April is National Letter Writing Month, and conveniently, it comes to an end with National Stationery Week, which took place this year between April 23-29. Both are part of a growing movement aimed at reviving the lost art of letter writing, encouraging participants to send mail through the post instead of relying only on email and social media.
While you could argue that cards and stationery are a thing of the past, shop owners around town might disagree. There are a number of shops that appreciate the art of letter writing, stocking greeting cards, other stationery, and writing instruments that any pen nerd will love.
Here are our favourite greeting card and stationery stores in Hamilton.
Quills Invitations & Gifts
Located in a sunny loft space atop the Locke Street Starbucks, Quills specializes in custom hand-lettered wedding invitations and Chiyogami, a handmade screen printed Japanese paper. It is also unique for its in-house calligrapher, world-renowned hand-letterer Phyllis Macaluso.
On the first Thursday of each month, Quills hosts the Locke Street Lettering Society, an evening of letter writing, where participants can use vintage typewriters and pens and ink to craft a beautiful correspondence. Quills also has a Notebook of the Month Club, which gifts subscribers with a handmade notebook each month.
If you want to practice your brush marker or modern calligraphy skills before you send a letter, visit Quills’ website for a list of upcoming workshops.
Quills Invitations and Gifts
158 Locke Street South
Monday and Tuesday: By chance or appointment
Wednesday to Friday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Sunday: 12 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Located in a century-old storefront on James Street North, Mixed Media has been “your corner shop of art since 2005.” Owned by Dave Kuruc, it sells quality artist materials, including some favourite brands like Faber-Castell, St. Armand, and Rifle Paper Co. (See a thorough product listing here).
While its collection of greeting cards for all occasions is impressive, it’s Mixed Media’s notebooks and fountain pens that make it one of the best stationery stops in the city. It also stocks many unique items, including washi tape and, for traditionalists of letter writing, monogrammed wax seal stamps and sealing wax. Mixed Media’s collection of local and children’s books also deserve a mention, as well as a number of magazines, including Juxtapoz and Spacing, which are difficult to find elsewhere in the city.
154 James Street North
Tuesday to Friday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Girl on the Wing
Girl on the Wing is a retail boutique specializing in both things old and new, including vintage clothing, jewellery, succulents, nostalgic wares, and a well-curated collection of cards and other stationery. Currently, alongside greeting cards for almost every occasion, Girl on the Wing is stocking wrapping paper by Brooklyn illustrator Danielle Kroll (pictured below) and stickers from Montreal’s Stay Home Club.
Girl on the Wing is also one of the best places in the city to buy gifts small enough to slip into a snail mail envelope, including patches, pins, and art prints.
Girl on the Wing
181 King Street East
Tuesday and Wednesday: 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Thursday and Friday: 12:00 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m – 5 p.m.
If you’re looking for a huge collection of greeting cards, including many by local illustrators, Studio 205 is the place in Hamilton to go. Located in Hamilton’s International Village at King and Walnut, Studio 205 is a gift shop and espresso bar that is packed to the brim with handmade items from Canadian (and Hamilton-based) vendors. (See The Inlet’s post about it here). Whether you’re in search of a specific greeting card (Note to self: Mother’s Day is on May 13) or a blank notecard to write a letter in, Studio 205 will have what you’re looking for. They also stock a personal favourite: Notebooks by Bounded Paper. We all know you can’t have enough notebooks.
205 King Street East
Monday to Thursday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m – 5 p.m.
If you’re in the market for a card that drops an f-bomb or two, Pretty Grit on James Street North will be your go-to. While their collection of cards is small, it’s mighty, and their well-curated collection is perfect when you’re shopping for your cynical best friend or your annoying, but loveable, better half. Blunt and funny cards from Rhubarb Paper Co. (which include lines like “You’re Getting Married and I’m Getting Wasted” and “I Love Every Bone in Your Body But There’s One I’m Quite Fondle Of”) are ideal for the non-sentimental types out there.
128 James Street North
Tuesday to Thursday: 11 a.m. – 6 p.m.
Friday: 11:00 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Saturday: 11 a.m – 6 p.m.
Did we miss any of your favourite stationery shops in Hamilton? Leave a comment below or tweet us @theinlet_!