The Stationers Guild

Archive for the ‘Invitations’ Category

Shawn Rabideau at Kramer Drive

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013

As I reported last May, Kramer Drive had the good fortune to hook up with Shawn Rabideau to develop a beautiful suite of approximately 16 invitation designs complete with table and menu cards, thank you notes and a reply card set.

For those not familiar with Shawn Rabideau, he is probably one of the foremost event planners in the United States orchestrating one-of-a-kind intimate dinners, weddings and large corporate events.  While you may not be able to afford Shawn to plan your “intimate” party for 500, you can certainly get the benefit of Shawn’s impeccable taste and vision with the Shawn Rabideau invitation suite from Kramer Drive.

Internet images fail to do justice to the explosion of Rabideau colors that are carefully orchestrated to embrace all elements of the invitation suite.    Some may find these designs great for weddings, while others may opt for a Bar Mitzvah or special occasion, but all of his lovely designs are beautifully and efficiently captured by the good folks at Kramer Drive in their latest Album release.

Rabideau and Kramer are a marriage made in heaven and we are thrilled to be carrying this delightful paper outcome of his stunning creativity.

When you see stationery and invitations of this quality and design, it makes you proud to be in the stationery industry and to be able to share these great designs with our clients.

It’s a pleasure to work with young, fun and creative people who actually care about service quality.   We love to do business with Kramer Drive.

Well done!

Sheila P. May
Thérèse Saint Clair

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Felix Doolittle at the NSS

Thursday, May 23rd, 2013

Some 10 years ago at the National Stationery Show, we “discovered” Felix Fu – aka Felix Doolittle.   Discovered is probably the wrong word to use, as Mr. Fu was already well known among artists for producing elegant yet playful designs for custom stationery and wedding invitations.  It was a great surprise to re-discover Mr. Fu and his stunning Felix Doolittle line at this year’s National Stationery Show.

When we first met him,there was very little commercial about Mr. Fu and I suspect that he hasn’t changed much.  When we were first introduced, he was creating custom designs for a limited number of clients.  I still fondly recall a beautiful box of stationery consisting of 3 unique but compatible designs featuring a fox at the bottom of the card and a matching motif on the envelope flap.  Our last box was sold to a Greenwich family that lived on Fox Lane.  How appropriate.

Felix Doolittle Stationery

Mr. Fu is back in full force selling his delightful  motif stationery and paper products through a recently launched Felix Doolittle website.  Found below is a cute recipe card and recipe for chocolate chip cookies.

I had a lengthy conversation with Mr. Fu and several family representatives of his company on how to encourage the distribution of his  great designs through brick and mortar retailers.  Clearly, this is something he is thinking about and I am hopeful that in the very near future we will be able to develop a strategy to make his beautiful work available to a wider audience.  I can assure you, the internet doesn’t do his product justice.

Richard W. May
Therese Saint Clair

PS.  I am pleased to announce that the Fox motif will soon make a reappearance.

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Arzberger: Engraved Stationery and Custom Invitations

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Arzberger has become the new “go-to” resource for engraved stationery and custom invitations.  Currently, Arberger is overwhelmed with new business now that Crane & Co. has decided to implement their recently announced “back to basics” strategy.

Arzberger Staff

Stationers across the United States are still reeling from Crane’s decision in late December to significantly reduce customization options, ink colors, paper stock and envelope linings in an effort to reconfigure their business.  Many in the industry had expected that Crane’s acquisition of  William Arthur in November signaled a major push by Crane to dominate high-end fashion stationery and custom invitations.   This is clearly not the case.

Arzberger Engraved Invitations

While Arzberger’s printing business has increased, I was informed by a spokesperson for the company that they still welcome new business from stationers and clients who seek quality and time-tested printing and classic designs.   I was reassured that Arzberger has more than enough printing capacity to fill the vacuum left behind by Crane.

Azberger has produced finely crafted wedding, personal and social stationery for customers throughout the United States since 1922.  From design to shipping, everything necessary to produce your stationery is done by us in our facility in Charlotte.  Just because we have been doing this forever does not make us boring or dreary; to the contrary, it makes us one of the only companies in this business that has consistently been getting it right.  For more information on their philosophy (which most quality stationers share), please visit their website.

Arzberger Printer Engraving Invitations

For those searching for a world-class printer and design company that can easily fulfill the needs of your current Crane clients and to establish an ongoing relationship for future custom business, please acess the attached contact information for Arzberger.   I will be providing additional information in later posts, but I have been overwhelmed with requests from dealers across the United States seeking alternatives to fill the vacuum left behind by Crane.  Based on my initial conversations with Elizabeth Edwards, I am confident that Arzberger is more than capable of meeting the expectations of your most demanding clients.

Richard W. May
Founding Member of the Stationers Guild

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The deluge of letterpress wedding invitations

Tuesday, February 21st, 2012

Over the last several years there has been a deluge of designers and printers introducing new styles of letterpress invitations.   Often considered a west coast phenomenon, letterpress printing has gradually displaced engraving as the choice of bridal couples for wedding invitations.

Julie Holcomb Letterpress Invitation

While some of the new letterpress designs and print quality reflect the standards of some of early pioneers in the letterpress revival, most letterpress designs fall flat.   As with any product, oversupply tends to lead to deterioration in quality and price competition at the lower end of the market.

Letterpress wedding invitations are not a commodity and there are huge differences in the quality of the end-product provided to the consumer.  This is not readily apparent when you see the many exaggerated claims of online printing companies hawking their latest letterpress wedding invitation designs.  In virtually all cases, these hyped claims fail miserably when compared to the mastery of letterpress printers who have plying their craft for a number of years.

For instance, if you compare the print quality, papers and tasteful designs of printers such as Julie Holcomb, Press New York, Oblation, Elum and Page Stationery (to name just a few) with most of the newcomer’s letterpress invitations, you will immediately see the difference.  Granted, these letterpress wedding invitations tend to be more expensive, but only the buyer can determine whether the print outcome is worth the difference in price.

The best way to experience the beauty of letterpress printing is to visit an experienced stationery store in your neighborhood to compare designs and feel the papers.    Frankly, color resolutions on the internet fail to capture the rich subtleties of letterpress printing.

Richard May
Thérèse Saint Clair

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Free NSS Seminar: Learn how to market the 21st Century Bride

Sunday, May 8th, 2011

On Tuesday, May 17th from 4:30-5:30, The National Stationery Show at Javits Center, New York City, is hosting a free educational event sponsored by Birchcraft Studios and featuring the co-producers of The 21st Century Bride Wedding Industry Educational Event, Brian Lawrence of Local Traffic Builder, an industry leading web design and marketing company and Robert Allen of Wedding Podcast Network. They will do a stationery industry focused presentation on selling and marketing to the 21st century bride.

Topics covered will include:

  • How to use the most important free tool Google has to bring traffic to your website.
  • Simple strategies that will make your website generate more response.
  • The most important tool facebook has to help your business.
  • How to use audio and video effectively to improve your website, build your brand and increase traffic.

A lively question and answer session will follow.

The event will take place in room 1C02/03 . . You may also pick up a free ticket at Local Traffic Builder’s booth 3100 any time before the event.

Any questions please call 866 274 – 3350

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Arabella Papers: Stunning New Invitations for 2011

Monday, February 21st, 2011

As a stationer, I am privileged to meet with many creative designers, fine printing companies and, most importantly, fellow stationers who share my passion for fine papers and beautiful designs.    For me, paper has never lost its relevancy and I still get goose-pimples when I visit the Morgan Library in NYC to see the stunning illustrated manuscripts from the Medieval age or royal crests engraved on handmade cotton paper.    While some will argue that digital media has made fine paper printing largely obsolete, I suspect that the tangible and unique quality of a paper wedding invitation is far more personally relevant than a template invitation from Facebook.   

Owner and Creative Director Sugandha Rosenhaft of Arabella Papers continues to raise the bar in the invitation industry for her dazzling colors and rich designs since her debut in 2007.   If you haven’t had a chance to see Arabella Papers, schedule your appointment now with a stationer in your neighborhood.

Who is Arabella Papers?

Atlanta based Arabella Papers made its debut in the American stationery industry in the winter of 2007.   Their custom holiday line quickly made its mark as a source for top-quality, sophisticated cards and invitations.  With elaborate patterning, vibrant imported papers and their trademark Bellpress™ print process, stationers nationwide begged the question, “When can you do wedding?” Six fine custom stationery albums later, Arabella Papers continues to push boundaries with exciting, new concepts for wedding and bar/bat mitzvah.


Arabella’s signature Bellpress™ printing, is a hand-printed process that uses soft, synthetic dies to layer inks for a raised affect, without bruising the paper. Unlike other raised print processes on the market, this trademarked printing method allows for greater design flexibility by allowing two-sided printing, ink layering, multiple colors, and has proven to be a favorite among fine stationers. Their signature “tessuto” (tone on tone) fabric-like patterning, burnished golds and metallic inks, elaborate folders and elegant but bold global designs are unlike any other product on the market.  The invitations themselves are all hand-cut and hand-assembled, the envelopes hand-converted and the papers hand-dyed. Each order is meticulously created to be the perfect introduction for the client’s event and the same detail and craftsmanship that goes into creating a custom couture gown is the approach that Arabella Papers takes for every invitation. Arabella’s turn-around time is only 2-4 weeks from proof approval, which is astonishing considering the precision and care that goes into every hand-made custom creation.


 In the Fall of 2010, Arabella launched into the mid-range stationery market with their first offering in the affordable luxury collection, Bella Weddings. “We had to get creative and change with the economy.” Owner and Creative Director Sugandha Rosenhaft explains, “There was an incredible demand from clients who loved the look of our sophisticated luxury invitations but couldn’t necessarily afford the lavish pieces. Every bride deserves luxury, and we set out to do just that.” Bella Weddings offers the same quality and craftsmanship that sets Arabella apart, but showcases more exclusively layered cards and simple folders. Also, Arabella established base pricing to let brides go as simple or as custom as they like, allowing clients to customize according to their need and save on cost.


 Arabella Papers is featured regularly in top bridal magazines and has an impressive portfolio of well-known clientele such as Trump Towers in New York City, actress Julie Andrews, makeup superstore Sephora, and the Prime Minister of Belize, to name a few. But regardless of whomever the client might be, customer service and complete client satisfaction continues to be of top priority at Arabella. Sugandha sums up the Arabella Papers approach to customer satisfaction like this: “I never want someone to feel that they are talking to just an answering service or they are another number in the day. Our environment is that of a family and all of us strive to deliver the same for our clients.”

Arabella Wedding Invitation

Arabella’s newest launch is Custom Wedding: Volume II, the second album in their sophisticated luxury wedding collection.  It showcases 13 complete design suites with each displaying a full range of wedding stationery: save the date sets, invitation sets with inserts and response cards, as well as full reception accessories such as menus, programs, place cards, and table numbers.  Arabella is also launching the second album in its affordable luxury collection, Bella Classic Weddings, in April of 2011.  A new Bar/Bat Mitzvah album is also planned for late 2011, a relief to the diligent retailers who have been on the waiting list for that album for nearly a year and a half.  With all of the exciting changes and growth happening for Arabella Papers and its dedicated group of employees and clients, Sugandha says, “Sometimes, juggling being a business owner, a designer, mother of a 13 month old and a wife can become overwhelming, but I can truly say that I am where I dreamed I would be in life.”

 Arabella’s custom lines are available in fine stationery stores all over the US, such as Thérèse Saint Clair in Greenwich, Hyegraph in San Francisco, Francis-Orr in Corona Del Mar, Tabula Rasa in Salt Lake City, and Arabesque in Naples to name a few. Please visit for a complete list of retailers and be sure to visit them at booth 1237 at NSS in May!

Richard W. May
Founding Member Stationers Guild

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Free Party Invitations from Checkerboard

Friday, May 29th, 2009

Checkerboard, a leading designer of custom invitations, is offering 25 free invitations with any custom invitation order of 25 or more paid invitations selected from their four party albums:  Soiree, Social Butterfly, Paper Palette or Checkerboarders.  This offer expires on August 2, 2009.

VIP Invitation from Social Butterfly
VIP Invitation from Social Butterfly

Checkerboard has an innate sense of style for life’s “little” celebrations.  Contact a Guild member store in your neighborhood who carries the Checkerboard line and save on your next party.   Please remember to ask for your 25 free invitations as it must be specifically requested in the order to Checkerboard. 

Happy party!

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