The Washington Post

Fifteen/Eleven paper boutique opens in Old Town Alexandria

Suann Song at her paper goods shop, Fifteen/Eleven, in Alexandria. (Bill O'Leary/THE WASHINGTON POST)

Fifteen/Eleven is a charming paper-goods boutique and the brainchild of stationer and graphic designer Suann Song.

At just 400 square feet, the Old Town Alexandria storefront is small, though Song’s range of offerings is anything but.

In addition to her own custom designs, Song stocks beautifully made stationery, office products, greeting cards, crafting notions, wrapping paper and small gifts. She also sells many irresistible extras, such as small containers of pretty pushpins in yellow, black and blue ($3.50) and a so-cute-you-may-never-end-up-using-it grouping of beeswax birthday candles bundled together with string ($6 for a group of 10).

“I carry things I’ve seen around the Web that I couldn’t get elsewhere,” she says. “They represent all of my favorite things and designers.”

The interior of Song’s shop is just as appealing as her paper products. A crisp black-and-white color palette is paired with vintage and industrial metal accents. The look is a reflection of Song’s minimal, natural style.

Fifteen/Eleven is just 400 square feet. (Bill O'Leary/WASHINGTON POST)

“I’m largely influenced by the clean line and neutral hues of Japanese design,” she says. “It’s pretty but functional.”

Song, who runs a boutique design and printing studio, Simplesong Design, in the same space, does all of her own letterpress work on one of three antique, cast-iron machines, which she refers to by name: Chip, Pearl and Chandler. Chip and Pearl reside at the studio, but Chandler, a 2,800-pound behemoth, has taken up permanent residence at Song’s home.

In addition to paper goods, Fifteen/Eleven also offers letterpress, calligraphy and photography workshops, and organizes meet-ups for local folks to gather and get creative.

Customers of Fifteen/Eleven are typically professional women, says Song. They may not hold creative day jobs, she says, but they have a creative side they want to express, perhaps through a letterpress birthday card, hand-printed wrapping paper or a pretty notepad on their office desk.

They are people who appreciate things that are well-designed and handcrafted, she says, “and someone who doesn’t mind spending $4 on a greeting card.”

Fifteen/Eleven is at 1511 King St., Alexandria. Call 703-548-0018 or visit



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