Drive down East Boulevard in the picturesque neighborhood of Dilworth, and you’ll be greeted by a bright yellow-and-white sign. This sign announces the presence of Charlotte’s premier gift store, Paper Skyscraper.
The beloved neighborhood shop initially began as a tiny store selling architectural books 30 years ago. It has since grown into a 5000-square-foot spot offering a wide option of gifts. The independently-owned Paper Skyscraper has a little bit of everything, from gag gifts to beautifully-designed cards and beach reads. The variety alone makes it obvious why Charlotteans have been choosing Paper Skyscraper for three decades now.
In every part of the store, you’ll find a different, fun item that’ll catch your eye. The current owners of this fine establishment, Bill and Sybil Godwin, say that their favorite part of the shop is all the different people they get to meet each day. The Godwins acquired the store in early 2019 from the original owners, Tim Hamilton and Ron Wooten.
“From Panthers players and people visiting from abroad, to all of our wonderful Dilworth neighbors, we meet so many fun people,” says Sybil.
From Gallery to Skyscraper
Sybil Godwin has been an art purveyor for 15 years, and she also operates Shain Gallery in Myers Park. She explains that it’s partially through her art gallery experience that she has developed not only an eye for what sells at Paper Skyscraper but also one for talent.
“Bill and I thought long and hard about buying Paper Skyscraper,” Sybil shares. “In the end, we decided to do it because we love the store and we wanted to carry it on for another 30 years.”
According to Bill, it was always a dream to own and operate another Charlotte retail business. He and Sybil couldn’t be happier that the establishment ended up being this neighborhood staple.
One of the things that drew them both in, according to Sybil, is the joyful simplicity of this brick-and-mortar: “[It’s] all of the fun, little finds that make you laugh. People are always laughing out loud in the store, which is contagious. I also personally love all of the fun books. I am a book fanatic, so when I go in, I am literally in book heaven.”
Paper Skyscraper is more than a store; it’s an experience. The shop has served as a destination and gathering place for the city’s creative community, and somewhere to show out-of-towners the charm Charlotte has to offer.