Stationery in the Digital Age

In Lyon , Kelly Ingargiola took over the Perreyon 1884 boutique, “a 136-year-old start-up" dedicated to the art of writing and perpetuating the city's cultural heritage.

By Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Veue de Lyon du Chemin neuf de la maison Monsieur Pion (1631/1691) by IsraÇl Silvestre, Robert PigoutRijksmuseum

Lyon was one of the first cities in Europe to witness the growth of printers and publishers. The first printing workshop was set up there in the 15th century on the banks of the Saône. This was the beginning of the great period of publishing in Lyon: in one century, the city produced more than a third of French editions. 

photo d'archivesFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Since 1963, there’s even has a museum retracing the history of graphic techniques. The Maison Perreyon 1884 acquired a chic reputation that still lives on a century later.

Famille Perreyon, la papeterie en 1900Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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A family affair

Perreyon was founded in 1884 - also the year when Waterman invented the fountain pen. Although Kelly Ingargiola is not part of the family, she knows its history inside out.

Chocolats de KlaussFédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

Over the years, the brand gradually developed the stationery and writing offer. The family kept the store until 2001 before selling to a successor who kept the name, which had acquired a well-respected reputation around Lyon. Kelly took it over in 2016. She knows the family well, who come to the store regularly. 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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As an entrepreneur, she loves the historical aspect of her business: "when people ask me if the brand has been around for a long time, I say it’s a 136-year-old start-up!” 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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Kelly decided to take over the store after some professional disappointments and a few sales experiences in Paris: "I absolutely wanted to do something artistic, creative, and stimulating”. 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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Luxury pens 

At the time, the Perreyons had their own printing services. Later on, they worked with several outlets that have since closed. Today, the company is mostly known for luxury pens and fine stationery. 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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In store, you can find well-known brands that have been around for a long time, leather stationery, but also unique items from Japan, Turkey and Canada. 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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For Kelly, it's more of a fetish than a passion: "I have a lot of notebooks at home that I write stories in. Writing has a strength, a power that has been somewhat forgotten and that is coming back into fashion a lot. I've always loved writing, inventing, scribbling and drawing.” 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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She can guess the weight of the paper, distinguish between manufacturers, and even knows how to repair a fountain pen herself so that it continues to exist even if the part is no longer available. 

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A new clientele

To maintain the brand image, she needs to be an expert in her field, but also to advise the right product to each customer. 

The historical clientele is that of the residents of Lyon’s second arrondissement, families who knew the brand to get wedding invitations or birth announcement cards printed, and who became interested in the stationery offer later on.

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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A store vs the internet 

Other loyal customers live in the Ardèche region: they come to shop for gifts, or stop by during their weekend errands "I know that in their shopping circuit in Lyon they will inevitably pass by my shop", says Kelly. But Perreyon is also reaching a new connected clientele.

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

If Instagram brings her new clients, Perreyon 1884 does not yet have a site. It's a conscious decision, because the atmosphere of the store is what makes all the difference. "I will eventually launch one because it's 2020, but all of the offer won’t be online, I want people to visit the store » says Kelly.

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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The ink bar

Being niche is the strength of the brand – so the store even has an ink bar, which has a practical as well as an aesthetic side: it can be seen from the outside, and always brings curious people. 

Kelly wants to put in people's hands the tools to create on a daily basis. She organizes writing workshops and calligraphy courses to share techniques and hands-on experiences. 

PERREYON 1884Fédération Française des Associations de Commerçants

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Personal stories 

In her daily life, she sometimes randomly comes across pens that she has had engraved. That's the Perreyon touch: being part of customers' lives in the long term, in a poetic way.

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