02 September 2008


I feel very lucky there is a stationary shop called Urbanic that is right here in Venice and fits all of my needs. I recently spoke with Audrey, the co-owner, about her paper boutique. I expressed my concerns as a consumer. I want to know what the card is made of, where it was made and any inks/processes used to make it. Not only does Audrey understand, she told me it is something that the store has been focusing on. Over the past 2 years Urbanic has really transformed into this mecca of "guilt-less" goods. Each product is first considered for its style and how it fits the clientele needs. It should be noted that Urbanic won't turn down a potential vendor if they use toxic inks, for example. On the other hand, Audrey told me they will definitely consider a company more if they have strong eco-values. I'm told that just about every paper product in her shop is at the very least made with 30% post-consumer waste recycled paper.

And there is good news for finding local designers! - Urbanic carries Two Piglets (Monrovia), Little Oranges (Pasadena) see pic above, Tiny Pine Press (Sherman Oaks) and Paperwink (Miracle Mile), among many other California-based companies. Shopping at Urbanic is no different than shopping at the Farmer's Market. You have to ask questions and go there a lot to know and understand the product. Just like food, most cards are printed on the back with useful information, such as 100% recycled paper (pancake & friends), biodegradable (russell + hazel), support wind-power (9 spot monk) or water-based inks (binth). Audrey can tell you if a company only invoices via email or if the clear plastic sleeve the card comes in is compostable (la familia green). I've said this before with the eat.shop guides, but I can't say it enough - locally owned stores give you that extra personal service and the owners want you to love and understand the product just as much as they do. Don't be afraid to ask questions.

Another fun thing about Urbanic is that a year ago they added a little hip clothing store, called neighborhood. The two are connected, which makes trips for me and Donny really easy because he looks at his favorite Stitch's jeans while I shop for cards. And if we go on Saturdays, Urbanic sells Tastelove bakehouse cupcakes. In my opinion, eating cupcakes while doing anything just makes it more fun.

Look out for future posts on some of the local California paper designers that Urbanic carries.

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