Just Paper and Tea (4 reviews)
Quaint tea and paper shop in georgetown. Great selection of fine papers, we were very impressed. We had been shopping around all day, and the other paper stores in georgetown were ok, but really didn't have quality papers. We also was very unimpressed with the level of knowledge and service at the other stores. We were relieved to find Just Paper and Tea-- they were very pleasant and extremely knowledgeable. They have paper lines unavailable at the other stores. I wish they were more visible to the street because it's quite a hidden gem. Although we came for paper and invitations, they also have quite a tea collection. We would definitely recommend this store over the others.
I was walking down the streets of Georgetown today and happened to notice this little paper shop. As an artist and even just as a person, I love paper and cards and stationery and I wanted to see if this shop had a nice selection.
My experience began nicely enough with pleasant chit chat with the lady who was minding the store, and briefly with a gentleman (presumably Nick) who came out front briefly. I informed the lady that I was just a browser, having just discovered their shop and wanting to see what kind of things they offered.
Within just a minute or two, though, as I was looking at the various greeting cards, I sensed a strange tone on the part of the lady (Carolyn?), who remarked suspiciously that I seemed very interested in the companies who make the cards (since I was turning over each card to see who made it). I don't know why it mattered to her, but I had a specific personal reason (given at the bottom of this review).
A few moments later, after inquiring into the availability of Crane's Crest stationery, some kind of switch flipped and the sales lady suddenly showed no more interest in helping me. I asked how long it would take to receive a box of the stationery if I ordered with them (since they didn't keep any in stock). With a very strange look on her face, she refused to answer me with anything other than a curt and non-helpful 'very soon' or something similar. I asked politely if we were talking about something like a week or a month. 'Very soon,' she repeated, standing there looking bizarrely at me. Repeated attempts to get some sort of approximate turnaround time were each met with 'very soon.'
It's not that I looked suspicious or unwelcome. I'm educated and dress respectably and conservatively, bathe regularly, have a normal haircut, etc. There was no remotely guessable reason for her sudden, starkly impolite refusal to help me.
After a moment of stunned silence on my part, I asked what was wrong. 'Nothing at all,' she said curtly, still staring right at me. I asked if I had said something wrong. 'Not at all,' was her curt reply, with the same bizarre fakeness in her look.
I started walking out and she hastened after me saying 'Have a pleasant day' or something, in sarcastic fashion.
This bizarre treatment was very disturbing. I had no idea what had happened. This is the kind of treatment one would imagine to come only from certain types of patient at a mental hospital, truly.
One possible explanation? After I left, I thought to myself: I had asked about the companies she gets her greeting cards from, and I had asked about prices of two items and about the turnaround time for an order of stationery. Was it paranoia? Maybe she thought I was a competitor trying to research the competition and decided to shut me down. I don't know.
In any case, I am an artist and had inquired as to where she gets her cards because I was thinking of offering to send her samples of my own work for sale. And I asked the price of stationery and delivery time because I USE stationery and was running low.
I have NEVER been treated this bizarrely, unfairly, or offensively by anyone, much less by a sales person who is presumably in business to succeed. I know many people in the arts and many others who enjoy fine papers and great cards and I could never recommend this place to any of them.
I would hate for anyone I care about to have their afternoon spoiled like mine was by an encounter such as this.
This quaint shop in the heart of Georgetown, Washington DC is a gem. Carolyn and Nick are extremely knowledgeable when it comes to tea. They also serve as a great source for personalized stationary and different kinds of paper.
I found everything I needed here and the service was excellent. I highly recommend this shop on the corner of P Street and Wisconsin.