Best Stationery Store 2019 | Write-Ons | Goods & Services | Phoenix

Before there was swiping and clicking, there was writing. It's a form of communication that's never lost its charm. Keyboards are all well and good, but sometimes it's nice to just whip out a piece of crisp, slightly textured paper and a beautiful pen. Write-Ons takes writing seriously, without taking itself too seriously. It's filled with fine writing papers for capturing or sharing all your ideas, emotions, and dreams. There are cards galore, a wall filled with rolls of stickers, journals, invitations, thank-you cards, and more of life's little niceties. You can buy pretty files to make your work life less drab, and small gifts like picture frames on days you need a quick little something for an office or neighborhood party. Stand inside long enough, and you might even get inspired to start sending real thank-you notes again, which can only up your classy factor with friends and family.

Blick has art supplies you didn't even know existed, and friendly people who can help you figure out how to use them. Strolling the aisles is like being in a giant candy store for art nerds, and everyone feels welcome here — from the art-curious to the art pro. It's a fun place to indulge your curiosity and poke around for new ways to express yourself. The paper selection alone is enough to get your heart racing. With materials ranging from watercolors and wood to soapstone and clay, it's a creative embarrassment of riches. Shop here for stress-busters like markers in exotic colors, and gifts for friends from journals to off-the-beaten-path coloring books. Bottom line: Blick does the trick.

All the galleries could close down, and you'd still have an amazing time at Phoenix Art Museum, because the gift shop is like a giant emporium of art-inspired stuff, ranging from kitchen gadgets to office decor. If you can't find a unique gift here, the person you're shopping for is way too picky. At one end, it has purses, puzzles, and classy pens. At the other, there are collapsible flower vases and bookends shaped like Jeff Koons' balloon dog. In between, shop for delicate tea sets, artist-made jewelry, and novelty T-shirts with artsy sayings. It's a fabulous place to find unique books and toys, and there's a wide price range so it's easy to find both affordable and extravagant things. From savvy to silly, the museum store has a great selection, which means you look super-smart when it comes time to be the gift fairy.

Need to snag some new sunglasses, get your watch fixed, and find the perfect gift for your bestie? Scottsdale Fashion Square will save you from having to run around town, with shops that carry everything from basics to luxuries. One shop has henna art, another has objects laden with Swarovski crystals. Scottsdale Fashion Square is home to both Apple and Microsoft stores, and you can get a Hallmark card in the same mall where you buy your Tiffany jewelry. Arizona's only Wonderspaces arts venue sits just off the food court, as does a local theater called Desert Stages, which means there's more entertainment than just watching people go up and down the escalator. Start at Nordstrom, where the cafe is more relaxing than the food court. Then end your mall day with a movie at Harkins Theatres, where you can top it all off with a cocktail or gelato.

Vintage or modern? Buy a gift or treat yourself? These are the tough shopping decisions you never have to make at Phoenix Flea, because the answer is always "both/and" instead of "either/or." With more than 100 artisans, makers, and curators in the mix, this market has something for everyone. And that's a big deal in the run-up to winter holidays, when racing around town in search of unique goodies just won't cut it. Phoenix Flea transcends mere shopping, because it feels more like a community gathering, filled with energy and positivity. Food trucks make it easy to refuel, and the downtown setting means you can top it all off with a fun walk when you're done.

First, Amy Guerrero started teaching macrame classes around town, sharing her love for making things with others. Then, she decided to make a new home for her burgeoning maker career by opening the Sunshine Craft Co in the Melrose neighborhood of midtown Phoenix. That's where she helps others discover the joy of creating textile artworks using knotting techniques. Now, she's in full-on entrepreneur mode, offering a robust lineup of classes in her own space. People can pop in during DIY hours to buy kits and make craft items, or take traditional classes in everything from making felted cactuses to creating alcohol-ink collages. It's a cheerful, cozy space to enjoy a paint-and-sip event with your friends or trade supplies during craft swaps. She's even helping other crafters up their business savvy with workshops on how to start a handmade business.

There's a bead for every personality at Bead World Phoenix, where sorting through trays of intriguing beads puts you in touch with parts of yourself you'd long ago forgotten even existed. It's easy for beginners to navigate, with enough choices for creatives who are experienced with making beaded jewelry or other items. The shop offers classes at every experience level, so beginners can learn how to string beads, while others can learn to realize complex designs. While you're shopping, you can get tips for making particular beads work together, and the staff is happy to help people find beads that reflect their unique interests. Best of all, Bead World Phoenix is a fun, affordable place to find beads that help you tell your story and embrace your singular identity.

Walk into Tempe Yarn & Fiber and you're likely to see a diverse cross-section of people seated around a table learning to knit or crochet together, which elevates this retail store to community gathering space. Fiber art long has been a way of documenting and connecting both individual and group histories. You get the feeling at Tempe Yarn that it's all unfolding before your eyes, and you can be a part of it, whatever your experience level. The store carries a broad selection of yarns and knitting tools, and it never makes people feel intimidated about asking for help with what to choose or which yarns are the best match for a particular project. You might walk in thinking yarn is about as glamorous as a glue stick. But you'll walk out with a sense of wonder – and your very own knitting needles.

During a day and age that seem to value pretty and polished above all, Phoenix maker Alex Ozers is making jewelry that's distinguished by its markings. Ozers creates hand-wrought metal jewelry, sometimes embellished with various types of stones. The metals are distressed with various tools to create a raw, organic feel that plays off the fact that nothing in life escapes scars. The scars are beautiful for this maker, whose work conveys the individuality of each person who wears it. Ozers shares his techniques in affordable art classes, empowering others to create and wear jewelry that reflects their own aesthetic sensibilities and life journeys. If given enough time, he'd make makers of us all.

If she only ever wears black clothing, it's not because Nancy Hill has gone goth later in life. It's because she spends so much time around ink — and boy, are we glad she does. Her dark frocks hide inky smudges, but Hill is out in the open about every other thing about the joys of letterpress. At Hazel & Violet, her Grand Avenue letterpress print shop, students can take Hill's letterpress workshop, where they'll learn to set type and run an antique printing press smeared with an ink of their choice. Hill offers time on letterpress machines large and small, as well as tutelage on the proper use of spacing materials, the right kind of ink to choose, and the proper trays to load it all into. Students print custom stationery, wedding invitations, and event announcements — or just throw caution to the wind and buy some of the gorgeous letterpressed coasters, calendars, and small-run art prints Hill offers for sale. All the joys of Arial Narrow, plus a whole lot more, can be found at Hazel & Violet.

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