Hello everyone. I’m a stationery addict. I think I always have been. I mean – who didn’t love getting their school supplies list in August? There was the rush of new crayons and markers. I loved deciding which brands I wanted to use for notebooks and what folders I wanted to go for.
I will say, some of my tastes have evolved to be slightly more sophisticated but plenty of my collection comes from old favorites. If you want to read about some of my favorite pens and markers – check out here. You’ll definitely see some nostalgic choices.
For this post, I wanted to run down the five places that I love to get stationery from. I’m going to try to explain what makes each of them different from each other. Not all of these shops are worldwide. Some are European exclusives – some are Spanish exclusives and some are city exclusives. However, these are where I go if I’m dying to grab something stationery related. In general – I’m going to rank these from least favorite to most favorite:
Amazon Best for Price and Convenience
Amazon is sort of my necessary evil on this list. I’m not crazy about going through such a huge distributer just as a consumer. I question some of their business practices. Putting that aside, let’s face it. They have an incredible selection. For example, when I was looking for a cost effective way to add lots of selection to my marker selection – the only place I could find Crayola Supertips was on Amazon. Same for Zebra Mildliners – they were easy to import through Amazon since they aren’t readily available here yet.
Not only do they have an incredible selection, the prices are satisfyingly low and their customer service is pretty good as well. For example, I recently ordered a single Tombow as an add-on item (I couldn’t find it locally) and it came shattered. They immediately refunded my money.
Ale Hop: Best for Options of Simple and Trendy Stationery
Ale Hop is a Iberian specialty. Only found in Spain and Portugal – it’s this quirky chain that sells a variety of things from scarves and sunglasses to key chains to stationery. The thing about their stationery is they offer the same notebook in just about 50 different styles. Same thing with pens, desk sets, scrapbooking sets and note pads. It’s kind of awesome if you find the item you want – for example, I recently found a weekly notepad – and there are multiple style choices.
Most of their stationery supplies are kitchy and trendy – right now they have lots of flamingos and succulent options but nothing they have has done me wrong. On top of that, I regularly use some of the other stuff I’ve purchased there daily – like a glasses case and catch all bowl.
Target Best for stocking up on name-brand favorites and the infamous dollar section
Target is the second, slightly less evil corporation on this list. Here’s the thing – it is hella practical. Everyone in America knows about Target. They ultimately have a great selection. Their dollar section is where I bought all my mini binders back when they were only $3. I got my Staedler pens there. They have all the big name brands in America. From Sharpie to Staedler to Crayola – I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited for a little end of August back to school shopping at Target every year.
Tiger Best for Interesting Danish Design and Seasonal Stationery
Sincerely, anyone who knows me knows that I have such a soft spot for Tiger. If you’ve never been – it’s kind of an Ikea for random small goods like stationery, art supplies, toys and dishware. Tiger has a couple of stores in North America but is booming in most of Europe. Similar to Ale Hop, Tiger is trendy and changes their seasonal selection around once a month. However, different to Ale Hop, Tiger has more variety in their stationery selection and also sells pretty decent art supplies.
While I wouldn’t say every single object I have ever purchased from Tiger has been a home run – it’s really a great place to start. They have pencils, pens, markers, notebooks, stickers, scissors, washi tape – seriously I’m just going to stop since the list is too long. One of my favorite things I bought from Tiger was in their more serious art section. It was a set of liquid watercolors which last forever and are pretty good quality.
The one suggestion I have with Tiger is this: if you have never been to one go once with no intent to purchase and see what things stick out to you. It is so easy to buy all sorts of unneccessary shit there. I mean – I bought a small bunny recently because it reminded me of my nephew. I more or less stand by that decision but I think you can see what I mean. Go in with a plan so that you don’t overspend.
Independent Stationery Stores Best for supporting local businesses and finding interesting brands and hidden gems
So some might say this is cheating but honestly this is my favorite way to shop for stationery. I LOVE finding locally run stores in different cities. In fact, they are the first shops I mark when I’m going to be traveling. I want to shout out some of my favorites that I’ve visited in Spain but just know there are these hidden gems in all corners of the world.
Porte Plume: This amazing stationery store is located in Saint Jean de Luz, France. Maybe you’ll never go but it’s just a really good example of a wonderful independent stationery store. This place was literally heaven for me. I absolutely loved it. I would visit the town just to visit this shop again. This is the only place in that gem of a seaside town that I actually made purchases (stickers, a pin, post cards and washi tape)
Souffle Madrid: This store was for a niche customer – kawaii lovers. Pastel colors and adorable characters reigned supreme along with practical notepads and supplies. As per usual, this was the only shop that I bought from on this trip – taking home an adorable pen set, kitty pencil bag, as well as some stickers. I stopped in a few other papelerias that were practical, but not nearly as adorable as this hidden gem. Find them at Piamonte 5
Piedra Papel y Tijera: In my current home base of Zaragoza, Spain, this is one of my favorite shops. It definitely leans arts and crafty and less serious art but that’s why I like it. Whenever I stop in, I find the shop owner working on some sort of project which I love. They have great selection of papers (many of my instagram backgrounds come from this shop). My Tombow collection is basically exclusively from here. I also have picked up washi and the occasional sticker pack from this hidden gem. If you are in Zaragoza and love Stationery – this is a must go for me.
These are just three of the thousands of amazing local stores that sell stationery. There best thing about this type of specialty store is that they are truly experts in this type of product. They can have valuable insight and offer really incredible ideas for projects you are working on.
So those are my favorite places to shop for stationery and feed my addiction. What are your favorite places to shop for all your office needs? If you have any independent shops that you can recommend please let me know in the comments below- I would absolutely love to add to my list of stationery stores.