On Paper Still on High Street After Short North Move
On Paper announced late last year that after 20 plus years in the Short North, the shop would be looking for a new home. And they’ve found it – just two doors north at 743 N. High St.
At the time, Owner Margy Lydy-Meeker expected a move out of prime, High Street real estate. However, the opportunity presented itself to move into another space owned by the same landlord.
Lydy-Meeker had inquired about the space last fall when previous tenant Emi Pet moved out. The landlord had initially indicated they couldn’t hold the space as On Paper didn’t want to move until after the holiday season. But after the business publicly expressed its intentions to vacate its storefront, and 743 was still empty, the landlord realized it could be a win-win. They retained a tenant and On Paper was able to downsize into a more affordable location.
The new shop’s sales floor is just over 1,000 square feet, slightly smaller than the 1,500 square feet or so of the old shop, however that lease included the same square footage in the basement. A short move also meant a short closure of just a week or so to get back up and running.
As intended, On Paper has streamlined its collections to focus more on the act of pen to paper and a few other customizable gifts. Many of the health and beauty items have been discontinued, but some jewelry has remained that has customizable options like birthstones.
While On Paper has found a way to carry on with its business, Lydy-Meeker still stresses the difficult and precarious situation many small business owners are still in. And that they were lucky to be able to strike a deal with their landlord.
“There’s been so much disruption and loss. But there’s a quiet energy that seems to be building,” she says. “There are people pulling together and showing up. Landlords and lenders are fighting for us and our mission. We’re not out of the woods and moving vs. closing brick and mortar is a gamble.”
However, Lydy-Meeker has hope On Paper and other businesses are able to find their way through the pandemic.
On Paper is open from 11 a.m – 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 12 – 5 p.m. on Sunday.
For more information, visit onpaper.com.
All photos by Susan Post