Three cheers for pens, paper and Chirps and Cheers.
Whether you crave a message that’s sweet or salty, the paper goods at Chirps & Cheers are sure to satisfy. Through a carefully designed and curated collection, owner Jade Urash appeals to all tastes within her Midtown Plaza Court shop. Her self-described “sweet” cards are filled with flowery images or lovely sentiments, while her “salty” items contain a dash of naughty language or snarky humor.
Colorful stationery, journals, calendars and planners — as well as oodles of writing utensils — also line the shelves. In addition, Chirps & Cheers offers customized gifts, personalized invitations, gift wrapping services and in-store workshops. We recently spoke with Urash about the shop and her love for pens and paper.
How would you describe Chirps & Cheers?
One of the best compliments I got was when someone told me, “This store feels like an adult Scholastic Book Fair.” I could not have nailed the vibe that I’m going for any better than that.
Online you describe yourself as a “pen and paper nerd.” Why’s that?
When I was a kid, I could care less about my first-day-of-school outfit. It was way more important what school supplies I had. I remember being particular about what kind of pencil I had. There are just so many cute and fun little things in the stationery world; it has always been fun to collect them.
In the age of texts and emails, what role does a hand-written note play?
When you are writing something by hand, you really have to think about what you are trying to say, because you can’t just hit the backspace and delete what you just wrote. You have to be intentional. There’s also a longevity when something is written down. Most of us don’t keep special text messages, but we do keep special things that were written. I was very close to my grandmother, and I have all of the letters that she wrote to me.
What do you like most about your work?
I have a client; we just sent their second baby announcement off to be printed. We did their save the date, wedding invitation, first baby announcement, and now we’re doing a baby announcement for their second baby — all of this over five years. So that aspect is really fun.
I also love when someone comes in and says, “Oh my gosh! You carry this kind of pen? This is my favorite pen, and I’ve never seen this color in a store.” They are grabbing something that is $2, and it just made their day.
Do you have a favorite pen?
Yes! Muji pens are my favorite thing in the whole world.
What motivates you to carry a wide variety of items?
We really pride ourselves on being inclusive, and we welcome all kinds of clients. My goal is that when people walk in, they see themselves in the items we carry. Whether that’s who they love or how they identify, I want people to feel accepted and see themselves represented in the cards — things that they may not see at other stores.
There are plenty, plenty, plenty of flowery cards out there, and there’s certainly a time and place for that. We’re trying to represent the other [types]. Sometimes, you just want to say, “This sucks,” and a card that says, “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” is just not the sentiment you want. You know, sometimes you just want to be real. We are here for that.