Celebrating Nearly 30 Years in the Kerrytown Shops - Follow us on Instagram
Hollander’s is owned by Tom and Cindy Hollander. They opened their store in 1991 and 2019 marked 29 years they have been in the Kerrytown Market & Shops, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan. What follows is a brief history of their business.
1960’s and 70’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 shopping at unique stationery stores.
1986 – Tom and Cindy, living in Ann Arbor, decided to start their own Bookcraft business out of their home, which gradually grew into a full-time job for both of them. They mostly sold their handcrafted products at local and Midwestern art fairs.
1991 – Opened a retail store, located on the second floor in the Kerrytown Shops in downtown Ann Arbor. From a very small (200 sf) space, they sold their hand-made boxes, journals, photo albums, and paper covered desk accessories.
1992 – Expanded into a larger space across the hallway.
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 named it 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, large 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 the Bookfest 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. 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. Through AAB, 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, including Don Etherington and Monique Lallier.
2006 – Hollander’s school grew to where it was offering over 60 workshops a year, with about 1000 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, directly above their paper store. As a result , Hollander’s three floors was close to 15,000 square feet. The kitchen store was connected to the paper store by a large interior stairway and it allowed easy access to a large selection of kitchenware, as well as an mix of home décor items. Hollander’s also took advantage of a beautiful existing kitchen in the space and offered weekly cooking classes.
2010 – Tom and Cindy wrote and published their first book, Constructing and Covering Boxes. They also continued hand-crafting 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 and after 20 years of running the workshops, Tom and Cindy decided to take a step back. Downsizing was a difficult decision, but it enabled them to focus on various aspects of maintaining a successful business. This 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 expand the customer service experience.
2014 – Continued to seek out new and interesting products, including a wide range of art supplies, new decorative papers, card lines, stationery, and gift items. Emphasis was also devoted to creating attractive merchandise displays, as well as an inviting store ambiance.
The Hollander's also completely rebuilt their website, www.hollanders.com. This made it easier for Internet customers to view and purchase decorative papers and bookbinding supplies. Over the years the website has played an integral role in the growth and awareness of their business.
2016 – Hollander’s celebrated its store’s 25th anniversary and announced plans to reintroduce their book and paper arts workshops in the fall. They also began began writing a second book on bookbinding and box making.
2019 – Tom and Cindy's Introduction to Bookbinding and Custom Cases was published and at virtually the same time, completed an updated, second edition of their original box making book.
Now, heading towards 30 years in business in Kerrytown, they continue to remain actively involved in running their store and value their role as owners of a successful small, local business. Tom and Cindy are genuinely appreciative of all the support they've received over the years and hope to continue into the foreseeable future.