The Boys’ High building has welcomed Pepa Stationery – a stationery boutique designed to encourage people to write to each other, as well as to themselves.
Pepa (Māori for paper) sells beautiful stationery from around the world. The store features writing tables with views out the historic building’s windows – encouraging customers to take a seat and write. In-house postal and gift-wrapping services encourage visitors to take their time while these other needs are taken care of.
“We’re creating a space that helps words to flow and offers a moment to write. More than ever, we need to slow down and I want to help to facilitate that,” says owner Ami Muir.
“One of our goals is to create a magical environment that inspires words. When I’m in the Arts Centre, I feel a sense of excitement and possibility. It’s akin to the feeling I have when I find myself with a bit of time and a blank page.”
The store showcases hard-to-find local and international stationery brands that offer leading edge design – effectively making the space a living gallery.
“Stationery is a good place to turn to for the most up-to-date design. Most stationery brands bring out three new releases a year meaning there’s hardly anything out there in the design-world that’s more current.”
Ami says their heritage space at the Arts Centre is a physical embodiment of their brand: nostalgic and contemporary in one.
“Our idea is both current and historic, and we look at the Arts Centre in the same way. It’s an old building, given a new lease of life. The traditional side of our business is perfectly matched with the environment we’re operating in. The new side is breathing life back into the space.”
Arts Centre Leasing Manager Louise Sutherland says it’s exciting to be part of Pepa’s transformation as it moves from being an online retailer to housing a physical store.
“We’re really pleased to welcome them and to help them build on their success.”