Millennial Opens a Local Shop for Old Fashioned Paper Goods


Technology has provided so many advances in recent years to make life easier for just about everyone. But sometimes there’s just no substitute for good, old fashioned pen and paper.

It’s that sentiment that led 25-year-old Kaci Singer to open her business, Paperwerk. The stationery shop in Fort Smith, Arkansas, sells a variety of greeting cards, custom invitations, notepads, gifts, and other paper goods.

The idea for Paperwerk was definitely a product of Singer’s own use of paper goods. Even though the entrepreneur, like many other millennials, appreciates the many applications of technology, she’s pretty-old fashioned when it comes to her to-do lists. She told The Times Record:

“I just can’t remember a thing. I’m just a hoarder of notepads and sticky notes. Literally, I have a sticky note on my keys right now telling me where to go after work.”

And she’s banking on that sentiment being a popular one with her customers as well. While online calendars and applications have replaced the old-fashioned to-do lists for some people and email and social media have all but killed snail mail, there are still those who appreciate the paper goods offered at stores like Paperwerk.

In fact, the disappearance of things like cards and letters could make them all the more special to those who still enjoy them. Nostalgia can be a powerful marketing tool. So, what those products might lack in practicality, they make up for by offering a unique and old-fashioned way of communicating. Singer explained:

“I’m definitely a blog reader, Netflix watcher and an iPhone user. But I’m still a thank-you note writer and reader. I definitely love the hand-written note. That’s something you save.”

For entrepreneurs like Singer, finding that balance between the practical and the nostalgic can be difficult. But not every business needs to appeal to every consumer. Those who have fully embraced their Google calendars and email applications may see no need for the paper goods Singer sells at Paperwerk.

But those who, like her, still appreciate a good card, letter, or to-do list, on occasion, could find value in what the business has to offer. She just has to find the right customers.

Image: Paperwerk, Facebook 4 Comments ▼

Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

4 Reactions
  1. As long as she’s offering things that are unique and can’t be found online, then I think she has a chance. But clever marketing will be needed as well.

    • I agree – it’s definitely becoming more of a niche so she’ll have to find a way to get through to the right people.

  2. This is surprisingly getting popular. I see a lot of artists selling their art and calligraphy online and they are able to do it by selling goods like these on Etsy and similar websites.

    • You can definitely find a lot paper goods on Etsy and similar sites. That’s probably another thing that owners of local shops like this one have to consider.