Stationery? Stationary?

The Story Behind Shanghai Stationary

Every now and then, we are asked about our company name, Shanghai Stationary. People often wonder why we chose this name, where the “Shanghai” comes from, and whether we made a mistake by spelling “stationery” with an E instead of an A. Well, let’s set the record straight and share the story behind our unique name.

Perhaps you’ve already read a bit about us on our ABOUT page, where we give a glimpse into the part Shanghai played in our lives. Emile and I had a chance encounter in Shanghai that was truly serendipitous. I was visiting my sister who lived there at the time for a family event, while Emile happened to be in Shanghai for a business trip. Fate brought us together in a place neither of us would typically frequent, and this remarkable meeting left such an indelible impression on us that we wanted to incorporate it into our company’s identity.

Now, from a marketing perspective for paper products, choosing “Shanghai” might not have been our wisest decision initially. After all, Shanghai has long been associated with mass-produced Chinese goods—cheap plastic items churned out for the global market. But beyond the location where we met lies a rich heritage of old Shanghai—the city of Art Deco when China briefly opened its doors to the West in the early 20th century.

If you wander through the ancient quarters of Shanghai today, you can still find remnants of that era—a few residential buildings adorned with beautiful Art Deco architecture. These architectural gems serve as testament to a time when China embraced Western influences while retaining its own cultural essence.

With Shanghai Stationary, we aim to capture that fusion of East meets West. Our products showcase timeless elegance and attention to detail inspired by both Chinese craftsmanship and international design sensibilities. We believe that fine stationery should be more than just functional; it should evoke emotions, inspire creativity, and add a touch of sophistication to everyday life.

But what about the spelling? Yes, we intentionally spell “stationery” with an E instead of an A. While it may seem unconventional, it’s our way of adding a playful twist to our brand. We wanted our name to stand out and be memorable. After all, who says stationery has to be serious business all the time? We like to inject a little fun into our work and make our customers smile.

So there you have it—the story behind Shanghai Stationary. It’s not just a random choice; it’s a reflection of a serendipitous meeting in Shanghai and an homage to the city’s history and culture. We hope that every time you use one of our products, you’ll feel the connection and appreciate the thoughtfulness behind its creation.

Whether you’re a fountain pen enthusiast or simply someone who appreciates beautiful stationery, we invite you to explore our collection inspired by Shanghai’s heritage. From exquisite notebooks to elegant writing instruments, each piece is crafted with care and designed to bring joy to your everyday moments.

Thank you for being part of our journey as we continue to share the story behind Shanghai Stationary, one pen stroke at a time.

Stay writing,

Astrid and Emile