On Paper Plans New Vision for Future of Business
On Paper’s time on High Street is nearing its end, but the business will move on in new ways.
As were most folks, Owner Margy Lydy-Meeker and her team were surprised by the unfurling of the pandemic. The stationery shop and custom print studio followed the initial guidelines put forth by the state, but Lydy-Meeker says it was difficult not knowing if they would be closed for one month or six months – or when consumer confidence would return.
“It’s been a crushing year for On Paper and so many other small independent businesses. Too many of our neighbors have closed their doors. Too many windows have for lease signs. Main Streets across the USA are losing their vibrant and unique small businesses,” the team said in a website post discussing their future. “The recovery has been too slow. Yes, we got the PPP loan, we got a grant, we’ve maxed out our credit cards, we’ve done everything we can think of but it’s Just. Not. Enough.”
On Paper faced serious declines in both facets of its business. Previously, their custom design services for wedding invites and the like had insulated the business when retail was struggling. COVID-19 had a detrimental impact on both.
Lacking the confidence that monthly sales will return in 2021 to what’s needed to justify a piece of prime real estate at 737 N. High St., “We will vacate this space after 23 years in the spring,” Lydy-Meeker says.
However, that doesn’t necessarily mean the end of a brick-and-mortar presence for On Paper. Lydy-Meeker says she’d like to downsize and potentially move off of High Street, or even look for something in a market-style operation.
With a move will come a re-focusing on what On Paper is all about.
“We will always honor the act of handwriting and everything that supports snail mail and pen to paper,” Lydy-Meeker says.
The future of On Paper will stay true to those core products. While goods like perfume, lotion and jewelry have done well for them in the past, they won’t make as much sense for a store that is not as focused on foot traffic.
While continuing e-commerce will be part of On Paper’s strategy moving forward, the future will also see the retailer shifting to more studio space catered to custom design clients. As weddings and gatherings get pushed back and folks miss such occasions, Lydy-Meeker is confident custom design will return with a vengeance.
For more information, visit onpaper.com.