TRAVELER’S COMPANY Partner Shops are stores around the world that embody and share the spirit of TRAVELER’S notebook with fans and users. Not only can you browse the whole TRAVELER’S COMPANY product line up, but you can also share your enthusiasm with the store owners who are also TRAVELER’S notebook users. In this series, we will take you on a virtual trip to visit Partner Shops around the US. Learn about their charm, the experience, and the neighborhood that brings the TRAVELER’S notebook experience together.
The Paper Seahorse – Tampa, Florida
The Paper Seahorse is a studio for creativity and mindfulness in sunny Tampa, Florida. Many people might have come to Tampa for the beaches and the relaxing vibe. However, The Paper Seahorse owner Tona Bell also encourages tourists and locals alike to slow down and reconnect with themselves and others through analog tools and experiences. Tona created The Paper Seahorse as a haven of inspiration for those who are digitally fatigued. You can browse select stationery goods, but also take workshops or classes on writing and other wellness-related topics.
“We just expanded to the bungalow next door, also built-in 1917, and we are joining the two. There is an outdoor space that is very old Florida, shaded by live oaks dressed up with Spanish moss. We are able to have both our retail shop, and plenty of space for classes and workshops inside and out. Because the weather is lovely nine months of the year, we enjoy many events on the front porch as well as our shady outdoor space. The 105-year-old space is so quaint and comforting, people are immediately relaxed and inspired when they walk in. We want them to exhale and move a little slower, to get inspired and recharge”
As you enter the store, you immediately feel at ease with the homey décor and the potted plants that interweave between selections of artifacts and stationery goods. Tona also took inspiration from the namesake “Seahorse” and hope to channel the gentle and graceful nature of seahorses to the store experience. It’s a special place where you can calmly enjoy paper goods, connect with other patrons, and experience the peace that comes with using analog tools.
Aside from the lush scenery of white sand beaches, tropical palm trees, and surrounding blue waters, Tampa is also a vibrant and eclectic city! It has an interesting blend of Spanish, Italian, Greek, and Caribbean Island culture in the area. There are countless restaurants, art galleries, historical architecture, and outdoor entertainment areas.
Through documentation and beautiful illustration, Tona combines the B-Sides and Rarities Accordion Refill with old-fashioned travel souvenir postcards to recreate what it’s like to explore iconic places in Tampa!
Tona herself grew up in the Philippines and Hong Kong and had always been in love with Japan and its culture: Food, customs, and stationery. Since being in the US, discovering TRAVELER’S COMPANY, and feeling the superior quality, she fell in love with it and had to carry it in her shop. Tona traveled to Japan and met with the staff at Designphil in early 2019 and visited TRAVELER’S FACTORY. She then brought the experience home and hosted a meetup with TRAVELER’S notebook users in a pop-up location in history Ybor City. It was a meetup of over 80 people attending!
“We had a calligrapher on-site to customize notebooks, the stamp station (courtesy of TRC), and giveaways (a regular and passport notebook with new refills). We also typed travel-themed haikus and wrote messages to the design team which we later mailed along with a typewriter. We were able to showcase and explain the new products in-depth and we had a super fun round robin where everyone shared how they use their favorite notebooks.”
When you have the chance to visit The Paper Seahorse in person, don’t miss out on the opportunity to browse special TRAVELER’S FACTORY limited products alongside the original lineup. Don’t hesitate to ask Tona about her TRAVELER’S notebook too! Tona utilizes the Letter Pad Refill with the Olive Paper Cloth Zipper Case as her on-the-go letter writing kit, and other staffs at The Paper Seahorse all enjoy using their TRAVELER’S notebooks as well!
211 S Howard Ave,
Tampa, FL 33606
Have a nice trip!