Goods for the Study
For your stationery fetish: The McNally Jackson store.
When autumn arrives, do you find yourself wistful for the days of school supply shopping? The endless aisles of notebooks, pens, index cards and staying up late to organize your binder? Do you love the feeling of crossing things off a written list with an actual pen? The McNally Jackson Store has just thing for you.
Goods for the Study, located in Nolita, in Manhattan, is a shop intended to “support and celebrate the life of the mind by giving it a space of its own.” Founded by Sandeep Kaur Salter in partnership with Sarah McNally (of McNally Jackson Books), Goods for the Study is sure to send any paper-loving person into a stationery frenzy. The store also has an online shop, meaning all those gorgeous notebooks, paper clips, study lamps, and staplers are just a click away.
We visited Sandeep at the shop and spoke to her about the genesis of the store as we ogled over their inventory. And yes, they are on Instagram. You’re welcome.
How did Goods for the Study come into being?
We opened about two and a half years ago. I had been working at McNally Jackson as the art, design, and architecture buyer for the store. So Sarah McNally, who owns the bookstore, and I opened Goods for the Study together. We had found products for the bookstore that didn’t make sense there but needed a venue, and needed to be seen in the right context. So we set our minds to creating a space where someone can imagine their own work space.
We love the Emerson quote on the website.
I was reading Nature on the subway and it just really made sense. In particular the idea of “building your own world” seems to be the philosophy behind the store.
How important is space and design to creativity?
I think you can create a very small space, even if it’s just a wall or a corner that helps you get into your own head. There’s so much stimuli coming from the outside world and even from your computer. Just having objects that you find inspirational near you can really transform the way you work and your process. They don’t even have to be tools necessarily—it could just be a picture. If you love the physical components of your work you’ll have a more intimate, meaningful relationship with your work.
What is your best-selling item?
The Midori pens are by far our most popular thing. They are really nifty; they twist into each other and are very compact. They are beautiful; they come in brass or enamel. People come into the store specifically for those.
Do you think there’s still a place for paper goods in the digital world?
Of course, I think it’s refreshing to find that tangible workspace. I hear it all day; people swoon over this stuff. There’s even more of a yearning for it now. Maybe it’s a fetishization to a certain point because you don’t need these things necessarily, anymore. Especially for younger people. For our older clients, letter writing and things like that are still integrated into their daily lives. But it’s great to meet young artists and writers who are excited about the tangible page.
What three items would you recommend for a starter study?
1. A really good pen. It doesn’t have to be a fountain pen! A great ballpoint pen is fantastic.
2. Good notepaper.
3. Great lamp. A light separates a space. It can focus your workspace, you don’t even need a desk. Once you have that lamp it becomes a workspace.
What are your favorite five objects in the store?
1. The Sailor Chalana Fountain Pen. It’s the finest point you can get. It’s a really thin, gold fountain pen.
2. Pinetti Notebooks. Gorgeous leather notebooks. I use these for writing.
3. Bindewerk A4 Notebook. I use this for drawing, it’s great, it lays flat and has nice thick sketchbook paper.
4. Carl Auböck Eggs. We have these solid brass eggs. We’ve had them since we’ve opened. I love all his work.
5. Jielde Lamp. These are the most wonderful desk lamps ever. They are so delicate; when you see them next to an another desk lamp it’s instantly apparent how slick and elegant they are.
Are you an avid reader? What are your favorite books?
I love Nausea by Jean Paul-Sartre. On Being Blue, by William H. Gass. I really love Gass. I just read The Lime Twig by John Hawkes, which was really intense—it’s kind of a thriller. Right now I’m reading Seth Price’s book, which is fantastic. I read a lot of art-writing; this is an artist’s novel. It’s such a fantastic snapshot of what it’s like to have a studio practice in 2015. People who are interested in contemporary art should definitely read this book.
Unless noted, all photos are courtesy of Open Road Media.