`Strictly paper' is the motto
for The Paper Merchant
By Karen Remen
The Paper Merchant, St. Charles, merchandises just what. the name implies: paper goods.
The new enterprise is a joint venture of Steve and Pat Burnham. It opened June 1 as the first retail establishment in the Fox Island Square shop complex.
Fox Island Square, located on the .site of the old Howell Building, is still in the works. More stores are scheduled to open by the end of summer.
The structure is situated on the Fox River in the downtown St. Charles business district.
Steve said the original smokestack may eventuall• develop into a marquee for the shops.
Steve and Pat found the idea for their store in San Francisco, where they visited a shop just like the Paper Merchant.
"We liked what we saw and decided to do that here in St. Charles," Steve added. "Art cards, or blank ones where you fill in your own verse, are big on both coasts and we felt this is the direction to be heading. It is the up and coming thing."
The Paper Merchant is a store full of ideas — wall-to-wall imagination run wild, Steve said.
"We offer all types of paper goods and related items, but we do not sell gifty items," he said. "We are sticking strictly with paper."
Cards abound on all walls, There are Oriental cards, pop-out cards, Wind in the Willow" cards, animal cards and al-
ost any kind of card you possibly could want. Cards from Europe and Asia are
The store sells wrapping
paper by the yard and sta-
nery by the pound. With
yen colors to choose
from, the customer is al-
lowed the luxury of mixing
and matching to create his own color scheme. Color- coded envelopes are sold for a dime each.
Stickers also are sold by the yard, and can be used on cards or whatever the customer wants to create. Rubberpicture stamps with designs of animals and flowers are available.
Then there are -greeting seed cards," — blank cards with seedpackets on the front.
The sign by the display tells the reader, "If you carrot all ... sendgreeting seeds."
The Burnhams describe their enterprise as a "crea- tive workshop."
"You can still find agift for under a dollar in here," Steve said, -and nowadays that is getting rather hard to do."
Different colored bas,
hepointed out, are mar- keted for "Luminaries around swimming pools."
There are invitations and announcements to cover any situation inyour life, including divorce.
Or how about this invitation to aparty : "Love to have a black tieparty/But the silver isn't complete/So by all means/Feel free to wear jeans/But please don't come in bare ft et!"
Of course the stoi just wouldn't be complete vith- out masks to wear at these parties and gift boxes for presents.
In the rear of the shop is a wedding invitation room, which Pat said is scheduled to open this week.
The Burnhams are local merchants, residing in Ge- neva. The Paper Merchant represents a new direction in their business lives.
Steve draws on his experience of 16 years as an vertising manager with Funway Amusements in Batavia.
Steve also inherits sore business expertise from his father, Joe. a Batavia resi-
(Continued on Page 3)
Steve, left, and Pat Burnham show off two paper masks that can be found at The Paper Merchant, the first business to open at the Fox Island Square complex in St. Charles. For a look at the two owners without their masks see page 3. (Chronicle photo by Karen Remen)
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