Friday, March 25, 2011

The final days of Bob Slate

There is a small chain of three stationery shops in my neighborhood called Bob Slate. Two are in my local area, one is in the Square about a mile up the road.  The business is family-owned, and though I know they haven't been around forever, they have been around long enough for the stores and the name to have become something of an institution around here.

I am posting about Bob Slate Stationers because, at the end of this month, they are closing their doors for good. A small chain of independent stores like Bob Slate closing is one of the sadder prices we pay for todays everything-on-demand culture.  I can't complain about technology—I love technology, it's changed my life, and it has changed things for everyone. But sometimes, clearly not for the better.

In the case of Bob Slate, the owners have been searching for a buyer for a couple of years now. No one has bought, so they are closing. This week is their Swan Song. Here are some photos of the shop emptying out.

Some of my favorite things about Bob Slate:

It seems that you could buy just ONE of ANYTHING here. One 30x20 envelope. One manila folder. One sheet of... whatever. Where else can you do that? Not Staples!

They carried cards and paper products that you really can't find in many places. They had many pop-up cards by Up With Paper among other companies, any kind of planner, calendar, kid's birthday invites, birthday cards put out by both high-end paper companies, quirky but well-known companies, as well as the tiniest, sweetest little greeting card company you had never even heard of (yet). ANY and ALL occasions of invites, many, many types of sketchbooks and journals, the aforementioned single-serving office supplies, plus art supplies, too. 

In fact, this the place I discovered Marvy's Artwin markers. These markers have the coolest colors on the market for markers. (Seriously! I don't know why they are not more well-known). They had a HUGE selection of  Marvy's Artwin markers at their Church Street shop. I spent so much time on that marker wall on Church Street's Bob Slate,  picking out just the perfect colors of the fifty or so Marvy Artwin markers in my collection..

They had a fountain pen desk as well— one of those big glass displays which showed off the product and was often manned with s sales associate ready to help you find just the right pen. Now THAT'S a throwback.

One thing they weren't known for is their sales... So the above photo is something of an anomaly.

Good bye, Bob Slate. I will miss you!


Allison said...

I hate that they are closing. I still haven't recovered from the demise of Pearl!!! Being able to actually physically browse materials and imagine what I'd do with them has always influenced my work.

K said...

Although, I don't live near you, this store closing makes me sad. I love good old fashioned Stationery stores and the little mom and pops can't compete with the online offerings. Good luck to the family in their new adventures!

Fraske Designs said...

oh no! i wish i were not reading this post! what a sad thing :(

Ellen Crimi-Trent said...

I used to go there when I lived in Winchester!!