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.
Congratulations 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 Card, Aviator 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.
Canoe races. Fireside s’mores. And, of course, letters home. No care package was complete without a note from mom and dad (and Gummi Bears), so we thought we’d offer a few tips on how to craft the perfect summer camp letter, as well as stationery sure to make you the talk of the ice cream sundae social.
PROVIDE AN UPDATE
Whether 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:
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.
Business not as usual courtesy of an ecruwhite card handsomely framed in black. An understated type suits the humble overachiever.
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.
We 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.
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…
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.
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.
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.
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.
Need more Mother’s Day gift ideas? Email our Crane Concierge at email@example.com.
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.
A box of new personalized stationery is always a treat, and we’re sure you can’t wait to start corresponding. But what to do with the half-used box that simply can’t compete with your new ‘stash’?
Do a little good for the environment (Earth Day is April 22nd) and your karma by donating your old stationery somewhere special. We asked our friends on Facebook for suggestions on where to donate, here are their stellar ideas:
Crane & 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.