SHOP TALK: Rocky River's Paper Trails gives stationery an elegant touch


A store with literally the write stuff opened on Old Detroit Road in Rocky River Last fall. Paper Trails offers customers a variety of stationery options, from pens to paper, formal invitations and wrapping paper, and a lot more. Bonus: This week's Shopping List includes stops at Lush cosmetics at Beachwood Place and the scoop on the new Nordstrom Rack at Legacy Village.

Katie Pickard bucked the e-mail trend. It's paid off -- financially and aesthetically. Last fall, Pickard opened Paper Trails stationery, invitation and decorative paper-store on quaint Old Detroit Road in Rocky River. "I wanted to do something that encouraged self-expression," says Pickard. "Stationery expresses the personality of the letter writer, and encourages the art of the personal letter."

So far, her mission, and her store, have been a success.

"We're doing wonderfully," she says of her 1,300-square-foot shop. "Our growth has been exponential, especially in the last three to five months. People are hungry for something like this."

Pickard credits much of this to word-of-mouth appeal. But credit also has to go to the more than 200 chic, elegant yet contemporary stationery lines she stocks, such as Boatman Geller's whimsically playful pastel designs and Sharp & Sally's bold old-money-meets-pop-art designs.

Options range from blank note cards and envelopes to thank-you cards and notebooks. Pickard also stocks wrapping papers that are so gorgeous you'll hesitate to tear them off. Other items include elegant pens, diaries and giftware. Additionally, Paper Trails features a range of wedding invitations and stationery, which Pickard says accounts for about 30 percent of her business. These include high-end, hard-to-find lines such as Fontaine Maury.

One thing Paper Trails does not feature, however, is an online store on its Web site. "I think an online store is really kind of a conflict with a paper store," Pickard says. "I want people to come in the shop and to see what we have."

You won't be disappointed. In fact, you might even want to send Pickard a thank-you note. Just don't do it by e-mail.