Fifteen years ago, Liz Richmond did what most stationery lovers only dream of doing: She bought a stationery boutique. Situated across from an amusement park in Allentown, PA, The Paper Bag has been in business since 1982 (30 years if you’re counting). Richmond joined its staff two years later and has been there ever since. Here, she talks with us about celebratory stamps, Old Money and why she thinks classic correspondence isn’t going anywhere.
In her bio, Kelle Anne McCarter says she grew up on a golf course. We’re glad she eventually traded sand traps (not that she saw many, ahem) for stationery design, as our collection now includes cards graced with her stunning calligraphy. Here, the proud Texan talks with us about her perfect pen pal, a comic book love story and the two things every Southern girl should have.
Owner of The Paper Shop in Winter Park, Florida, Ellen Prague has been in the stationery business for more than 30 years. Her love for beautiful paper, however, goes back much further than that. Here, the former New Yorker waxes poetic about vintage stamps, Jackie Kennedy and the fancy 5th Avenue store that inspired her own boutique’s name.
Ellen Prague, with Boutique Greeter Nikki, at The Paper Shop.
When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
Watching my mother write thank you notes and letters on her beautiful pale blue stationery was my first glimpse of the elegance of communication. When I went to sleep-away camp at age 8, I was expected to write at least a letter every day and I would run to mail call to receive my daily letter from mom, and sometimes from dad and/ grandparents — it was the highlight of my homesick first summer at camp, and remained so all the years at camps and away at schools.
Kristen Magee plays with paper. Every day. [Insert envious swoon here.] More than five years ago, the graphic designer and paper crafter launched Paper Crave, where she waxes poetic about all things stationery and shares drool-worthy images of cards, notebooks and anything else you can take a pen to. Here, the self-proclaimed owl and ‘80s music lover talks ditto machines, terrapins and what she might break out, should she decide to go a little crazy. Letter writing-wise, of course.
Samara O’Shea has loved to write and receive letters for as long as she can remember. So it wasn’t surprising that, in 2005, she launched letterlover.net, a letter-writing service that eventually turned into a book as well. “I write letters on behalf of any person who feels he doesn’t have the words,” O’Shea said. Thankfully, she has plenty of words to share about everything from a 1930s pen pal to why summer camp has a special place in her heart.
When did your interest in the epistolary world begin?
I don’t remember. I remember passing notes in class and writing letters to boys I had crushes on, and I decided I didn’t want that to go away in a world where most communication is digital.
Introducing our new Vice President of Creative & Product Development, Rachel Ivey! Read all about her & why we’re so excited she’s part of the family on MSN Money.
Update: Congratulations to the winners of our A Love Story Contest… Brandy & Tim! Enjoy your $500 toward Crane stationery at The Pleasure of Your Company, and most of all, enjoy your Big Day!
Last weekend, we had the pleasure of participating in a wedding invitation trunk show at one of our favorite stationery boutiques, The Pleasure of Your Company in Baltimore. Brides flipped through Crane & Co. wedding invitation albums, had their names written by calligrapher extraordinaire Karen, sipped on mimosas and nibbled on cupcakes by The Velvet Chocolatier.
Brides were also gracious enough to share the story we never get tired of hearing: The proposal. Ski trips gone awry, picturesque vistas and surprise guests are just a few of the delightful details we heard over the course of the day.
To sweeten the experience (and just in time for Valentine’s Day) each bride’s story was entered in our A Love Story contest. Each video story will be posted on our Facebook page, and the story that receives the most ‘Likes’ by February 10th will win $500 toward their next Crane & Co. stationery purchase at Pleasure of Your Company. Wedding invitations, personal stationery, moving announcements — the possibilities are endless.
So without further ado, here are the entries (remember, to vote, head to our Facebook page and ‘Like’ your favorite story):
We at Crane would like to finish National Letter Writing Week with a flourish. What better way to do so than to introduce a new feature on the blog? Each week we will be conducting interviews with letter lovers, paper aficionados and postal enthusiasts.
We’re thrilled to open this series with Hannah Brencher, the creator and founder of The World Needs More Love Letters. After scattering anonymous love letters throughout New York City in 2010, the 23-year-old has written more than 400 love letters to strangers, and in 2011 Brencher created moreloveletters.com with the mission of inspiring individuals to do just that — write more love letters. Since then, the site has helped send over 1,600 letters. Here, we talk to the postal pioneer about the beauty of handwritten correspondence, Toni Morrison, and the similarities between a letter and a first date.
Describe your work and its connection with the post.
I began writing and leaving “love letters” all across New York City about a year and a half ago. Gradually, I began receiving letter requests from people all over the world. As I wrote more and more letters to complete strangers, I realized that the world could really benefit from an organization that kept this irreplaceable handwritten practice alive. We take letter requests, mail handwritten notes and bundle together handwritten love letters for people in need, all while leaving love letters across the world for others to find and delight in.