10 questions with Paper N’ Things owner Stacey Rodriguez
Paper N’ Things has been providing the Baton Rouge area with unique greeting cards, fine papers and gift wrapping since 1979. Owner Stacey Rodriguez strives to stay focused on the customers and the events that they are celebrating. The store is known for its its wide range of wedding and party invitations, stationery, scented candles and other pretty things. We sat down with Rodriguez to learn more about the store and all it offers.
1.What is a typical day like for you and your team? I arrive at Paper N’ Things around 8 o’clock every morning to take care of things that can’t be accomplished during business hours. I like to ease into the day and enjoy catching up before we open.
2. What is your professional background? How did you get into the retail field? I graduated from LSU and worked for the speaker of the House of Representatives for about 10 years, then went to work for the Louisiana Lottery. A friend of mine told me about the store owner of Paper N’ Things wanting to sell and I was intrigued! I immediately called her, and the rest is history.
3. What are the first things customers see when they walk through the doors? Friendly faces they have come to know over the years! If they are new customers, we hope they feel like they’ve come to the right place. We strive to create a warm and welcoming environment at Paper N’ Things and hope our customers feel that every time they come to visit.
4. What sets your store apart? I try to focus on timeless traditions and everyday etiquette as much as possible. These are such important values that help in our day to day. Especially with all the changes that have happened with technology, it’s really important for us to remember to keep things simple. At the end of the day, it’s about our customers and the meaningful events that we are helping them celebrate, right?
5. What is one thing you think customers should know about your store that they might not be aware of? Many people don’t know that Paper N’ Things has been open since 1979. We feel so blessed to continue to thrive in the Baton Rouge community after so many wonderful years. Also, many people don’t know about our gift-wrap services. It can be a very helpful for businesses or corporate gifting, and even for larger families around the holidays. We will take care of everything for you. Less stress and everything will have our special touch–shiny and bright, guaranteed!
6. How do you keep your store’s inventory fresh and up to date? We keep an eye out for up-and-coming gift ideas and new paper finds that fit the store all the time. Plus, we love to feature new artists and calligraphers that are based in the South. There is nothing better than showcasing the amazing talents of those we love to collaborate with! Some of our favorites are Sydney Vallen Calligraphy, Paperglaze Calligraphy, Betsy Braymer and Rachael Roxanne by Hand.
7. Can you share a hint about what shoppers will see in your store next season? The holiday season is such a fun time for us! We love all the excitement and party planning. Stay tuned for fabulous tablewares, gifts and, as always, the best in paper, gift cards and wrapping for your holiday festivities.
8. How has the store grown or changed since it opened? Paper N’ Things has been open for over 30 years, and we have really tried to remain true to our paper selections, wedding invitations and classic etiquette expertise. Over the years, while so many things have changed, we have really tried to merge timeless traditions into everyone’s lifestyles. We definitely carry more gift items, but still treasure the same ideals. The art of writing, sharing and caring will always remain really important to us. We feel in a small way a part of people’s lives after watching and growing with them over the years. From weddings to babies, new home announcements, birthdays and beyond, we feel honored every day to help with so many exciting moments in our customers’ lives.
9. What are a few must-have items? A quality boxed or personalized stationery–Crane or any brand. A Southern lady, gentleman or child should always have stationery to write a thank-you note, thinking of you, a sympathy note or just a note to say hello. It’s those little thoughts that go a long way these days!
10. What are some of your best-selling products? Some of the classics include Crane stationery, Nouvelle candles, leather desk accessories and customized wax seals. Our most popular day to day are definitely wedding invitations. We do a lot of beautiful gift wrapping, and new favorites to the store have been our Emily Ley planners.