Shorthand, the stationary store and letterpress printer, is planning to open at 126 N. Larchmont Blvd by the end of August, owner and founder Rosanna Kvernmo told the Buzz.
Larchmont will be her second location, Kvernmo (pronounced k-vern-mo, it’s Norwegian and you say every letter, she explained)said. She opened her first shop in Highland Park in March 2016 with a print shop in the back, where she also creates her line of custom greeting cards under the brand Shorthand Press.
Shorthand’s company motto is “for the love of your desk,” and Kvernmo describers herself as “an accidental retailer” who takes great delight in sharing her passion for office supplies, stationery, and paper goods by offering her customers what she considers to be the best products in a wide range of prices.
“Our products are literally for everyone,” explained Kvernmo. “In the seven and a half years we’ve been operating the Highland Park store, we learned that literally everyone is our customer base. We have items for every demographic and age range, in a wide range of prices. We have a fun vision for the type of products we carry and the shop reflects that. I will be brining the full range of products that we have at Shorthand to Larchmont. I’m also excited and ready to have my ear to ground for what Larchmont customers really like. I’m always learning about new products from stationery enthusiasts.”
Opening on Larchmont is a big step for Kvernmo’s company, which has been through a lot in the last five years. In 2019, she lost her husband and business partner Joel to brain cancer. As she, her young daughter, and small team were recovering from the loss, the pandemic struck. Fortunately Kvernmo was always focused on building a sustainable business and they were poised to charge full steam ahead out of the pandemic. Expanding her retail footprint was something she’d always wanted to do, she said, and Larchmont was the only place she really wanted to open.
Like York Blvd in Highland Park, Larchmont is a walking street that serves the local neighborhood. Kvernmo lives nearby and walks to work. She met her new husband, Kevin Hockin (they got married last year) because he owns a coffee shop, Collage, down the street from her shop. A like-minded entrepreneur, they started a take-out pizzeria called Side Pie in Altadena during the pandemic.
A native of the Seattle, Kvernmo discovered a love for letterpress at the age of 23 and started out making cards and invitations for any customers she could find. As her printing skills improved, she started making and designing her own cards, and slowly built a business to focus on her own designs, assisted by her artist and photographer husband Joel. Over the past fifteen years, she’s built a business that she’d like to work, for she said.
“I take my responsibility as a business owner very seriously. I’m thrilled to have great staff who are very knowledgeable about everything we sell, and feel very privileged to have a business that supports my family and my staff and that I love doing,” she told the Buzz.
Before she signed her lease, Kvernmo told us she checked around to make sure she wouldn’t be stepping on the toes of any local shops, like Top Drawer, Village Heights or Landis Gifts and Stationery, whose owner, Edie Frére, she’s known personally for many years.
“We are all very different; there’s very little overlap,” said Kvernmo, who believes her shop will appeal to stationery enthusiasts and maybe even inspire some to become enthusiasts.
“It’s so great when you have a fun pen to write with in a meeting, right?” she asked.
We totally agree. Even though we work digitally most of the time, we’re always on the hunt for a great pen or notebook and look forward to hunting at Shorthand.