El Tintero, Stationary Shop – Travel Short
Puebla was awesome and welcoming and inspiring in so many ways – but the can’t-be-beat highlight? We discovered a stationary shop so amazing and with so much history – almost had a heart attack from all the rad. El Tintero is the oldest stationery shop in town (66 years standing) and the owner, Juan, gave us a tour of their private collection of office machinery. The room was like a secret museum – you accessed it by climbing a tall and narrow spiral staircase (built by the same factory that built the Eiffel Tower!) to the top floor of a colonial house converted into a store. It was AMAZING. It was magical. It was everything I love so deeply wrapped up in one – travel, design and office supplies.
I kept telling Juan that visiting his shop was like a dream come true. I was that kid in the candy store… touching everything, wanting everything. My mind was racing and all I could think was that I somehow managed to win the lottery. Juan took interest in my interest… He shared the history of his father and how he had started the business. I kept comin’ back over the next few days, and Juan showed me more and more of the old colonial building and shared more history. I saw photos of his father and awards that he won. I didn’t want to leave this magical place. If it wasn’t for RAD AND HUNGRY, I would of asked Juan for a job on the spot. I wanted to be a registrar for his shop – I wanted to examine every item in the shop and catalog it.
Before finding El Tintero, we had already checked out 18 stationery shops that were all identical. Every shop carried the same Scribe notebooks, same design and colors, the same pencils. El Tintero stocked that same stuff, too, BUT they had more… We scored mad amounts of vintage goods – 100% because Juan was so amazing. He gave me permission to wander his massive shop aimlessly. Didn’t take long before I discovered a shit ton of vintage office supplies. I’m talking paper font stencils, bottles of ink, pencils, all types of forms… I was losing my shit. I weaved in out of aisles, I climbed ladders searching for hidden treasures, I crawled into small spaces and after each day exploring as much as I could, I was covered in dust, hands black, and I loved it.
Hunting for goods will never mean the same – thanks to Juan and his shop, it’s on some next-level shit.