This new paper goods store in Georgetown will offer personalized greeting cards and wedding invitations
Photograph by Chris Allen.
Chris Allen has always loved stationery, paper goods and letterpress printing, and the nostalgia that comes with sending and receiving a card in the mail. The 34-year-old nonprofit worker had long pondered the idea of opening his own stationery store, but it wasn’t until the pandemic hit that he decided to take the plunge with his fiancé, Tobin Traxler. , a 33-year-old teacher. .
The result is Duly Noted, a Georgetown stationery store the H Street couple are opening this Saturday. Inside, customers will find greeting cards, journals, notebooks, writing utensils, and office supplies like paper clips and washi tape. The store will also create personalized wedding invitations. Traxler and Allen have selected all products with an emphasis on design and working with small independent manufacturers. While the store doesn’t just carry DC-based brands, it will carry products from local outlets such as Appointed and The Card Bureau, and Traxler and Allen hope to one day create their own line of cards.
It’s this focus on small businesses that Allen and Traxler say will set them apart from the region’s larger stationery groups like Paper Source. “When [customers] walk in, they see things they can’t find in other stores. There’s a story behind every brand we sell,” says Allen, “and I know who they are, where they’re from, where they’re located and based, and I can really talk about them and tell the story of their Mark. ”
Although Traxler and Allen know Covid times aren’t the most ideal for launching an in-person store, they think Duly Noted will appeal to hobbyists impacted by the pandemic: The increase in time spent alone at home has gave people a new appreciation for stationery, mailing notes or new hobbies like journaling or calligraphy, Allen says. “Now that we’ve been here for a year and mostly still remote, people are sick of email, they’re sick of Slack, they’re sick of Zoom meetings,” he says. “So I think there’s kind of a resurgence of just sending a little handwritten note or something to a family member or friend that you haven’t seen in a while.”
And, on a personal note, the pandemic gave the couple the space and time to decide whether to take the plunge and open their own store. “[Covid] really gave us a different perspective on things,” says Allen. “As cliché as it sounds, you really only get one shot at life, and [we] should do something we like. Having more time to think about these things and really prioritizing what’s important to us really leads to it is the right time.”
The duo will operate the store while continuing to work full-time, Allen says, but they hope to one day make it a full-time business and eventually expand to a second DC location.
To celebrate the store’s launch on Saturday, Duly Noted will be giving away loot bags to its first 50 customers filled with merchandise like cards or office supplies from the in-store brands. And, of course, the spot will limit the number of customers, and masks are mandatory.
Duly Noted will be open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m.
duly noted; 1355 Wisconsin Ave NW