Celebrations in Paper 3

Put a Personal Stamp on the Holidays with Custom Stationery and Specialty Goods

After years of helping other people get their own businesses up and going, Rene Showalter knew the time was right to start focusing on something of her own. She had plenty of experience in the interior design industry, but as she looked at the prospect of going into business for herself, she also knew that she wanted to do something different; something where she could continue to be organized and creative while also interacting with people.

Eventually Showalter found herself at a gift show in Los Angeles, and after walking around and looking at all the different things select vendors had to offer, she felt herself being pulled toward stationery, paper and invitations. In talking with people afterwards, she found a certain appeal in helping mark some of the biggest events in others’ lives, like graduations, weddings and birth announcements, and knew she was on her way.

An opportunity to share retail space with a florist gave her what she needed to make the leap, and Celebrations in Paper was born. That was almost two decades ago.

“The business has actually changed quite a bit,” says Showalter.

Before the recession, she had a lot of corporate clients locally and across the country that would not shy away from splurging on top-of-the-line invitations for special events throughout the year. But as budgets tightened, that aspect of the business began to diminish.

“With social media and other alternatives online, businesses just are not doing that anymore. It pushed us more toward the higher-end, custom stuff. Now our primary customer is the person who still really wants to give a great thank you note, or who really wants to create a memorable or one-of-a-kind invitation or announcement, and that’s great!”

As the business has evolved, Celebrations in Paper has also expanded its inventory to include a bit more than just stationery and cards. Showalter is always on the lookout for items that she personally enjoys, believing that if she and her staff are passionate about what they have on the shelf, the easier it is to make sure that each customer leaves with just the right thing. From small handmade gifts and favors to soaps, lotions and a variety of books, chances are they’ll have something perfect for any occasion.

With a continual commitment to drive her business toward excellent products, an unmatched quality of personal service, and an unyielding attention to detail, Showalter has positioned Celebrations in Paper as one of the best specialty shops of its kind in the Valley. After establishing that kind of reputation, and after years of resisting the idea of getting her own dedicated place, four years ago Showalter moved Celebrations in Paper into its current space— an 1,800-square-foot retail shop in the heart of Old Town Scottsdale, which is right where she feels it belongs.

“Things were really hit or miss back in 2008 and 2009, and there were plenty of stationery stores that ended up going out of business, and now there are just not that many left,” says Showalter when asked about why she feels Scottsdale is the perfect home for her business.

“I think the ones that did survive, those are the ones where you still talk to the shop owner. People here want that level of personal service. They want to touch the different papers and see the different methods of printing; that’s why they come here, and that’s why we love being here.”

Celebrations in Paper is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 480.946.5680 or visit CelebrationsInPaper.com.