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Boulder's Paper Palace

Mia Semingson and Gerald Trainor are the curators of Two Hands Paperie

Portrait by Ashton Ray Hansen

Greeting cards and decorative papers—adorned with critters, textures, faces and flowers—share neighboring space with journals, art supplies and deluxe pens. Walking through Two Hands Paperie feels like a visual ode to taking pen to paper. “For me, it’s a place for inspiration. If we can serve to inspire people and help them unplug, that’s what we want,” says co-owner Mia Semingson.

Semingson and her husband, Gerald Trainor, bought the shop in 2010 and are the curators of its 2,000 square feet. The two met at CU Boulder. “I was a grad student in the photo department. I ran the photo lab, and he worked for me,” says Semingson. “And I still do!” quips Trainor. 

Semingson discovered the original store while an undergrad. “It was a tiny, little bookbindery, and it was so enchanting. I had never been in anything like it before,” she says. She fostered a friendship with then-owner Diana Phillips and became a bindery apprentice. When Phillips was ready to sell the store, she wanted Semingson at the helm. Two months later, the couple became Queen and King (as well as owners) of Boulder’s paper palace. 

 “We try to be more than just a retail store. Part of our goal is to create community, so we host free events and classes taught by local artists,” says Semingson of workshops that range from bookbinding and paper crafts to mixed media and letterpress printing. “We love seeing people come in here and get excited about new and different ways to create.”

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