Ask me a year ago what I’d be doing on my next birthday and no way in hell would I have said that I’d be hangin’ at a 24-hour office supply store at 3 am shopping for lo-fi office supplies, then dragging a honking big box of goods through the streets of Reykjavík at 3:30 am.
Discovered the office supply shop a few blocks from the hotel after a full day of sourcing goods. “Opið 24 Tíma” was stickered all over the windows. Assumed it read “open 24 hours” but there was no way. Right? Maybe it translates to “shop 24 hours online?” Could there really be a need for a 24-hour office supply store in Reykjavík?
Walked up to the shop to peer into the windows and the door automatically opened. MAGIC. Jetlagged and tired I could hardly believe it. It’s like they knew I was coming. Tip toed in and then a full-on mad dash to the big bin of notebooks staring straight at me. Calling my name. There they were. The notebooks in all their glory – bright and beautiful. The elementary design of the covers drew me in but I was sold the minute I picked one up. I couldn’t stop droolin’ over the weight of the creamy, coated cover, the thickness of the grid sheets, AND… the squared off spine. It’s a small detail and one that is often neglected in simple productions. The notebooks look so very lo-fi yet everything about them feels so rich.
The hunt continued the next day, walking everywhere and anywhere in Reykjavík, learning that the majority of the office supplies are imported from Germany, France, and the US. Then – OMG FINALLY! We discovered a colorful shop very much like a Nordic version of Muji. Some household goods, some clothes, some office supplies, a little bit of everything. Spotted super cute, colorful pencils that perfectly matched the notebooks. Love the cushy pencil grips and the color coordinating ferrules!
Two buses, one transfer later, we’re in the next town over searching for the Mystery Item. Every shop we popped into had some version of a grid pad with blue lines and header boxes that were kept by the exercise books. I’ve never seen anything like these pads before – not the size, not the header boxes. An employee explained that they were crucial to elementary school students and they use them for everything. Hello? Crucial to elementary students? Sold. Too cool for school? Nah, not us. We golden.