1791 Solano Ave.
Berkeley, CA 94707
If you are looking for something straightforward and traditional, Payn’s is the place. This locally owned, small shop in Berkeley is a friendly neighborhood business. It has all the traditional high-end stationeries such as Crane & Co., Quo Vadis and Clairefontaine. It also carries many fine pens, a great selection of greeting cards and a well-stocked section of art supplies. Payn’s is a full-service stationery store, which will also take care of your business needs from file folders to account books and printer paper.
Twig & Fig
2110 Vine St.
Berkeley, CA 94709
This may be the most romantic stationery store in the world. Twig & Fig belongs to Suzie (Twig) and her husband Serge (Fig), both professional designers who met when Twig ordered a product from Fig. Their first wedding invitation design was for themselves. Together they create original designs on their own letterpress machine. Their elegant Berkeley storefront is a celebration of careful craft. While you are here, make sure to visit the letterpress shop. The artisans there will gladly show off their antique press (dating from 1890) and even provide a lesson in letter pressing.
1801 4th St.
Berkeley, CA 94710
Miki’s specializes in handmade Japanese paper. Many customers describe the shop as being like a museum, with beautiful prints on the wall and an astonishing origami collection. The store offers a wide selection of handmade papers. But you will also find such products as paper tea bins, elegant storage boxes, the best origami kits and Japanese paper games. Plan an extended visit when you head to Miki’s. Many items here will reward careful examination.
1070 Detroit Ave.
Concord, CA 94518
Kelly Paper is the opposite of a stationery boutique and more like a fancy paper warehouse. At Kelly Paper, graphic designers may feel like the proverbial kid in a candy shop. You might even get dizzy with excitement as you explore aisles and aisles of quality paper products at prices that rival wholesale. If you are a do-it-yourself type, planning a large event, you will find Kelly Paper to be an ideal source for supplies. It has no frills, but plenty of thrills if you know how to look.
4 Van Cleave Lane
Walnut Creek, CA 94596
If the personal touch is your most important concern, make an appointment with calligraphy artist Micki Lobanoff. Starting as a hobby in the early 1980s, Micki and her husband David (and later their two children, Tara and Matthew) grew the business (originally Calligraphy Corner) from a kitchen table operation to a successful shop in downtown Walnut Creek. A couple of years ago, they decided to return to their roots, close the shop and continue the business out of their home under the name Inviting Ways. This family will treat your family like their own.
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Charles Kruger is well known in the Bay area as “The Storming Bohemian” ever since he entered the Bay Area cultural scene in the summer of 2009, attending 90 cultural events in 90 days and blogging about it. This project was successful enough to warrant a mention in The New York Times. His coverage of Bay ara theatre can be found at Examiner.com.