Round Up: Q4 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks

Alyssa Nguyen

Round Up: Q4 Paper + Craft Pantry Book Club Picks





  1. We are sharing our book picks by the quarter. So you’ll be able to get an idea of what books are coming up!

  2. Book club nights will take place on the last Wednesday of each month from 6pm-7:15pm.

  3. Book club members are invited to bring a snack to share at the meeting and we’ll provide a glass of wine- you guys voted for snacks + wine :)

  4. Book club members will vote on the next quarters books!

  5. We’re committed to making this year the best year yet for book club- and are asking you to join us. Make reading a part of your routine, carve out that one time a month to join us in our studio, better yet, invite a friend to join us. Book club is meant to keep us connected in this busy, busy world!



Whisper Network by Chandler Baker


Wednesday, October 30th 6pm-7:15pm

*This will be our last meeting of the year so don’t miss out on joining us :)


The Library Book by Susan Orlean

*We are not meeting for this book club read.


One Day In December by Josie Silver

*We are not meeting for this book club read.

Small Business School: Packaging for Retail

Alyssa Nguyen

Small Business School: Packaging for Retail

I’ve gotten a ton of questions over the years about having a stationery business. Having been on both sides of it as a stationery brand who wholesaled our own line, to a retail shop that wholesales from other stationery brands and now to juggling both - I do feel like although I may not know it all, I sure know a lot more than I did when I first started!

I’m sharing one of my product and packaging sources in this very post so definitely read through the end :)

There’s so much that goes into the thought process of just one single product. Beyond the actual product itself I think the most important component to a stellar product is of course the design, but also the packaging. I mean who isn’t a sucker for good packaging or at least something that is visually appealing. I am 100% guilty of gravitating towards a product in my personal life like these candles I saw online as well as when I’m making buying purchases for the shop. *I’d also like to acknowledge that there can be frivolous packaging that just adds to the trash pile and it’s really awesome to see smaller brands making efforts to minimize waste. Several brands have swapped over to compostable packaging etc.

So when I decided to relaunch a small in-house stationery line for the shop, I knew I wanted to keep things pretty minimal for the entire line. Down to the packaging - almost all of our packaging is eco-friendly and compostable. I wanted the product to be the main feature and focus, and the packaging to be secondary yet a priority was that it needed to also informative to a guest in our shop.

I took a cue from a system we put in place back in 2015 where we made stickers that read “I’M LOCAL” and “MADE IN TEXAS” that we put on all product that were made in Austin and in Texas respectively. This made the guest shopping experience so much easier because they could easily identify what was local and what was Texas made.

I opted for an inverted BW color for our logo on small .5” and 1” stickers for all our new product line packaging so it would be easily identifiable as a P+CP product. We use it for labeling on stationery as well as on our first ever signature candle scent! These are also the same quality as the sticker set and sheets we have in the shop and I can attest that they are waterproof, dishwasher safe, durable vinyl that many stationery designers actually use for their marketing/shipping as well as sticker products.

There may be a million things on your to-do list when it comes to small business, but I hope this provides you a little bit of resource because great packaging can look like a million bucks (without actually costing a million bucks :)

p.s. If you want to try out my sticker resource, Sticker Mule, here’s a link for some store credit :)

D.I.Y. Clay Bead Accessories Using Color Theory Principles

Alyssa Nguyen

D.I.Y. Clay Bead Accessories Using Color Theory Principles

Anyone else out there R-E-A-D-Y for fall? I know we (me and the P+CP) are! I can't wait to bring in some cozy autumn vibes into our shop + studio. 

It's been an exceptionally busy season for us here. From the closing of our first brick + mortar and reopening days after, to hosting over 20+ workshops and events this summer (and even our first out of Austin workshop), celebrating our official reopening with a weekend full of fun...I've definitely let our blog fall on the back burner. 

But we're back! And armed with our new creative intern who is committed to keeping The Paper + Craft Pantry blog on track with delivering awesome posts and content with all of you!

Grace is an exceptionally talented creative who always has a knack for executing all the ideas I've had brewing in my mind + while adding an elevated touch to all of them. When I mentioned I wanted to create a simple D.I.Y. that would transition seamlessly from that summer mind set to the fall, I knew it would be perfect for all you wanting to find time to get creative as well as update your every day with simple accessories. 

Before we got started, we spend some time going over some design ideas as well as choosing a color palette that was fun enough for summer, but cozy enough for fall! We ended up with colors that were both in the same families as well as complementary colors and perhaps have found our new fall wardrobe color palette in the process! 




  • Air dry clay
  • Acrylic paint
  • Paint brushes
  • Wood dowels
  • Leather jewelry cored
  • Keychain hardware


1. Choose your color palette!

Here was our process for picking out our palette using two color theory principles: 

COLOR HARMONY: From a visual standpoint, harmony is something that is pleasing to the eye. It engages the viewer and it creates an inner sense of order and balance. When something is not harmonious, it's either boring or chaotic. 

We ended up with gold, black, grey, coral, blush pink, olive and a leafy green.

COLOR CONTEXT: How color behaves in relation to other colors and shapes.

We wanted colors that were unexpected when paired together and were specific on the shape of the clay bead as it corresponded to the color of paint we used. We also considered this as we were stringing the beads together.

2. Roll out your air-dry clay in a variety of sizes and shapes! *Pro-Tip we laid down wax paper to keep our work surface clean!

3. Use the wooden skewer to insert a hole that goes straight through the clay bead- keep in mind that the skewer should be wider than the cord you are using.

4. Leave your clay beads to dry for at least 3 full days!

5. Once your clay beads are dry, paint them! They'll dry relatively quickly and be ready to string onto your cord within a few minutes. We made a variety of necklace and key chain combinations with all the beads we made!

*Pro-tip: Spray a clear coat over the beats to avoid scuffs!

What are your favorite summer/fall colors right now? Let us know in the comments below!

The Monthly Edit: September 2019

Alyssa Nguyen

The Monthly Edit: September 2019

Happy middle of September friends! I swear having a long weekend to kick off the month kinda threw me for a loop and I promise I had the very best intentions to have this published earlier this month. But here we are… it’s September 16th. I truly do love sharing these months posts with you guys and hope I can continue to hold myself to doing this monthly. So if you do love reading these, let me know in the comments below :)




1. Unpacked so many boxes of stationery and goodies for y’all - we welcomed a several new designers into our shop and they’re amazing!

2. We welcomed the fourth member to our team. Y’all, these women who run our shop are fellow paper lovers and if you haven’t already met them, be sure to say hi when you come in next. I feel so blessed to have all of them as a part of the P+CP.

3. Okay so really it was end of August/early September but we closed our shop for the entire Labor Day Weekend so we could all enjoy a full weekend off! As a small business who operates in retail + workshops, we are open every weekend so it’s such a treat to get an entire weekend off :)



What we’re excited about: we’re hosting our first ever plant swap party/community event. Everyone will bring a plant to swap, mix, mingle and make new plant friends as well as get entered to win a super amazing plant themed raffle! The ticket for this event will be 100% donated to Urban Roots.


What we’re excited about: we have so many great workshops weekly an we love all our instructors. However, it is a super special treat when we have instructors who come in from out of town (and out of state!) to share their knowledge with you in our studio!

It really is such a treat (not to mention a huge HONOR) that we get to host some insanely talented artists and women in our studio from all over the U.S.A.

If you love positivity and lettering, you need to know about Shelly. And if you love travel and painting, you need to know about Chelsea. Go give them a follow :)


We have been unpacking and unboxing so much paper goodness I can’t even begin to tell you about them all! From brand new designers that are making our card wall look extra good, to new planners for all you paper planner people, and even more scissors and desk goodies! So if you haven’t been by the shop, you’re going to want to!



Dangerously close to the shop + studio, I cannot believe I just discovered this place. Probably because I have been on a gluten free (99% of the time) diet since 2006-ish. But lately I’ve noticed it’s not been affecting me and I’m not reacting with my usual symptoms when I have gluten. I’m calling it my new found gluten super powers haha

p.s. They don’t serve matcha here, this was “delivered” to me by my favorite matcha maker in town :)


You guys, I’m in my third trimester. OMG. I feel very large and very sweaty all the time. Being pregnant in the summer in Texas is B-R-U-T-A-L. I’ve been feeling insanely grateful to have such a solid foundation with the business, through almost 6 full years of self-employment and small business ownership to be able to really slow down even though I don’t want to. I’m grateful that although I am definitely always going to still be learning and growing as a business owner, I have grown to a point where I feel (mostly) confident to take a little bit of a step back and have faith that the business will continue without me being 100% in it all the time. I say mostly only because you can never quite let go completely, I truly just love everything about having a shop, studio and small business so much.

To think when I first opened the shop I was the one working every single day, which I loved but also burn out is real you guys! And now although I’m not there every single day, I know you guys are still getting the very best experience in our shop through our small but mighty team. Not physically being there during shop hours has allowed me to work from my office in the mornings (so I’m not stuck in traffic, because having to use the bathroom every 20 mins sucks when you are in traffic haha) and it has also allowed me the flexibility of going to pre-natal yoga classes, doctors appointments, or even just being able to rest after staying up all night feeling sick or uncomfortable.

Anyway to keep this short, I wanted to share just a few fun updates:

  • So far, no one has tried to touch my belly. Besides the dogs who like to snuggle me and Evan when I give him permission to feel a kick :)

  • The hardest thing I feel like I’m dealing with (amongst quite a number of things) is unsolicited advice…. I’ve gotten (and trust me I’m getting a ton of it and I’m trying to just brush them off because OMG, people need to really think before they speak sometimes!). This has happened with friends, family and strangers alike. Sometimes saying nothing is best even if you think you have the best intentions.

  • The weirdest symptom currently, I swear this changes weekly, is insane join pain in my right hip specifically. It hurts to walk at the end of the day or even go from sitting to standing. I think its the gravity of the belly pushing down on my pelvis all day? Who knows.

  • The best thing that’s happening is that I feel like it all feels a little more real now that I can feel it move a lot more. I know Evan gets a kick (pun intended) when he gets to feel it move. One time it kicked/punched so hard that it made Evan’s hand on my belly move completely off!

Thanks for taking the time to read this late monthly edit post - I’m going to go ahead and congratulate myself for at least getting it done in the same month ;) Also, this marks our 6th consecutive monthly edit blog post so that’s also something worth celebrating right?

New York 2019: NYNOW + National Stationery Show

Alyssa Nguyen

New York 2019: NYNOW + National Stationery Show

In case you missed it, I spent a few whirlwind days in New York last week to attend NYNOW + The National Stationery Show! It’s my third time at the Stationery Show but my first for NYNOW - they recently combined the two making it a lot easier (and affordable!) for me to attend both. If you’re not totally sure what those two things are, they are basically large trade shows where both big brands and more independent brands exhibit their brands, products and goods for the season. To say it’s an overwhelming experience is putting it lightly, and even though it’s not my first trade show rodeo, walking a large convention center with rows and rows of brands can take a lot out of you!

A lot of people ask how you can attend and unfortunately you do have to have credentials to attend. I attend as a retail buyer and had to apply + show proof of shop/business ownership to be able to enter. I also did see some name badges for media (like the Oprah Magazine) where their editors may be walking the show to get insights to trends for the season. There are also the big buyers like Target, Anthropologie, Paper Source etc walking the show and I know it’s a huge deal for smaller brands to make those contacts in person.

Trade shows are not for the faint of heart, I’m not exaggerating when I say the investment to attend and participate in a large trade show can be in the 5 digits. I’ve heard from businesses who exhibit when they say it can take a full year to see it pay itself off as buyers don’t always write orders immediately.

The past few years when I’ve attended, I’ve always had a “plan” (which is kinda laughable looking back!) I would allot a buying budget and make a list of every brand I had interest in seeing + business I wanted to meet in person. And without fail, the past two years it was like letting a kid loose in a candy store. I want to bring so much into the shop because I personally love it and just know you guys would too. So I really have to reign myself in because blacking out at a trade show is a much larger hit on your bank account than a Target black out lol

This year, it was really fun getting to walk the show with my fellow stationery shop biz bestie, KB who owns Calliope Paperie in Natick, MA. We became friends via the world of Instagram years ago and have since become in real life friends. Let me tell you how amazing it is to have someone who is in the same specific industry as you who you can truly bounce ideas off of, as well as someone you can genuinely vent to because she 100% relates!

We walked the show together after we meshed our lists (of brands + people we wanted to see) and would flitter off every now and then to see brands that were maybe a bit more specific to each of our tastes/stores. Not to mention I was running to the bathroom every 30 mins too (did I mention how extra tiring it was to be on my feet for 10+ hours while 6 months pregnant?) KB was a real MVP for slowing down so I could keep up as well as understood that when I said I was hungry or needed a snack - it was time to hustle to get this girl something to eat!

I ended up placing several orders I am extremely excited about and have them tapered to ship between now and the next couple of months. I can’t wait for you guys to come see what I picked out!

Scroll on down to see all the photos of some of the fun things I loved at this year’s show - p.s. There’s even a section at the end of all the places we went to (mostly food) while not at the show :)

Also if you want to see more behind the scenes, I created a highlight via Instagram of my 3 days there!



Supermoon Bake Shop: fancy and fun croissants

Meatball Shop: delicious meatballs and spaghetti

Boba Guys : had the strawberry matcha boba with oat milk

Joes Steam Rice Rolls: MY FAVORITE THING I ATE (loved the order with shrimp and I may have eaten two plates of this)

Momofuku Noodle Bar: loved their buns + ramen

Liberty Bagels: had this twice, my favorite was the cinnamon raisin with plain cream cheese - I even carried home 4 bagels in my purse for Evan

Magnolia Bakery: one night after dinner, KB and I got an entire box of mini cupcakes to eat back at the hotel room lol


Chillhouse: where I got my cute manicure - counts as a business expense doesn’t it? For all the card holding pictures? They specialize in nail art and use “clean” nail polishes. Their staff is extremely helpful for those of us (ahem, me) who can’t decide on colors.

Goods For The Study: dreamy stationery shop

CW Pencil Enterprise: one of my favorite little gems

Greenwich Letterpress: a cute stationery shop

Pink Olive: stationery + gift shop

The Monthly Edit: August 2019

Alyssa Nguyen

The Monthly Edit: August 2019


It’s been so freaking hot in Austin I’ve personally been dying anytime I have to go outside- even walking to and from the car feels insane! It’s still hard to believe we’re in the thick of summer and there’s a potential it’s just going to get hotter and probably stay this warm until November. July went by so quickly but perhaps because we all blacked out from the heat haha. But most likely it went by quickly because I spent over 15 days in Hawaii (more on that below).

Read on below to see what all is going on both in the shop as well as for me :)


1. Great (in)side Walk Sale

We held our first ever sale in our studio! We opened up our studio space to some fellow small businesses in town for an afternoon of fun! It was so great putting together mystery bags for stationery and greeting cards. And giving an opportunity to all of you who support us a chance to score some great deals not only with us but with our friends too!

2. Finally got our new window shades installed in our shop!

We ordered these shades in early June and they arrived a few weeks later. But y’all it was a whole ordeal trying to find someone who could install them. The sheer size of the shades as well as how tall our windows are made it complicated, but to boot there’s apparently metal behind the sheet rock. Let’s just say EVERYTHING takes a longer time than you think.

3. Released ALL summer workshops! Yep, all the way through the end of September!

We have SO many fun things happening for the rest of summer. If you’re like us and also dreading how hot it is here in town, peek at our calendar soon and grab your tickets. We’d love to hang out with you in our studio to beat the heat!



We only have a few more tickets left to our workshops this month! You’re not going to want to miss out ;)


Join us for an afternoon of nostalgic summer fun as we play around with tie dye!

This fun, interactive D.I.Y. should take between 30-45 mins and you can show up anytime between 2pm-4pm to get your craft on!

You’ll get to dye a cotton bandana plus up to two additional pieces you bring from home (examples of what to bring: white cotton t-shirts, tank tops, pillow cases, tote bags etc. Keep in mind that cotton/natural fabrics will dye better and be mindful to only bring a couple of small-medium items to dye so everyone else can also participate!)

Pieceology Vintage will also have a curated rack of vintage whites you can purchase to dye!

All materials for this workshop will be provided and you'll leave with 2-3 magical tie dyed pieces to enjoy this summer!


I’m headed to New York for this year’s Stationery Show + NYNOW this weekend! It’ll be a short trip and definitely more focused on work because I’m on a mission to really seek out some amazing new businesses to work with. It’ll likely be a little bit before I venture to any other trade shows so I plan on making the most of this trip. I’m a little nervous about flying (it’s insanely uncomfortable these days) and also I’m worried about my energy levels because there are days when I feel 100% and other days where I just feel wiped out. But regardless, looking forward to seeing both old and new friends in New York soon!

If you have any recommendations for New York, let me know below. And definitely follow along if you want to peek at some BTS stuff on Instagram!


Without going into too much detail, I’m working on rolling out a few workshop kits as well as a new custom stationery feature for the shop. It’s been something y’all have all been asking for and something I’ve been wanting to bring to life so stay tuned!


The Hawaii Trip + Fire

A lot of you guys know we were in Hawaii for the 4th for a planned 9 day trip, that trip turned into a 15 day trip because of a 10,000 acre fire in Central Maui that left us basically stranded in our car for 4 hours. First of all, let me tell you how horrible that is when you have to pee every 20 mins. The fire caused the only roads in Maui that went south towards Kihei, where our Airbnb was to be closed as well as burned through power lines so we also had zero signal on our phones and businesses were unable to take credit cards.

We ended up on the North West of Maui near Kanapali around 5pm and were thinking we would just go to dinner and be able to drive back once they contained the fire in the evening. I don’t think we realized how serious it was until we heard on the radio (yep phones still not working here) that they were evacuating just North of Kihei and the fire was 0% contained. They had opened up shelters at local schools for both visitors and residents. I’m normally not a fancy person and would’ve totally been fine for an adventure or even camping out in our car but again, not ideal when you’re 5+ months along.

We pulled into the first hotel we saw and it’s funny that it ended up being the hotel we stayed at when we were in Maui 2+ years ago for Evan’s company trip. There was a super long line in the lobby of people who were in a similar situation all looking for a place to stay, at least for the night. I think this was when I was starting to kinda get worried. I was able to log onto the hotel wifi to see if they had rooms available and booked the first room I saw online (it was STEEP) but I felt like it was important for us to just be able to shower and sleep in an actual bed after such a long eventful day.

As we were checking in, we heard the hotel manager announce to others in line that they were fully occupied for the night and they were actually having to turn people away. I’m still proud of myself for thinking to get online and book a room/being pretty good about handling stressful situations. The lady checking us in looked at us weird because I just had a little fanny pack, and Evan had a tote back with our beach stuff- no luggage. So I told her about our day and she was extremely nice and offered us a discounted rate for our room. When she gave us the keys she automatically asked us if we needed help with our bags. And right after she said that, she said “oh wait, you guys don’t have any…” we all got a good laugh at that because it was true, we literally only had the clothes we had on (which was a swim suit basically).

To wrap up this Hawaii fire fiasco, I’ll fast forward a little- we ended up leaving the hotel around 7am when they had opened up the roads. The fire was still not contained at this point but we didn't want to risk getting stuck again and decided to just get on the road. We made it back to our Airbnb with just enough time to check out before heading to where Evan’s family were staying (we ended up staying with them in their hotel because we couldn’t find another place to stay on such short notice) and it was so fun getting to spend extra time with family.

Here’s a short list of things we did in Hawaii:

We stayed here for the first part of the trip, this hotel was where we crashed for the night from the fire, and here’s the gorgeous place Evan’s family stayed at (and were gracious enough to let us crash with them for the remainder of our time in Maui)

Best noodles (love their garlic noodles), favorite mixed plate + dole whip/Ube soft serve, my favorite shrimp chips are from here (they also have great poké in their deli area), great seafood spot, our favorite shrimp truck on the island (loved the spicy pineapple), amazing bakery with a great gf selection (their Ube Mochi Bread was my favorite), best shave ice (get the Mac nut ice-cream to go on the bottom!), and right next to shave ice they make fresh Portuguese donuts (malasadas) daily, and last but not least, favorite spot for smoothies and acai bowls, and we ate here one night as a special meal (it’s pricy but worth it!).

Baby Update

So much has happened since I shared the last update- I appreciate all of the kind messages and words of love + support :) Now that we’re in August, I’m officially in month 6 of growing a human. WHAT?! It still feels a little surreal and I still have days where everything feels like normal- in addition to days where I want to sleep for 14 hours.

There are so many strange things that happen to your body (all of you mom’s out there know) and it’s almost comically funny. I feel like nothing really prepares you for all the WEIRD things that happen.

Latest/weirdest symptom: my contacts no longer want to fit my little eyeballs… I’m not joking. So if you’ve seen me in my glasses more these days, that’s why. My prescription/vision has also changed, apparently this is very normal and will go back to my normal prescription after all of this.

Mood swings are real- I find myself getting upset sometimes and then laughing a few minutes later. There was one day when Evan asked if I wanted him to bring me anything (specifically dessert) and I told him no. When he got home without dessert, I was actually angry he came home empty handed haha.

I can no longer eat a ton of food all in one sitting, I get full really fast and literally feel like I’m so stuffed. And then an hour later I’m hungry again.

Current craving: pancakes and cherry tomatoes. And for the record I have never liked cherry tomatoes before!

Fun surprise: I have gluten super powers- I usually eat gluten free after being diagnosed with Celiac back in 2006. My reactions are not that severe, usually an upset stomach, a rash on my legs (sometimes on my face), gluten zits on my chin (attractive I know) But in the past few weeks I noticed I’m not reacting in the same way, so I’ve been taking advantage, within reason, to indulge a little bit. Don’t worry, I’m doing it in moderation but also 100% enjoying this temporary new found freedom.

Cutest things the dogs have done: Harley has become more attached to me than usual (and he already is pretty attached lol) he follows me everywhere when I’m home and sits in the door way like he’s guarding the entry way. Fig has also started bringing her toys and placing them on my belly. It’s pretty cute, I thought maybe it was a fluke but she kept doing it one night!

Anyway, I’m going to wrap up this post with the most unflattering photo of me, but also #goals I hope to find myself like this more often. Sound machine, humidifier, all the pillows + the dogs :) In case you guys think I’m killing it at life, growing a human and running a business…I’m basically asleep anytime I’m not at the shop!