A gift too pretty to open?

I just have to share this idea that I found on MarthaStewart.com...  a beautiful way to wrap a gift that any mom would love on Mother's Day!

Print out a photo in color, or b&w, as shown here.  Wrap the gift in a neutral or coordinating color, then add a band of ribbon or paper and attach the photo to the front. Simply beautiful!  Mom won't even want to open the gift! Be sure to attach the ribbon with double-sided sticky tape underneath the photo, so the ends won't show.  Martha always has good ideas!


Fair Trade? How about American made!

Recently a customer entered the store asking if we had “fair trade cards.” Hmmm, I had to give that one some thought. I know about fair trade clothes, fair trade coffee, but cards, I hadn’t come across that one. After a moment of thought, I remarked that there really isn’t such a thing, rather, we make every attempt to buy American.

Buying American to us means many things. Among them, it can mean supporting a small business. It means supporting American jobs and moms and pops. It means being more ‘green,’ as it may be shipped from Chicago, Arkansas, or some other American city, rather than China. And it's often produced using cotton or recycled paper.

That’s not to say we don’t sell items made or printed in China. But we do seek out cards, stationery and gifts that are made in the USA. And we can proudly say that a huge amount of what we sell is American made!  Here are just a few (but there are way too many to credit them all!):

Crane & Co., an American standard, featuring custom wedding, stationery, birth announcements, boxed stationery and more.

The News LA, featuring recycled newspapers and magazines that are laminated, stitched and turned into totes and accessories.

BOBO gift wrapping scarves, Korean-inspired, American made.

Delphine Press, letterpressed stationery using a vintage press, on 100% cotton paper with soy ink

Green Paper Company, with imprintable invitations and notes made of 30-100% post-consumer recycled paper

Smock, featuring 100% post-consumer recycled wrapping paper and bamboo notecards printed with soy inks

Old Tom Foolery "Footnotes" birthday cards, letterpressed on 100% cotton paper

B Design notecards, with small, simple designs, letterpress printed on recycled paper

This is just a sampling of the many American-made products that we are so proud to sell, but there are so many more! Please stop in when you can and always keep in mind American artists and entrepreneurs when you make your purchases!


Getting Comfortable with Social Media

If you're reading this blog, chances are that you are on the computer a fair amount. Perhaps you follow blogs, perhaps you are connected to friends, family and businesses by 'social media'.  I hardly knew what that was six months ago...  Now I'm writing a blog (nearly) weekly, and posting on Facebook daily! My family has a 'group' and even our store has a FB page!

While trying to learn the whole social media thing (and believe me, I'm still learning!), I looked to other businesses I was familiar with in the stationery world to see how they did it: what they posted about and how often. I was surprised that some of the big ones aren't there. It seems to be the younger, smaller businesses, mostly vendors rather than retailers, that have a stronger presence. Not much for me to go on.

But I look back, and we've been blogging for over a year now!  And we've been on Facebook for two years, posting consistently for seven months now. It took Renee and I a while to get a rhythm. But now that we have, I can't imagine NOT using social media! It's not only a great way to get news out about our business, it's a great way to stay connected with our 'followers' and 'fans'!

So we're encouraging friends and followers of Sarah B. Fine Stationery and Swanky Stationery to follow us on Facebook. We plan to start offering promotions (if I can figure out how!) exclusively to our followers. In fact, we just announced "tax relief days"coming up April 15th and 16th. Be sure to check us out on Facebook for the details and come in to take advantage of this and other good things to come! We look forward to seeing you online!


DIY'ers, take notice!

Oh, I can't wait!  This picture recently arrived from Envelopments (R) telling us that our new cardstock colors are on the way! Yea!

Come in soon to see 113 new colors and two new shapes, bringing the collection to 230 colors! Perfect for those who want to make their own invitations and announcements for weddings, graduations, births, birthdays and just about any event you have in mind!