Pei Sim, owner of The Paper + Craft Pantry, spoke with Studio 512 about the traditions behind Lunar New Year, and how her shop is celebrating.

Lunar New Year – also called Chinese New Year – is typically celebrated on the first new moon of the lunar calendar (this year, January 22nd), and end with a Lantern Festival on the first full moon of the calendar, 15 days later. 2023 is the Year of the Rabbit!

Pei has adorable items in her shop to honor the New Year, including stocking red envelopes for the first time. Pei says that the tradition is to give money to someone younger than you – crisp bills if possible – offered with two hands, and accepted with two hands.

She is celebrating this year with her 2nd Annual Lunar New Year Festival on Sunday, January 22nd. All of her vendors are Asian-owned small businesses from across Texas. There will be a coloring station, lion and dragon performances and a book reading, “E is for Egg Tart.” Parents are encouraged to BYOB: bring your own blanket (or chair), as the reading is outside.

Pei hosts imaginative workshops that cover a range of crafts. She still has two upcoming classes available:

There are a lot of other things going on at The Paper + Craft Pantry! Pei says, “Join our growing subscription community of paper and stationery lovers who receive a beautifully curated box of all NEW Paper + Craft products each month – you will be the first to get your hands on these items, including other curated stationery before they ever reach our retail floor and virtual online shelves.” She has just opened up membership, so there are a few slots available for the new year!

Pei also worked hard to find a product she loves. “We officially carry the original Traveler’s notebook from Japan in our Austin storefront. Customize genuine leather covers with smartly-designed refills that were designed and created with Japanese craftsmanship.”

And if you’re stuck on a gift for a loved one (especially ahead of Valentine’s Day), Pei says, “Let us to the work for you! We promise to make you look really good with one of our beautifully curated Surprise Parcel boxes! All you have to do is tell us who the gift is for and a bit about them and we’ll do the rest – your surprise parcel will be boxed and full of the very best stationery and gifts.”

If you’re new year’s resolution is to be a little bit more “grown up,” Pei has something for that, too: “Personalize your own collection of every day stationery with our custom stationery shop! Choose from dozens of notecard designs for handwritten notes or design your own set of notepad and even finish off your custom stationery with your own stickers!”

Learn more about classes, products, and all the fun you can have at Pei’s store by going to