If we ever make it to Missoula, Montana, Noteworthy Paper & Press will be our very first stop! We've been following along with this gorgeous shop on Instagram, but we're even more enchanted after this interview! Not only is this shop well stocked with an excellent selection of cards and gifts, but they also host an annual "Letters to Santa" event! Read on to learn more.
(image: Amy and Taylor at Noteworthy Paper & Press)
When did Noteworthy Paper & Press open? What was the inspiration or motivation behind the opening of a brick and mortar store?
Noteworthy Paper & Press opened in June of 2008 in the same space we currently occupy. The two owners of Noteworthy Paper & Press, Taylor Valiant and Amy Dolan, met through mutual friends in the fall of 2007 and quickly discovered each other’s desire to open a brick and mortar stationery shop in downtown Missoula. Amy had been working as an independent graphic designer doing small business development work from her home office and was eager to try something new. Unbeknownst to her, Taylor was developing her letterpress business just blocks away in her home’s garage. With a shared vision, the two opened Noteworthy in June 2008.
(image: wood type spelling out "Noteworthy")
Is there a story behind the name?
After tossing around a million ideas, “Noteworthy” stood out as a simple, but fun play on words. The “Paper & Press” part of our name refers to what we sell, as well as the fact that we have 5 letterpresses on site for printing our own wholesale line, as well as custom work.
Do you have a fun fact about your store that most people wouldn’t know?
Noteworthy is located in historic downtown Missoula, Montana. The building in which we currently reside was reconstructed in 1934 after the original structure, built in 1890, was destroyed by fire. The foundation and basement level remained intact however and still holds many historic features, including windows that once faced the river (now a shared wall to the building next door) as well as a tunnel to the building across the street! Our basement is now home to our bustling letterpress workshop, which is slated to move into it’s new, much larger home in the fall of this year.
What do you love about your shop’s neighborhood?
Our shop is located on downtown Missoula’s main thoroughfare, near the Clark Fork River, and on the same block as our historic Wilma Theater. Our downtown has seen a lot of changes in the last nine years, but its growth is evident in the amount of thriving shops, bustling restaurants and pubs and new construction! Missoula is a city surrounded by mountains and rivers and we love being able to balance our work life with our desire to enjoy the outdoors. We love being able to ride our bikes to work and take lunches in the park.
(image: Noteworthy Paper & Press display)
What’s the most memorable thing that has happened in your store?
Well, definitely the most popular event we host every year is our “Letters to Santa” letter writing day in conjunction with Missoula’s annual Parade of Lights kick-off to the holiday season. We put out tables, crayons, markers, paper and envelopes for the mobs (!) of children to write out their lists and notes to Santa. We also have a magic mailbox for the kiddos who can’t make the event to drop off their letters during the month of December. One by one, we read and personally reply to every letter we receive. We have official “From the Desk of Santa Claus” letterhead, sparkly red envelopes and a bold Santa Claus autograph to complete the look. Last year we replied to 325 letters and have been told that it has become a tradition kids look forward to every year.
What’s your favorite Smudge Ink product?
We love Smudge Ink’s bold, colorful boxed notes
! We always have a good selection for each season.
What song or album is playing in your shop right now?
The Sturgill Simpson Pandora station
(image: Noteworthy Paper & Press display and cards shelves)
Is there a fun new stationery or gift trend that you particularly enjoy or that customers are responding well to?
We get a lot of questions about the products we sell and the companies we buy from, and we’re proud to say the large majority of product in our store is made in the USA. Customers love hearing personal stories about these companies (like Smudge!) to help make what they are buying more meaningful. People love to have a connection to what they are buying and I don’t think that trend is going anywhere anytime soon!
We are also still seeing a strong response to lapel pins … and tea towels! So many tea towels!
(image sources: Noteworthy Paper & Press)