Celebrating 25 Years in the Kerrytown Shops 1991 - 2016
Hollander’s is owned by Tom and Cindy Hollander. They opened their store in 1991 and 2016 marks 25 years they have been in the Kerrytown Market & Shops, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. What follows is a brief history of their business, presented in a timeline.
1970’s – Tom learned book and box making from his mother, Annette Hollander, who developed a small craft business in Connecticut called Bookcraft. Cindy grew up enjoying all arts and crafts and had a special passion for interior design and unique stationery stores.
1986 – Tom and Cindy, living in Ann Arbor, decided to start a similar craft business out of their home, which gradually grew into a full-time job for both of them. They mostly sold their handcrafted products at art fairs.
1991 – Opened their first store, located on the second floor in the Kerrytown Shops. From a very small (200 sq. ft.) space, they sold their hand-made boxes, journals, photo albums, and paper covered desk accessories.
1992 – Expanded into a larger space across the hallway and began selling decorative papers by the sheet, bookbinding supplies, cards, and stationery products.
1993 – Tom and Cindy offered store demonstrations of their craft. They were joined by several local book and paper artists that also participated in various demos.
1994 – Began teaching one and two day workshops in their store. Later they used the name, Hollander’s School of Book & Paper Arts to describe their classes. Local instructors began teaching workshops in bookbinding, book arts, paper making, paper marbling, calligraphy, and more.
1996 – Added an additional 500 square feet behind their store front. This enabled Tom and Cindy to move their work studio, which was still based in their home, to the store location.
2000 – A larger expansion grew their upstairs store to 2,500 square feet. In the process, they continued to grow their decorative paper collection, bookbinding supplies and stationery products. They also held their school’s first of six “graduation” ceremonies.
2001 – Moved their school to the 3,500 square foot basement in the Godfrey building, below where their current store is located. Over the next few years, bookbinding and letterpress equipment was added. More workshops were introduced, with many top notch instructors coming to teach at Hollander’s.
2003 – Partnered with the Kerrytown District Association to help found the Kerrytown Bookfest. This event emphasized a strong book and paper arts component. Over the next 10 years it grew into a major fall event in Ann Arbor and continues today, bigger than ever.
2004 – Relocated their upstairs retail store to the 5,000 square foot location on the ground floor in the Godfrey building. It was now directly above the workshop space and the store front was modified to connect the two floors. In the new and much larger retail store, they became recognized as one of the country’s premiere paper stores.
2005 – Formed a partnership with the American Academy of Bookbinding, a professional bookbinding school based in Telluride, Colorado. Hollander’s began offering intensive one and two week long workshops in advanced bookbinding, book repair, and paper conservation. Classes were taught by world renowned AAB instructors.
2006 – Hollander’s school grew to where it was offering over 50 workshops a year, with over 500 students attending annually. Classes filled quickly and the school attracted participants from around the country.
2009 – Tom and Cindy decided to open Hollander’s Kitchen and Home store on the second floor of the Godfrey Building, located directly above their paper store. As a result of this new venture, the total square footage for all three floors of Hollander’s exceeded 14,000 square feet.
The kitchen store was connected to the paper store by a large interior stairway and it allowed easy access to a varied selection of kitchenware, as well as an eclectic mix of home décor items. Hollander’s also took advantage of a beautiful existing kitchen in the space and offered weekly cooking classes taught by a number of well known local chefs.
2010 – Tom and Cindy wrote and published their first book, Constructing and Covering Boxes. They also continued handcrafting custom books and boxes for many customers and clients. Over the years, among their commissioned pieces were those for Gerald Ford, Stephen M. Ross, and the Arthur Miller family.
2013 – After successfully growing the kitchen and home store, they made the difficult choice to close it. Also, after 20 years of workshops, they took a step back from running their book and paper arts school. Downsizing their business was a decision that enabled them to focus on various aspects of running a successful business. It included implementing new ways to grow and enhance their store’s core offerings. It also enabled them to work closely with staff and help develop and augment customer service skills.
2014 – Continued to seek out new and interesting products, including art supplies, new papers, card lines, stationery, and gift items. Emphasis was devoted to creating attractive displays and an inviting store ambiance.
They also completely rebuilt their website, www.hollanders.com. This made it easier for Internet customers to view and purchase decorative papers, bookbinding supplies, book cloths, and leathers. The website has played an integral role in the growth of their business for the past 15 years.
2016 – As Hollander’s celebrates its 25th anniversary, Tom and Cindy’s future goals are to continue to focus on advancing their store as a unique and successful small business. Plans include reintroducing some of their workshops in 2017. Also, they are very near completing their second book which covers both bookbinding and box making. In addition, they hope to return to making and selling some of their handcrafted boxes and other items for the store.
Tom and Cindy value their role as the owners of a small, local business. They look forward to remaining a positive presence in the Kerrytown Shops and continuing to offer a welcoming and enjoyable experience for their employees, customers, and the community.