the connection of certain paper styles with name designers that you know from elsewhere is fun for all. Buying one of their products is now affordable to all. And of course, being among the first to see what new designer has joined the world of paper this season is breaking news.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Kathy Schwartz
Visit website