Local stationery store works to keep the art of writing alive in a digital age
By Katrina Turchin | April 11, 2022
Nestled on 124th Street is parcel + prose, a stationery store stocked with journals, cards, pens, wax seal stamps and more.
Tracy Losey opened the shop in 2017 during a time in her life when she was ready for something new. Her kids were growing up and didn’t need as much looking after, and she was growing tired of a going-nowhere part time job.
“I’ve always liked retail and some of my favourite card shops were closed, and I sort of felt the need so that was my motivation,” says Losey.
Losey noticed an uptick in customers wanting to send written correspondence to loved ones during the pandemic. In fact, when restrictions closed all non-essential businesses during the first wave, Losey offered a card service. Customers could private message her on social media or phone the store asking for a card, and Losey would send the cards on the customer’s behalf. And, when many businesses took the pandemic as an opportunity to expand their web presence, Losey didn’t budge.
“My business model is very much about the in-person experience,” says Losey. “And, to me, paper products and materials need to be touched and seen, and you don’t get that online. So, I stuck to my guns, and maybe that hurt me a little bit, but my customers who love it, love it.”
parcel + prose’s stock changes by the season, and there’s always new local and Canadian vendors being added like Blue Q and Ochre Lea, amongst popular brands like Rifle Paper Co.
A unique addition to the shop is a small letterpress that Losey keeps behind the front counter. She takes orders for personalized stationery and cards, which only takes about an hour to make.
“It can take a simple little gift for an office desk or something into something a little nicer.”