Store Profile: Wonder Fair in Lawrence, KS

Wonderfair storefront

Just 25 miles west of Kansas City is the college town of Lawrence, Kansas. On the main drag of Massachusetts Street are all sorts of restaurants, bars, and shops. We drive over a couple times a year to visit. There’s a great ramen shop, guitar shop, yarn shop and there’s always new shops popping up. My favorite shop is called Wonder Fair. It’s filled with stationery, notebooks, pens, pencils, ink and art supplies from around the world and there’s an art gallery too.

Wonderfair signage

This is the amazing sign outside the store. Who wouldn’t want to set sail on a voyage at Wonder Fair?

Wonderfair Washi-ton display

On the main floor is paper goods. There are notebooks, stationery, cards, Traveler’s Notebooks, gifts, books, planners, calendars and the like. There is also some t-shirts in the front window and some tote bags and backpacks in the other window. In the back is the gallery area. There is a small display case with the “fancy pens” which is still a relatively small collection but includes Y Studio, Kaweco, Caran d’Ache, Platinum and Lamy.

Atop one of the displays is Mt. Washi-ton, a display of washi tape. How clever!

Wonderfair Field Notes

There is a copious display of both Field Notes and Baron Fig notebooks. I was able to pick up the new Baron Fig sticky notes from the great selection.

Wonderfair notebooks

Wonder Fair has such a great selection of notebooks like Rollbahn, Rhodia, Stalogy, Life, Midori, Write Notebooks, Mnemosyne and so many more. I had to resist buying anymore paper.

Wonderfair notebooks

Wonderfair ink refills

Upstairs are pens, pencils, markers, ink, refills and art supplies. It’s cubbies and containers of joy. It’s a snug little space but such fun and so colorful.

Wonderfair letter writing stationery

Back downstairs are the postal supplies including writing paper and envelopes as well as a wonderful selection of notecards, postcards and card sets.

Wonderfair haul

I picked up a few wonderful things because, really, how could I resist? I was super excited to get the Caran d’Ache Brut Rose ballpoint pen, another rainbow pencil, the Baron Fig Nomad StickyNotes, a set of Zebra Mildliners, a couple enamel pins and the Wonder Fair exclusive patch #1.

Finally…

The reason I wanted to get this post up right away is because THIS SUNDAY, July 16 is the monthly meeting of the Wonder Fair Letter Writing Club. The Letter Writing Club meet at a nearby coffee shop called Decade from 2-4pm. I plan to attend this month so if you happen to be in the area and can make, I’d love to meet up.

I’d be happy to bring along some of my stock of letter writing stamps for folks to try out and any pens, paper or ink that people might like to try in person.

And of course, a big thank you to Meredith and Paul at Wonder Fair for being so nice to us and not kicking us out for overstaying our welcome on Saturday. We must have been there for hours!

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12 comments / Add your comment below

  1. This shop looks absolutely fabulous! I would love to visit next time I am passing through Lawrence. One question: Is the upper floor accessible to someone who can’t walk up stairs?

    1. It’s not, sadly. It’s only a few steps, not a full flight. I didn’t think about issues for wheelchair accessibility or other mobility needs. Hmmm? I wonder if they’ve considered that?

      1. I never thought about such things, either, until I needed to. I’ve found with businesses located in older buildings that there very seldom is upstairs access for the disabled, so it’s best to find out before making a special trip and risking disappointment. But I enjoyed your report and I wish them much success with their able-bodied customers!

        1. I’m sure if you called ahead they would make arrangements to bring a full array of goodies down to the main floor for your perusal.

  2. As a native Missourian and Mizzou fan, I was thinking ugh.

    But that store does have a lot of the inks, notebooks and stationery I like.

    Besides not having the cards, how would you compare Wonder Faire to The Pen Place?

    1. Wonder Fair doesn’t specialize in fountain pens the way The Pen Place does. They’re a broader stationery & art store. They carry some Pilot, some Kaweco, some Lamy: mostly the lower and mid-range. I know they recently got some Custom Heritage 74’s in, and a Falcon or two. What they lack in fountain pen depth they make up in paper (one thing Ana’s photos don’t show is all the Midori/Traveller’s stuff), cards, books, and other delightful goodies.

      It’s one of my favorite places. Meredith, Paul, & co. really love this stuff, and it’s a blast to spend time in.

      1. Aaron, I agree. I should have gotten a photo of the Traveler’s Notebook display. I do think there are plans in the works to expand the range of fountain pens available at Wonder Fair. They have added Y Studio and Platinum and are considering adding other brands in the future.

  3. Oh, Midori stuff. Would that be refills for both sizes? I never thought there would be anything close to the KC metro area stocking Travelers Notebook products, so that is nice to know.

    Is Summer less busy in Lawrence?

    Thank you both for the comparison information. I don’t get to The Pen Place often. I got an email letting us know their free shipping threshold is $35 now.

    1. I will be out there today. I know there was full-sized for sure. I’ll double check on the passport-sized. And yes, Lawrence is considerably quieter in the summer. But back-to-school is swiftly approaching!

      The staff at The Pen Place is friendly and helpful and a wee-bit too convenient to me. If there’s anything specific you’re looking for, let me know. I work across the street and am always looking for an excuse to pop over on my lunch break.

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