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Sarasota Monday, Jul. 26, 2010 7 years ago


by: Stephanie Hannum Managing Editor

It all started one Sunday afternoon with a blonde, who had a love for paper, and a brunette, who had a love for events. As the dynamic duo discussed the upcoming season of events in Sarasota, they realized a need for variety and unique invitations. With co-owners Amie Swan and Barbara Portanova behind the magic ... The Paper Tree sprouted.

The Paper Tree is a one-stop shop for all things custom and entertaining. Swan and Portanova, along with store manager Anne Stocke, a monogrammer and a graphic designer, want to remind people of the importance of a unique invitation or monogram — something that no one else will have.

“A lot of people don’t know what true custom is anymore, but we do at The Paper Tree,” Portanova said. “The sky’s the limit, we’re happy to design anything and make the customer’s idea a reality.”

The Paper Tree opened in Lakewood Ranch in January 2009 but moved to Southside Village six months ago. The store is looking to morph into the go-to gift shop in the village.

“Our store is trying to evolve into what Annabelle’s was for its customers, but with Paper Tree style,” said Portanova.

With lines that include Lilly Pulitzer, Crane, William Arthur, Dabney Lee, Dauphine and Mr. Boddington, The Paper Tree wants you to walk away feeling like you have a one-of-a-kind gift — a fun expression of you.

“Since the dollar is so important to everyone right now, to write someone and thank them for something they’ve done for you, even just have you over for dinner, it’s such an important and special gesture,” said Portanova. “And The Paper Tree can help you customize a unique way to do so.”

The Paper Tree
Owners: Amie Swan and Barbara Portanova
Address: 1931 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota
Phone: 343-2688
Summer hours: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Friday; and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday
Line of business: The Paper Tree specializes in stationery, monogramming, gifts, home accessories and custom printing.
Employees: Four
What makes the business unique: “We specialize in custom, so everything in the store is unique,” said co-owner Barbara Portanova.

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