Recess, a recently opened modern stationery store in Inglewood, carries an array of stationery utensils for people’s everyday needs.
Compared to the big chain stores, Recess’ goal is to elevate a shopper’s experience in a fun and creative space.
“ [We] have tons of pens, markers, things for the writers, the illustrators, the drawers and . . . people who like to make notes . . . [we] have a wide range of stationery, whether that’s notebooks or clips,” says Kyle Chow, owner of Recess, at 1323 9th Ave, S.E.
“It’s a wide range of things that we stock,” he said.
With stationery items like pens, pencils and notebooks being integral for many Calgarians, Chow says Recess is a great start for someone who’s always being stationary.
“There is something really nice about getting away from the computer and sitting down with a notebook and sketching and starting to write or journal [or] make a list by hand vs. typing it on your phone,” he says.
Chow remarks that with the store’s opening, the community has been abuzz. Many who wander into the store feel happy to be able to use all these materials again, alluding to the growing interest in scaling back reliance on digital technology.
It also creates a nostalgic feeling for some, especially for people who have used stationery for years before computers—or typewriters—came around.
“For me, I know what it’s like to not have it and then to go back to it and get away from the computer.
“It’s kind of freeing in some ways.”
Chow says Recess has everything that will make a workspace more enjoyable and effective so that people are more engaged and inspired to get their work done.
Besides the basics, they also carry office-related things, novelty items such as travel mugs and dishes to hold all those little bits and bobs that have no place.
Chow says that if people are using stationery for their everyday tasks, particularly at work, and are using the tools that they need, they should use products that are not only comfortable but also aesthetically pleasing.
“It’s like choosing a mattress,” he says
“Why not choose the one that’s best for you.”
The prices for each item vary, depending on make, quality, and where the thing is made.
Chow’s favourite pen, for example, costs roughly $30. Some other items available in the store cost much more, fountain pens, in particular.
Their assortment of products comes from all over the globe. Recess has suppliers in Canada and in the U.S., though a majority of the products come from Japan and Europe.
One brand that people gravitate towards is called Midori, a Japanese brand.
Chow says the misconception of independent stores is people always thinking the items are priced at a higher range.
But he says that the goal of the store is to create a lot of different price points and accessibility for people who are looking for these brands.
“If you only have $2, you can [still] walk away with something that you’ll like,” says Chow.
He says Recess provides a place of discovery with no pressure to purchase. It’s a place to gather ideas and find new items stocked on the shelves on a weekly basis.
We want to create a community. – Kyle Chow
Starting this month, they’re planning on hosting workshops, says Chow, with things that are related to the products that they sell.
Writing, hand-writing, calligraphy and watercolour are a few activities to name, and people can even drop by to sketch or plan out their week if they’d like, he says.
“We want to create a community . . . where the computers are put away [and] we’re using our hands and making things and creating things and writing things down.”