The Stationers Guild

Archive for October, 2013

Sugar Paper at Target

Monday, October 28th, 2013

I don’t know about you, but I could barely stop laughing when I received an email from Sugar Paper announcing that their 2014 calendars and agendas were now on sale at Target:

Mind you, I would have been impressed to see Sugar Paper at Tiffany’s or Saks or even Macy’s, but Target is certainly not the best retail neighborhood for a company that prides itself on exclusive and premium designs.

I guess I don’t get the “new economics” of retail marketing, but it seems to me that prestigious lines should market themselves in prestigious locations. I can only suspect that young venture capitalists with recent MBAs in social marketing are simply generating short-term market buzz at the expense of long-term damage to yet another premium stationery brand.   Sugar Paper is now just another Target SKU.  Vaya con dios!

Richard May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

P.S.  I wish I was making this stuff up, but to paraphrase author Carl Hiaasen “the real news is far funnier than anything I can make up!”     I agree with him.

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Is Felix Doolittle on your Shopping List?

Friday, October 4th, 2013

Earlier this year, we had the great pleasure of re-establishing contact with Felix Doolittle, who is one of the best design artists in the stationery industry.  For several years, Therese Saint Clair carried his delightful stationery which simply makes you want to put away your cellphone and smell the roses once again.   Mr. Doolittle captures the details of everyday countryside life in a nostalgic and amusing way that inspires you to share his artistic designs with distant friends and family.

Now you can!

We were both trilled and honored to receive one of the first albums from Felix featuring delightful return address labels, correspondence seals and holiday motifs.    Words cannot describe the elegance and simplicity of these moving designs and it strikes me that they would make great gifts for the holidays and superb hostess gifts.  Gifts that are personalized are always more meaningful.

Felix Doolittle Return Address

For those that are looking for something a bit more substantial, I would suggest some of Felix Doolittle’s superb stationery.  With talented artists like Mr. Doolittle continuing to share their inspiring creations, the world is certainly a better place.

Felix Doolittle Stationery

While many of Mr. Doolittle’s superb designs are online, it is always best to shop for personalized stationery at a bricks-and-mortar store in your neighborhood.  If you happen to be near Greenwich, CT, do drop into see us and tell that that Felix inspired you to get off the beaten path and have an “encounter of the first-kind” with fine stationery.  We think you will be glad you made the effort.

We look forward to seeing you.

Sheila P. May
Therese Saint Clair

P.S.  For stationers interested in carrying Felix Doolittle, give him a ring and see if he has any spare albums so you can properly represent his work in your market.

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Is change afoot at Crane?

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013

Some people accuse me of being reckless,”too pushy” or dangerously aggressive.  Perhaps this is so, but I suspect that remaining patient and keeping my opinions to myself are likely to lead to a most painful descent into business failure.

As one who comes from a business and financial background (over 20 years in international banking), I have found that owning my own business to be a liberating experience.  No longer do I have to put up with bureaucrats and disingenuous business managers making silly and harmful decisions to further their own careers at the expense of shareholders.   Sadly, it was far too common in my previous line of work.

Being independent and “calling your own shots” is certainly liberating, but when key  ”partners” in your business success take decisions which drastically affect the nature of your business relationship, it gives rise to concern.  Readers who follow this Blog regularly are aware that I have been particularly outspoken about the many “apparently” silly decisions  taken by Crane to restructure their operations.

I use the qualifier “apparently” because I have no idea whether the management decisions taken by Crane are “silly” or “brilliant.” As a “Muppet” there is no reason why I should have been consulted by the “Masters of the Universe,” but I know from much experience in my previous life that outside consultants rarely have anyone’s interest at heart other than the person who hires them.   In fact, the mere mention of “outside consultants” generally indicates that “something is rotten in Denmark” and that a palace coup is underway.

Sadly, my misgivings were worse than I anticipated and I am still uncertain whether Crane will be able to “right the ship” and reemerge as a positive influence on the stationery industry.   While still rather pessimistic,  I have noticed some positive signs beginning to emerge on the Crane website.

  • The silly link to Paperless Post is now down (or at least I had difficulty finding it on the Wedding Page);
  • You can now find Crane personalized holiday cards on their website rather than links to Mother and Father’s Day cards;
  • The website is beginning to look as though someone is taking the time to update it and add graphics and images that are somewhat professional.

These are very good signs that suggest that change is afoot at Crane.  I, for one, certainly hope so.  Maybe they will even get around to reinstating an affiliate program and help its dealers promote the Crane line.  That would be nice.

Richard May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

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