On November 15, 1985, a new paper shop was opened in Munich, Schellingstrasse 71, founded by a young paper enthusiast who has maintained the business ever since. At the beginning it was surely beyond Jonathan Osthoff's imagination that the store would develop into a retail and wholesale company operating worldwide under the name of CARTA PURA (pure paper). Over the years many people joined the business, several office and warehouse spaces were rented nearby, however, the shop itself remained at the very same place under its original name: „Papierladen“.
From the start signature features emerged in the assortment: Japanese papers, selected stationery, bookbinding material and Carta Varese. Self-designed products being manufactured by associated bookbinders have also been part of the shop's range.
Meanwhile the CARTA PURA products which are all made in Germany are one of the most important parts of the company which defines itself through these self-designed products. Sometimes it takes years until a project is realized. The most suitable paper has to be found as well as a reliable manufacturer, perfect colours and optimized design have to be developed. But it can also be the other way round: A brilliant idea, a perfect manufacturer and the appropriate material come together at once and it takes only short time until the product is ready to be sold. This was the case, for example, with the A-Mappe, a folder which we are selling successfully for more than 20 years.
Another characteristic of CARTA PURA is the staff working for the company, most of them since the mid nineties. Everybody contributes knowledge from very different kinds of professions. For example, the warehouse man is also our carpenter and woodcut artist; the typesetter and typographer is also programming our merchandise software. All shop staff perform many different tasks: This can be the designing and production of cards, the realizing of quality assurance or the making of journeys as sales representative. Therefore all CARTA PURA members are responsible in many ways.
We only produce what we ourselves like and that which satisfies our own demands. This special feature is an important reason for having been able to develop a merchant's network all over Germany, Europe and several overseas countries.
Most important for our international reputation is the presentation of our stand at the famous Paperworld Fair in Frankfurt which we have been attending since 1995. Our stand of nearly 100 qm is prepared meticulously in Munich, is shipped in a wooden container and is rebuilt in Frankfurt. All our papers are displayed on many walls in their original format; the samples on the tables invite you to handle our products, our own staff attends the Fair to assist. Every time we introduce new products and papers which is an exhausting task. Therefore we have reduced our Paperworld participation to a biannual rhythm, next time it will be in January 2018.
Customers appreciate our annual catalogue a lot, printed on real paper, decorated with numerous wood cuts and drawings. Additionally we distribute sample booklets, which enables one to touch and see our complete paper, ribbon and cloth range. With these materials at hand designing, producing and ordering are easy and a lot of fun.
Of course, fine paper and premium products can only be appreciated if they reach the customer in perfect condition after shipment. Our various warehouse and storage facilities are located close to one another. They are adjusted to our shipping requirements so that we can cope with a large stock receipt and goods issue spending an economic amount of time and energy. Furthermore we attach importance to reasonable and efficient packing. Our packers are skilled with many years of experience and always find creative solutions for compact and solid parcels and pallets to satisfy our customers.
Distribution is carried out by CARTA PURA directly. There are three different types of customers which receive different kinds of catalogues and price lists. There are end customers which we try to convey to a store in their reach or to an online shop. If the end customer cannot get hold of a product by these means we also do direct shipping according to our shop prices with a minimum amount of order. Of course, many people come to the Papierladen store to purchase directly.
The professional customers are served in two groups: the bookbinders, printing companies and card manufacturers make one group, the stockists and merchants make the other. We respect traditional structures and aim for building up long-term business relations. Newcomers are welcome and get advice about business and assortment. Future customers often start at the Papierladen to get an outline and insight.