From the second I signed the lease for my new Somerville space, this has been basically me to everyone. I’m a far cry from Paper Source, but it’s hard to not get carried away with what two locations means (sort of pimp) or could mean (POSSIBLE FUTURE PAPER EMPIRE).
I signed on in the Fall, but some friends of mine have been booked to open at Bow Market since it was a twinkle in our developers’ (Zach and Matt) eye, almost 2 years ago. That’s a long time to wait. And now it is almost time to open! We, all the vendors, get asked daily when we’re opening and the only answer we can give is SOON. VERY VERY SOON. We can’t release the opening date until we have all our inspections and whatnot all done but we have one. And it’s soon.
If you’re new here, Bow Market is a new shopping experience opening up in Union Square, Somerville, MA, made from an old renovated furniture warehouse that was once a parking garage if you can believe it! There will be 30-ish vendors; the first floor consisting of a brewery and a great mix of food vendors and the second floor will be all retail including vintage clothes, home things, art, *cough* stationery, A RECORD STORE (yeah like records) and jewelry, among other things. There is also a center courtyard with seating made from old concrete from the Longfellow Bridge (which I am nerding out about) and it is just going to be SUCH a cool place to shop, eat, and hang out.
Pretty sure if I had decided to bow out of Zach’s invitation to have a space I’d be suffering from huge FOMO right about now! Every time I visit, something new is either in place or being installed and it’s just amazing to watch it come together. Some of you have been concerned about what will change when we open so I thought I would give you an idea of what you can expect once the Somerville location is open for biz!
First off, my Natick location is not going anywhere so don’t freak out. I could never abandon my Natick homies. Pretty sure you guys would find me and set me on fire. There will be significant changes to which we’ll all have to adjust, and a huge amount of patience on your part would be very much appreciated. You have to understand: I was happy and just FINE until Zach messaged me on Instagram and was like “Oh hey how would you like to open a second store?” Comfortable, complacent, just bumping along here in Natick. But growth and opportunity are rarely convenient and comfortable, are they? I’ve gone from being able to perfectly handle my shit in Natick day to day, to 2 locations, each with completely different inventory OH and a STAFF practically overnight.
If something goes in a way you don’t like or aren’t used to, cut me a break ok? Cuz things are just a LITTLE new and different to me, too.
Speaking of staff, get out your sad pants because the biggest change is that I will be going to Somerville most days. You will not see me in Natick during the week but I will be here on Saturdays! Instead, you get MY MOM! It’s t minus 9 business days until her last day at her corporate job, which she quit to come and work for me! (Yeah I’m only responsible to make sure my own mother has a paycheck. No pressure or anything.)
To say she is looking forward to sitting here and smiling at you all day long is understatement of the year. She may not know everything there is to know about every last little thing on the shelves like I do but she will do her damnedest to make sure you find what you want and leave happy. And really what else do you need? You guys will be fine without me, don’t worry.
Meanwhile! Planning to make Calliope Somerville your main destination for all your stationery needs? Get ready because you are going to LOVE. IT.
If you’ve been out to Natick, everything at Bow Market is going to be different. I’ll have basics like my Shorthand notebooks and a solid selection of pens, but the overlap with Natick basically ends there. The cards include a lot more reference to pop culture and super sharp sass. I’ll have candles with names like “Smells Like Not Wearing a Bra” and “Trump Not Being President Anymore.” I’ll have a wall of pins and patches, pencils with swears, and wrapping paper with boob patterns. Notebooks with crazy nudie ladies, lots of stuff with dogs, the works. I am squeezing fun into every little corner of the 162 square feet allotted to me.
And maybe a little extra. Good thing the walkway is wide.
And those of you too far away to come shop at either? Once I release all my new product, my online store will be a behemoth like no other. I can’t think of any other store or brand that will have the selection I will have. Everything will be there.
Now for the rub: You guys are suuuuper spoiled and used to placing an order and having it ship the very same day (as long as the mailman hasn’t come yet.) For the time being, shipping is going to slow down to a very typical 3-5 business days, especially if your order includes things from both locations. This kills me, too, believe me. You know how much I love hearing you guys got your orders rocket-fast?? It’s a trade-off for having an enormous selection at your fingertips I guess! We’ll all survive. Don’t worry.
As always, if you are local to either location, you can shop my full inventory from your sweats and pick up your order in-store. So Natick peeps? If you see something that is in Somerville, you can order it online and I can bring it to Natick and drop it for you to come and grab at your leisure! That offer goes both ways of course!
This begs the question of my Instagram. My Instagram will, of course, feature things I have in Somerville and Natick but it will be up to you to take notice of the caption and tags because I promise to make it clear what is where so you don’t go bursting into Natick looking for the “Bears, Beets, Battlestar Gallactica” pin you saw that morning.
And friends, that is that! Not too scary, right? A little boo but mostly YAY ammirite?
I am SO SO SO EXCITED to bring the kind of excitement for stationery to Union Square that is already strong here in Natick and to share my love for paper and cards with everyone in Somerville.
Natick, you are my OG lovemuffins and I will be so sad to not be with you every day, but Somerville will be like your new baby sister. I have plenty of love for you both but you gotta help me out and not slap her and steal her toys behind my back, ok?
Not sure where I was going with that.