On Friday I popped into a shop I hadn’t visited before, the Soho Stationery Store. Nestled down a little alley just off Oxford Street, this independent business is an office supply and stationery business for commercial clients and individuals alike. Unusually for a commercial supplier, they have a shopfront which I’d strolled past before while it was closed, so I used half an hour before meeting friends for dinner to check it out.
The shop is a compact space laid out effectively using wallspace to their advantage with pens and pencils stacked in a set of wall-mounted plantpots, shelving and racks of paper.
In store there with a good selection of paper products, cards, notebooks and folders. Variety-wise, the main bases are covered. I spotted Leuchtturm1917, Sharpie, Rhodia, Pilot G4s, Pentel Sign pens, Ohh Deer, Staedtler pencils and J-Me.
The stock offer is functional and the shop seems to have pretty much everything you’d need to stock your desk. The pen offering is focused on disposables such as Sharpie markers and Pentel sign pens rather than stocking fountain pens and inks. Some of the special things around the shop included a set of cards designed by people with learning disabilities, and an extensive display of Leuchtturm1917 notebooks with various colour, size and paper options. There are also several exercise-book style notebooks, some brightly coloured and some more subtle.
There is also an extensive collection of cards on offer, and when I popped into the store there was a 3 for 2 offer on their Ohh Deer cards, which always raise a smile.
There is a good loose paper selection on offer. I spotted a series of brightly-coloured, patterned, transparent and metallic bubble-wrap envelopes, which can be ordered in bulk.
There was also some lovely sheet wrapping paper in a variety of patterns and colours, all of which felt like great quality.
Finally this store has a really fun logo which I found nestled all over the shop. It’s great to visit an independent business that has a proud brand!
For an individual, I would recommend popping into the Soho Stationery Store in person rather than using their website which appears mostly geared towards their commercial customer base (but if you are a commercial shopper, their website does look like it has a very extensive range). The shop is great for a browse. There aren’t brands in stock such as Blackwing or Midori, but Soho Stationery Store stock a good range of affordable and practical tools as well as a selection of creative products, and I particularly like their greetings cards and paper offer. As I say, I’m always a fan of buying from independent shops and it’s wonderful to find one here in central London a stone’s throw from such a retail-heavy part of town. Ironically, Soho Stationery Store is actually situated right next to a Ryman’s! Which is unfortunate but apparently they sometimes send customers their way and their offering is slightly different. I’m glad I was able to visit and the staff I met (Jess and Wayne) were really friendly and took the time to talk to me about their various stock.
Here’s what I came away with! Guesses welcome as to what I might be planning…
Soho Stationery Store is at 2 Margaret Court, London W1W 8EU and online at www.sohostores.co.uk