About craneandco

More than 200 years ago, Stephen Crane decided to make a statement. And it wasn’t with his fashion forward breeches or well-groomed mutton chops. It was with his Liberty Paper Mill, named so just two years after the British occupied Boston – and just five miles away. A tres bold move, if we do say so ourselves. Today, Crane & Co. still calls Dalton home, our 100 percent cotton paper still incites swoons, and we’re still making bold statements. Still not with breeches.

Post Script: Needle in a Haystack’s Yash Parmar

NeedleinaHaystack-006

Everything is bigger in Texas. And that includes the stationery business. Catering to Dallas’s finest, Needle in a Haystack has been a purveyor of exquisitely printed paper for more than two decades. Here, co-owner Yash Parmar — who runs the boutique with his wife, Bhavna and daughter, Krishna (pictured above right and left, respectively) — talks to us about the power of pen pals, to whom he writes most and how he may not have been where he is today without sewing.

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
Writing handwritten letters to my pen pals in various countries.

What’s the story behind your store’s name?
Needle in a Haystack started off as a needlepoint store in 1971 – hence the name.  In the 70’s and 80’s there was strong interest in needlepoint. The previous owners of Needle in a Haystack were avid needlepointers.  They gradually introduced gifts and stationery in the 80’s. We bought the store in 1989, when it was about 80% needlepoint and 20% “other.”  

What inspired you to open a stationery boutique?
Emphasis on stationery was dictated by the market and our interest in paper. Our customers demanded greater variety of stationery. This matched our interest.

Why do you enjoy sending letters and/or correspondence?
It is great to put your thoughts on paper. I had pen pals as a teenager and loved writing and receiving letters.

If you could be pen pals with anyone in history, to whom would you write and what would you say?
Mahatma Gandhi. I have so many questions that I could ask. There is so much that one can learn from his life and experience.

Gandhi

To whom do you most often write?
Customers!

Describe the most memorable letter or postcard you have ever received.
As a student in England, my grandfather wrote to me regularly from India. I loved receiving his letters with all his grandfatherly advice.

What makes a particular letter stand out from a stack of cards?
Handwritten letter on personal stationery.

Do you have a favorite stamp or stamp series?
Scenic American Landscapes series of stamps.  Some of these, such as Yosemite National Park, Glacier National Park are just beautiful!

Glacier-park-slideshow

What is your favorite product created by Crane & Co.?
The Black Label album (that has long been retired) had some fabulous engraved stationery with wonderful motifs and liners.

palmetto engraved black label red cards

What do you think classic correspondence will look like in a decade or two?
I think the classic correspondence in a decade or two will remain classic: handwritten note on engraved stationery.

Have a question for Yash? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Post Script: Avalon Stationery’s Sue Littleton

sue littletonMeet Avalon Stationery and Gifts co-owner Sue Littleton, who opened her Houston shop with her daughter more than 25 years ago. Here, one of our favorite and longtime Crane & Co. retailers talks about owning a small business, her customers and the power of a particular postcard.

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
When my daughter, Charlene, was small, her playtime adventures always centered around selling things. After graduating from Baylor University, a family friend asked Charlene what career path she would like to take. We had been fantasizing about having a store together and even called on several locations. Twenty-six years ago, we could not ever have imagined that we would get to work together and love the small business challenges, but our devotion has rewarded us beyond any goal we could have ever set for ourselves.

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And the Winner Is…

debbie wish you were here pinterest boardCongratulations to the winner of our Wish You Were Here Pinterest contest: Debbie!

Contestants were asked to create a Pinterest board inspired by their perfect vacation spot and incorporate one of our notes or cards. We received so many delightful entries that made us want to pack our bags this minute, so thank you to everyone who participated!

For her board, Debbie created a most delectable beach getaway, complete with dreamy images of mojitos, surfing and seaside strolls. She used our Hand Engraved Starfish Correspondence CardAviator Glasses Correspondence Card and Shell Note, which all fit perfectly with her beachy theme.

A couple others we loved:

Gena’s tribute to Prague using our Hand Engraved Peacock Feather Note (apparently one can see them wandering about the city) as inspiration. Street lamps in the fog, lush gardens and river strolls make the City of 100 Spires a perfect summer destination.

Elizabeth used our Turtle Note for her board entry, which pays homage to everyone’s favorite shelled, lumbering reptile. Who wouldn’t love to see one — or ten — on their next coastal vacation?

Again, thank you to everyone who entered, and bon voyage!

Life’s richer with friends, so let’s stay in touch. Follow us on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Enter Our “Wish You Were Here” Pinterest Contest!

flamingo notesWhether you’d rather visit the pool or a Picasso, a bon voyage is in order this summer.

With ice cream temps just around the corner, we thought we would celebrate by asking you to show us your perfect vacation spot. Inspired by all things travel and leisure, we created a Pinterest board that captures the wanderlust spirit.

We’d like you to do the same, and one lucky Pinner will receive a box of their favorite stationery from our Catalog collection. Here’s how to enter:
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Father’s Day Stationery: Our Top Six Selections

Father’s Day is right around the corner (June 16th, to be exact), and what better gift for the most confident, classic man you know than the most confident, classic stationery everyone knows? Below are a handful of our favorite selections — almost as dashing as he is.

ImageBusiness not as usual courtesy of an ecruwhite card handsomely framed in black. An understated type suits the humble overachiever.

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Vintage Glam: Crane’s Great Gatsby Inspired Ads

The Great Gatsby premiered this past weekend, and so in honor of all the glitz, glamour and oh-so fashionable wardrobes that came with it, we present our favorite vintage Crane & Co. ads from one of our favorite eras. We think Daisy and Jay would approve.

crane-vintage-ad-hanker-on-cranes-2We like to think this is the kind of note Daisy would have written to her cousin, Nick, enticing him to return to New York for an evening (or evenings) of Champagne and boisterous banter into the wee hours.
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Mother’s Day Stationery Ideas for Every Personality

Moms come in all shapes and sizes. So do their personalities. We’ve identified some of our favorite moms — past and present — and matched them with the Crane stationery we thought one might find in their writing desk. Be it traditional, classic, elegant or sophisticated (or perhaps all of the above), we like to think we have correspondence that fits every mom’s distinct style.

For the lady who likens herself to…

June
She bakes. She knows how to fold a fitted sheet. She always has a tissue handy. For the Mom who fancies tradition and treats, a classic motif a-la our hydrangea is certain to make her swoon.

june cleaver engraved hydrangea note

Jackie
She makes hostessing look effortless. Her social calendar is always full. You routinely raid her closet. For the Mom who fancies the classics and Capri, an elegant flourish is sets just the right tone.

jackie-letterpress-card

Diana
She’s as at ease in diamonds as she is in riding pants. However her children are her favorite accessory. For the Mom who fancies the finer things as well as the little things, a gold monogram fit for a princess.

diana-gold-monogram

Angelina
She is effortlessly stunning. Though making time for her family is always her most beautiful quality. For the Mom who fancies sophisticated style and summers on the Siene, a monogram with oversized flourish in a hue most magnificent will earn a kiss.

angelina-red-flourish-monogram-note

Need more Mother’s Day gift ideas? Email our Crane Concierge at concierge@crane.com.

Post Script: J. Saunders, Crane Stationery Director of Operations

J. Saunders likes organization. He listens to Podcasts on the subject. He has “medium term goals.” And he was just hired as Crane Stationery’s Director of Operations. The Maine native is in the process of moving from Kennebunk, Maine — where he managed William Arthur’s amending and boxed product manufacturing — to North Adams, Massachusetts, where he will be in charge of all manufacturing. Which, of course, will require a lot of doing what he enjoys: organizing.

j.saunders

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Crane for Paperless Post: The Etiquette of Online Wedding Invitations

Paperless_Post_Computer_044_screen_5Crane & Co. has been advising enthusiasts of classic correspondence for more than a century. In our archives is proof of this: petite, elegantly covered books boasting topics such as “Visiting Cards for Men” and “Country House Stationery.”

We’ve continued such advice in the form of the Blue Book of Stationery and the Wedding Blue Book, revising as decades have come and gone to reflect the ever-changing times.

Some advice — the importance of thank you notes, the use of “honour of your presence” for a church wedding to name a couple — has proved timeless. Other advice, however — addressing wives who are also medical doctors, a brides’s monogram using a hyphenated last name — has been added, updated and, sometimes, scrapped altogether.

While we value tradition, we also embrace the kind of change that still feels correct and special. And so when online invitation purveyor Paperless Post approached us to partner on a collection of wedding stationery suites, we made sure that every design was a perfect blend of the online invitation company’s fresh, modern aesthetic and our timeless, classic elegance.

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Post Script: Letters from Lauren’s Lauren Kay

Lauren Kay will write you a letter: All you have to do is ask. The New York resident has penned requested missives to her childhood sitter’s daughter and a high school boyfriend’s little sister, just to name a couple, as well as unrequested — yet very much appreciated, we’re sure — ones to her own friends and family. One can read about her correspondence escapades — and request one of his or her own — on her few-years-old site, Letters From Lauren. Here, Nora Ephron’s biggest fan talks big zip codes, love letters and her favorite scene from When Harry Met Sally (hint: it doesn’t take place in a diner).

lauren-kay

When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
It all started with box of Crane & Co. engraved ecru stationery, a gift from my grandmother. I was nine. It came with a fancy pink pen, which I was only allowed to use for proper correspondence. In hindsight, it was all a ploy to get me writing thank-you notes (I grew up down south where manners were practiced with emphasis). But it worked! And I’ve been writing letters ever since.

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