By Kelly Thompson

A Place of Art and Artists

Paper-Ya is a Granville Island stationery store bursting with the most beautifully curated paper, journals and office products that would make any writing experience a veritable getaway. Luxurious handmade papers that are worthy of a frame, silky textured stationery and note cards, unique materials for bookbinding and decorating, and a wide selection of pens and pencils make for an art experience that touches upon all the senses.

Paper-Ya is the creation of art school alums Denise Carson Wilde, a letterpress printer, and Sharyn Yuen, a paper maker. Today, after twenty-eight years in business, their paper passion feeds their artistic interests, allowing them to curate the beautiful paper products in the shop.

Their location on Granville Island, a home for artists of all kinds, is vital to Paper-Ya’s experience. “It’s allowed us to continue being who we are,” says Denise. She asserts that Granville Island is key to their success, offering camaraderie and unity amongst the shops.

It’s not shopping. It’s about choosing. - Denise Carson Wilde, co-owner
Paper-Ya, Stationary, Paper Products, Office Products

Gifts for Everyone

If visitors aren’t coming for the paper, Paper-Ya also offers gifts that speak to a wide range of ages and passions, sourcing unique items to pique anyone’s interest. In Paper-Ya’s efforts to deliver the right product to the right customer, Denise insists she reads all the online reviews and social media pages to find out what her customers want and need.

Denise and Sharyn source the best suppliers during their travels, seeking items that will speak to their customers. But the owners aren’t the only buyers for the shop; their long term staff contribute as well, both in buying and merchandizing, which they believe leads to a shop with a variety of voices, visions and interests.

Paper-Ya, Stationary, Paper Products, Office Products

Paper and Art Experienced through the Senses

At Paper-Ya very few items are kept behind glass shelving, allowing customers to pick up, test and experience before making a purchase. They can scribble with the pens (on paper provided), feel the papers and run their hands along the leather goods.

Denise insists that a majority of Paper-Ya customers are tactile creatures, much as she is, which affects the way they shop. “I still make notes on paper, by hand,” she says. It’s for this reason that Paper-Ya has not moved to an online shop, something Denise feels unites her customers. “There’s something within our customers, a recognition of design, art or some love of beauty,” she says.

For those looking for paper and office products that are also an artistic experience, Paper-Ya has it all. “All of these things matter,” says Denise. “That’s where the joy comes in. It’s not shopping. It’s about choosing.” Paper-Ya seeks to find the right product for the right customer, ensuring that each journal, pen or stationery is very special while it remains functional.

Paper-Ya, Stationary, Paper Products, Office Products
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