Field Trip: Must Buys from the U.S. (Part 3: Stationery)美國必買心得 (3: 文具)

Since this trip was mostly for work related purposes, I spent the most of my time on campus. I felt lucky to find quite a lovely selection of stationery at the campus bookstore.  Since it rains a lot in Oregon, I was tempted to buy a new raincoat because I was tired of wearing the same one over and over again.  But I managed to quash that impulse so I could save money (and luggage space!) for other stuff.  So no new raincoat, but… look what I found instead! A waterproof notebook!  This bright, cheerful, raincoat yellow notebook is from the brand Rite in the Rain.  I bought one for my brother who writes for a living~ and I’m waiting to hear back about how much he likes it. 😀

rite in the rain

Image Source: Rite in the Rain

I also found this very cute eraser on one of the bottom shelves of the stationery section. Seriously, so. adorable. It’s by Ticonderoga. I originally bought one just for myself, but I went back for a few more to give as gifts.  Now I wish I bought back a dozen, because every time I give it to someone, their face breaks out into a smile.  Even my most serious friends. 🙂

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這次去美國,還是以工作為主。 但當然還是有找到一點時間去逛文具。 大部分的時間都是在校園的書店逛逛, 後來還有一點時間去大賣場 Target 還有 Staples.

While we were in Portland, my friend Carol indulged me by going to Target, not once, but twice in less than 48 hours, so I could get my stationery fix there. I saw so much over on Instagram about Target’s Dollar Spot section that I had to see it for myself.  Whew.  There was so much stuff in that section!  I didn’t know where to begin looking.

來美國, 一定要逛 Target. (Target 很容易失心瘋~ 所以一定也要跟一位比你自己理性的朋友一起逛。感謝 Carol 這次陪我逛了兩次, 而且也要感謝她阻止我買太多 XD)Target 的特色是之一有跟知名設計師合作, 所以可以用經濟實惠的價錢買到很有設計感的商品。 這次我買到了 Orla Kiely 的小化妝袋!另外我的建議是可以在 Target 買謝卡及萬用卡。 選擇蠻多的, 而且價錢也很 ok.

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I made sure to get a photo of super cute Bullseye. (Glad I found out his real name this time, I always thought it was “Spot.” XD).

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From the Dollar Spot section, I bought some pretty pencils. Perfect gifts for my stationery loving friends in Taiwan. (And so light and transportable! Very important when you are traveling).

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I was happy to finally see Sugar Paper in person, again after reading about them so much online.  I was a little sad to see that there were only planners left~ I was hoping for some of their washi tape and wrapping paper, and other pretty notebooks.  I think they may have been more of a holiday collaboration, so that could have explained their absence.  I did love, love, love the Kraft paper covers on the planners, and how gorgeous is that pink?

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My absolute favorite stationery purchase from this trip came from Target~ the Orla Kiely for Target, Wild Meadow Pencil Case. I love Orla Kiely’s designs and I’ve been wanting one of these for  long time.  The first trip there, I saw the larger case in the back. I asked Carol: do you think that’s too big for a pencil case?  She rightfully answered: Yes.

To be realistic, I would have to be traveling away from my office for a month to need a pencil case that large. (By the way, I suggest that you bring a trusted friend along when you are shopping in Target after a long absence… they will be the voice of calm and reason and stop you from spending your entire paycheck on Essie nail polish ).

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I’m glad I waited because on the second trip, they restocked, and I found the perfect one, this one! It’s roomy and light, and the material is very stain resistant and waterproof. And of course, the flower design is just adorable.

Orla Kiely Wild Meadow Pencil Case

Image source: Target.com

Another item I always look for when I’m traveling outside of Taiwan is thank you cards, or all occasion cards.I found a bunch from SPRITZ NY that I loved, and also a pack of these gold dots and plain notecards, which I also thought could either be cute, or elegant, depending on the occasion (and the amount of washi tape and stickers that I use to decorate them with).

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Even though in this digital age, some people consider thank you cards to be passé, I still enjoying writing and sending them (and I’m always more than thrilled to receive one).

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On a different day, I also had a quick wander through Staples, and was surprised by how colorful Duck Tape and Scotch Tape has gotten! Wouldn’t it be great to send out some packages with some of this tape?

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I love that the washi tape trend has spread from Asia all the way to the United States! Everyday items deserve to be colorful and special too.

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Staples is a great place to buy functional stationery at reasonable prices. I use a lot of graph paper in my everyday life, so I thought these post it notes were going to be especially useful for both work and my journaling activities.  While Taiwan has a pretty extensive collection of sticky notes, I haven’t seen them in this size, or quantity.  (Post-it® Super Sticky Gridded Notes, 4″ x 6″, White, 50 Sheets Per Pad, a pack of 2 pads)

 

graph paper post its

Image Source: Office Max.com

 

In my opinion, I think the U.S. is a good place to stock up on stationery basics.  Target and Staples have really upped their stationery game recently, and it’s fun to see the new products.  I’ve always enjoyed Target’s collaboration with artists, such as Sugar Paper and Orla Kiely, because it gives ordinary people like me a chance to enjoy their products.

老實說, 我覺得亞洲的文具比較精緻~而且選擇比較有多。 但美國的大眾文具強項是功能性~紮紮實實的筆記本, 或是可靠性很高的膠帶。所以在美國買文具的時候, 可以把注意力注重在 basics (基本款)而且我覺得美國的卡片 (尤其謝卡還有萬用卡) 花色跟亞洲的不太一樣, 也可以參考看看。

This post wraps up my three major shopping expenditures for when I was in the U.S.  I’ll come back and update on the ways I’ve used each item soon, or you can always hop over to my Instagram, which is updated constantly.

If you like, you can read  Part One, Kitchen Utensils here, and Part Two (Cosmetics) here.

Enjoy!

This was not a sponsored post, I paid for all items with my own money, and all experiences, viewpoints and  opinions described are my own. 

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8 comments

  1. Totally agree on the differences between asian stationary and like here U.S ones, when I was still in school I always got a bulk of “basic” notebooks from Costco and wrote freely but now it’s not the same as writing on midori paper…… btw I’m totally amazed by how fancy these duck tapes can go, I didn’t know they offer something more than solid colours, ummmm, interesting:)

    • Hi Chloe, Definitely. I do wish I bought a couple of the spiral bound, three hole punched notebooks while I was in the U.S. I realized that those are hard to find in Taiwan!

  2. interesting to read your perspective because my opinion of stationery stores in taiwan vs the u.s. is the opposite of yours. i don’t bother looking through the stationery section at target or office depot/office max because i find the selection quite boring. on the other hand, i can spend hours browsing stationery stores in taiwan and japan because everything is so neat and cleverly designed. i guess it’s just a matter of what you’re used to seeing and what is considered novel to you 🙂

    • HT- Can’t wait until you visit next. My favorite stationery store in Taipei has expanded to a larger location, and I can’t wait for you to see it 🙂
      After moving back to Taiwan, I find myself missing those basic items so easily found in the U.S., like certain types of notebooks, or a particular brand of pens. Some of it is tied to nostalgia, or just force of habit, I guess!

  3. ooooo, i look forward to checking out the store with you! in the meantime, feel free to let me know if you need anything from the u.s. happy to send it to you in a care package 😀

    • Hi HT! You’ll love it. Hurry back! (Thanks~ will do! And let me know what you want from Taiwan, it’ll be fun to send you a care package! 🙂 )

  4. European stationery shops are *so* boring compared to the Asian and US ones 😦 I remember spending a good deal of my scholarship when I was in Japan in stationery goodies – and I didn’t even know about MTN, Hobonichi and the like back then!!

    • Hi Julia, Thanks for reading! Oh, but European stores have so many nice fountain pens! I remember taking forever to choose my Kaweco and Lamy pens the last time I was in Germany. But you’re right, I think Asian stores have a more colorful selection. Thank goodness for online shopping, right? 🙂


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