Meet 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.
Earlier this month, we introduced our brand new Wedding Album. You’ll see that we’ve kept the classic details we’ve always been known (and loved) for, but also added fresh design elements our more trend-inspired brides will delight in.
We like to think this album has something fore every bride, actually.
When it comes to projects of the epistolary variety, calligrapher Ashantai Yungai, founder of Distinctive Inscriptions, isn’t one to back down from a challenge. So, when a bride asked him to pen 1,000 envelopes for her Hawaiian wedding, he not only agreed, he blogged about the two-week-long endeavor. With a good nib, a little Joni Mitchell and a bag of flour, he proved victorious. Perhaps it’s Yungai’s science background (he’s a chemist by trade), but it seems as though he has found the formula for the perfect flourish.
Ashantai Yungai, born to flourish.
Of course, we would never ask him to share his ‘secret sauce,’ be he does share with us missives pertaining to pens, sisters and the future of the handwritten word.
When did your interest in calligraphy begin? June 2008. I am a chemist by trade. A friend saw my handwriting in my lab notebook and asked, “Did you write that? Wow man, that’s pretty cool! You should do calligraphy. People do wedding invitations and envelopes using calligraphy.” I thought little of it at the time. I bought a calligraphy pen on a whim one day while shopping for art supplies for my son. I began writing with it. From there I was off to the races.
You have the occasion to celebrate, now let’s make sure everyone shows up to join you, shall we?
Save the Date Cards Also known as hold-the-date cards, these cards are sent to guests who might need advance notification of an event so that they can make special arrangements. They are generally sent when an event is being held at a time when guests might otherwise make plans, such as holiday weekends.
Save-the-date cards ask your guests to set aside that date for your event and are generally sent three to four months before the event. They do not take the place of invitations. The actual invitations are sent at a later date, usually four to six weeks before the event.
Wedding ceremonies and receptions do not necessarily have the same number of guests.
Many couples, especially those in which the bride is a second-time bride, have small, intimate ceremonies with larger receptions afterwards. Since more people are invited to the reception than the ceremony, the invitations are for the reception. Guests invited to the ceremony are sent ceremony cards with their reception invitations.
Reception invitations always “request the pleasure of your company,” since the reception is not being held in a house of worship. The word “and” is used to join the names of the bride and groom. The phrases “marriage reception” and “wedding reception” are both correct. “Marriage reception” is the more traditional of the two. However, many brides prefer “wedding reception” on the grounds that a wedding is the act of getting married while marriage is the result of that decision.