Independent provider of magazines, stationery and smart bits and bobs – like beautiful post-it notes – and children’s books brimming with colour and imagination, Papersmiths have just opened in Clifton Village
Previously, they were named Something Else and lived in the Arts Quarter of Bristol. The team have just been tirelessly creating their new shop on Boyces Avenue and it looks fantastic – wood floors, hanging lights and smart display shelves. I caught up with Sidonie and chatted Papersmiths and independent businesses.
Please introduce yourself
My name is Sidonie Warren. In 2013 Kyle Clarke and I set up Something Else as an add-on to our design studio Something Good in the Arts Quarter of Bristol. It’s been a success and we’ve now moved to a bigger space.
Tell us about the move; what prompted it and what made you choose Clifton Village as your new home?
We started looking for a new space in January after an inspiring trip to Berlin. We wanted to take the shop more seriously rather than viewing it as an add-on to our main work. Our top priority was to find more room for the studio and shop, and we were on the hunt for six months before the space in Clifton Village came up. There seems to be a bit of a shortage of bigger spaces in Bristol at the moment. The feel of Clifton Village appealed to us; it has an independent heart and soul and I love that and there are people enjoying the little shops and cafes. The space is going to be more of a hang out, with a reading bench for browsing the books. I’m hoping people will come as much to browse and appreciate the space, as they will to make their stationery purchases.
What made you want to start Something Else/Good?
Love, desire and ambition. My love of stationery, desire to open a shop and ambition to run my own business.
Have you always loved design/stationery?
Always. I remember the pivotal moments. December 1994, aged seven, my Christmas list was made up of the contents of the stationery pages in the Viking catalogue. In 1996 I developed a hypersensitivity to blunt pencils and certain kinds of paper. I have no idea how or why this happened. By 1999 I was spending all £10 of my pocket money on a gel pen habit. I started out underlining headings in my school exercise books with a contrasting colour gel pen, but later extended this rule to include subheadings, symbols and punctuation. My teachers weren’t pleased. I discovered Korean undated diaries with sticker sheets at Camden market in 2001 and Liberty’s stationery hall a few years after that. Gradually things have changed (no more Viking) but I still hate blunt pencils.
So, the name has changed – what else has changed?
The focus is more on paper goods and stationery but we’ll also sell lifestyle products which tie in with themes of the reading material.
What are some of your favourite new products?
We’re creating a reading area with blankets and cushions. I’ve enjoyed sourcing textiles for this area.
Will you still be running your design company, Something Good?
Yes, but Something Good will be housed above the shop, rather than in the same room as it. Kyle and I started the studio in 2011 and now there are four of us. Our current clients include Off the Record, The Stable, Fat Leaf and Eurac.
What advice would you give for someone staring their own independent business?
Don’t quit your day job until there’s enough money coming in to support you. Both Kyle and I worked full time jobs and ran the studio for the first year of business. It was tough but it meant that we could afford to eat.
What is today’s message on your chalkboard?
Sadly our chalkboard is no more. We need to paint a new one.
Papersmiths, 6a Boyces Avenue, Clifton, Bristol