J.McLaughlin x Dempsey & Carroll Holiday 2018

We always love collaborating with other brands to bring new designs to our paper. In some cases, our partnerships have resulted in multiple collections over the years.

We were delighted when our friends at J.McLaughlin approached us earlier this year to collaborate for the third time.  Once the design process began, we knew that we wanted to try something completely different!

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When the J.McLaughlin team showed us the geometric prints from their fabric collaboration with Florida-based artist John Pirman, we were absolutely charmed! The pops of red, gold, and blue would translate beautifully to the linings of our envelopes, and engraved holiday sentiments would tie the collection together.

 

We’re thrilled to ring in the holiday season with our J.McLaughlin Holiday card collection!

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Shop the collection: J.McLaughlin Holiday 

Brand Friend Spotlight: Tadd Casner

With the launch of our Brand Friend program, we’ve been able to connect with others who love the art of the handwritten note, our products, and our brand. If this sounds interesting to you, learn more about how to be a Dempsey & Carroll Brand Friend on our website!

We’re thrilled to introduce you to Tadd Casner as part of our new Brand Friend Spotlight series. Based in Reading, Pennsylvania, Tadd is a Gilded Age historian, architecture enthusiast, writer, and more!IMG_4333

 

How did you learn about Dempsey & Carroll?  Were there any particular products that drew you in?

I actually found your firm a couple years ago while looking for a proper engraved calling card.  I used my Emily Post etiquette book (1924 edition) as my guide!

When ordering my calling cards I knew that I only wanted my full name centered in the middle and my street address only (not city & state) in smaller font size in the lower right corner.  Very old fashioned!  I live in a city, albeit much smaller than New York!  The font style and card stock thickness were very important to me.  The calling cards that Dempsey & Carroll produced for me are perfect in every way!

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How do you make traditions modern? We’d love to hear more about the work that you do in your historic neighborhood!

My husband and I live in our 1908 Queen Anne twin townhouse here in the Centre Park Historic District here in Reading, PA.  The Centre Park Historic District, Inc. is a volunteer neighborhood organization that was established in 1982.  Its mission is “to promote architectural preservation and enhance neighborhood living.”  We have various events throughout the year including our annual Gourmet Garden Tour and Christmas House Tour.  We promote our events on our website as well as on our Facebook page.  In 2008, “This Old House Magazine” named Centre Park Historic District one of the top ten neighborhoods in America to purchase an historic fixer-upper.

I am now in my third year of serving as President of the Centre Park District. Truthfully, I became President because few people were interested in undertaking the task, though it has been a rewarding experience so far!

 

When did you know that you wanted to be a historian? Are there any particular time periods that interest you the most?

I’ve been fascinated by history and architecture since childhood. I suppose I was born with a talent for it!  My main focus is on The Gilded Age in America and Britain because I’ve always loved the style of that period. I can remember reading the same books over and over again and being obsessed with photographs taken during that era when I was young.IMG_0397

 

Are there any interesting projects that you’re working on now?

I am currently working on writing a Biography of J.H. Sternberg, a steel magnate here in Reading during the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century.  He was a very important pioneer in the iron and steel industry, as he patented machinery to produce nuts and bolts.  For seven years,  I actually resided in the home he had constructed.  The home, “Stirling,” sits on a five-acre property in the Centre Park neighborhood.

I am the co-host for two live TV programs at our community television station. One of the shows covers the Centre Park Historic District events, and the other show, “The Passing Scene,” is focused on local history in general.

 

Where is your favorite place to write and catch up on correspondence?

As we are restoring our home, I’m limited to writing at a small built-in desk in one of our dressing rooms. I also use the dining table in our restored dining room, though I am currently looking for an Edwardian period writing desk. IMG_1989

I love writing letters and notes. In our modern era of texts and emails, a handwritten missive seems so much more special and permanent.

Brand Friend Spotlight: Kerrie Kelly

With the launch of our Brand Friend program, we’ve been able to connect with others who love the art of the handwritten note, our products, and our brand. If this sounds interesting to you, learn more about how to be a Dempsey & Carroll Brand Friend on our website!

Based in California, Kerrie Kelly is an award-winning interior designer, author and contributor, product designer and multi-media consultant, and more! On Kerrie’s trip to NYC last weekend, she paid us a visit at our flagship store on the Upper East Side to work on a bespoke stationery project and see our latest collections.

How did you learn about Dempsey & Carroll? Do you have plans for your next set of bespoke stationery with us?

I was born in California and my husband was born on New York’s Lower East Side. When we would come to visit New York (we live in California now), we would each share our version of the city. My husband would take me to his church, his school, and Katz’s Deli. Having worked for Ralph Lauren Home Collection, my version of the city was all about Park Avenue, the Polo Bar, and MoMA. While enjoying those neighborhoods, I came across Dempsey & Carroll and fell in love with the quality, history, and brand story. That translated into creating bespoke stationery for my husband, and ultimately for myself. I am currently putting together a bespoke collection that highlights my Blonde Fox accessory collection with GO Home, Ltd. It will be a flat card with a navy blue border and a side profile of a golden fox leaping.

 

How do you make traditions modern?

I believe traditions can be made modern by adding our own personal spin to family tradition along the way; add modern glassware to a china set, cover a family heirloom in a modern looking fabric, or use an updated font or stamp on a traditionally patterned card or note.

 

Tell us more about your love of history and how you incorporate vintage pieces into your work and own home!

When it comes to history, I love to celebrate my family’s heritage. Our dining room is painted a deep navy blue and has a wall of white shelving that features my great grandpa’s trumpet, my in-laws’ wedding photos, my grandma’s old encyclopedia set,  and my grandpa’s shaving kit and camera. Being surrounded by these pieces in a place where we entertain and enjoy friends and family is so comforting. We reminisce about so many good times while creating even more!

Where is your favorite place to write and catch up on correspondence?

I love to write in my home at a secretary that I designed for one of my furniture collections. It has several letters posted with special messages from dear friends and family. It also has my stamps, beloved pens and letter openers. To be surrounded by my favorite things always makes for better letter writing.

What are a few of your favorite things to do in your spare time?

As an interior designer and product developer, I appreciate unique designs, rich experiences, and quality goods. I love practicing yoga, visiting art museums, enjoying special dinners in the city with friends, and taking weekend trips to nearby Napa Valley. These experiences will always keep my creative juices flowing while providing the opportunity to meet new people (and send more correspondence!).

 

Thank you for sharing with us, Kerrie! Be sure to check out Kerrie’s Instagram (@kerrielkelly) and website to learn more about her work and travels. 

Learn more about being a Dempsey & Carroll Brand Friend!

Handwritten Thank-You Notes Have Surprising Consequences

In a recent piece on Psychology Today’s site, Author Christopher Bergland asks readers:  “When was the last time you sent someone a handwritten ‘thank you’ note of gratitude or appreciation?”

Throughout the article, Bergland references a fascinating new study on the underestimated benefits of handwritten letters and the importance of putting pen to paper. This study, “Undervaluing Gratitude: Expressers Misunderstand the Consequences of Showing Appreciation,” was led by Amit Kumar, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the University of Texas, and Nicholas Epley, Professor of Behavioral Science at the University of Chicago.

One of our favorite points from the research is how the action of expressing gratitude in a handwritten letter is proven to boost positive emotions for both the writer and the recipient; it’s a win-win situation!

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“We looked at what’s correlating with people’s likelihood of expressing gratitude—what drives those choices—and what we found is that predictions or expectations of that awkwardness, that anticipation of how a recipient would feel—those are the things that matter when people are deciding whether to express gratitude or not,” Kumar said in a statement. “What we saw is that it only takes a couple of minutes to compose letters like these, thoughtful ones and sincere ones. It comes at little cost, but the benefits are larger than people expect.”

Over here at Dempsey & Carroll, we always love reading about the positive feelings associated with handwritten letters. We invite you to read Bergland’s full post, “Handwritten Thank-You Notes Have Surprising Consequences,” so that you can get inspired to put pen to paper!

#makingtraditionsmodern

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140 Years of Dempsey & Carroll

In honor of Dempsey & Carroll’s 140th Birthday, our CEO, Lauren Marrus, wanted to share a few words on how we are continuing the legacy of our founders while making traditions modern. Cheers to 140 years! 

140 years ago today, two men, John Dempsey, a talented engraver, and George Carroll, a savvy businessman came together to found Dempsey & Carroll.  Their mission still remains at the core of our business today:  to provide luxury writing papers along with advice on etiquette and proper decorum in a variety of social settings.  To the founders, the social institutions of correspondence and etiquette were inseparable, and they saw Dempsey & Carroll as the ideal marriage of the two.

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Today, we celebrate both how far the business has come in these 140 years, and how dedicated we remain to our craft – many of our presses from the early 20th century are still in use today.  And, while, we are no longer on 14th Street in Union Square, we still call New York City our home.

Our team today uses the core values that John Dempsey and George Carroll put in place over fourteen decades ago to work together with our clients to make traditions modern.  The calling cards of John Dempsey and George Carroll’s time meant to announce a visitor are now used to share Instagram handles.

Formal dinners, once a regular event, are now more relaxed and seating arrangements and place cards are more about lively conversation and table adornment than matchmaking and social status.

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The impression of the handwritten note on the finest engraved paper has never been more meaningful.

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We thank you for being a part of our history and we invite you to join us in making traditions modern for many years to come.

— Lauren Marrus, CEO of Dempsey & Carroll

Making Traditions Modern: Summer Entertaining

Summer is a time to enjoy the weather and move the party outside, whether for a backyard barbeque, seaside soirée, or rooftop cocktail hour. Earlier in August, we worked with five of our partners to showcase how they would style their ideal summer dinner party.

First, they set the scene by sharing their handwritten invitation on one of our Destination: Seaside note cards– Capri, Côte d’Azur, or the Hamptons. The following week, they styled their corresponding place cards (Lemon, Compass Rose, or Lobster) in the context of how they would use them for a party. We loved seeing how everyone put their own twist on entertaining!

With that, we hope you’re inspired to close out your summer in a noteworthy way! Share your entertaining favorites on Instagram by tagging @dempseycarroll and #makingtraditionsmodern.

Dempsey Carroll x Jackie Greaney - Summer Entertaining Post 1Dreaming up the perfect backyard lobster party with Dempsey & Carroll’s adorable lobster & lighthouse Destination note cards– checkered tablecloths, buoy centerpieces, lots of sunflowers, and a build-your-own-lobster roll station! Anything I’m missing? Let me know if you’ll be in Maine on August 14th!

Jackie Greaney for Dempsey Carroll Entertaining Post 2Crack em! Fill em! Roll em! Every backyard soirée needs a Build-Your-Own Lobster Roll station, don’t you think? Dempsey & Carroll place cards make it easy to mark out the station’s steps, and I love the little engraved lobsters on these! 

— Jackie, @jackiegreaney

 

harlowejames post 1These Capri inspired note cards from Dempsey & Carroll make the perfect invite for a summertime soiree. The engraved lemon detail on the card paired with the print on the inside of the envelope will get guests excited about the theme before they even get to the party! 

harlowejames post 2Instead of using standard place setting cards, switch it up by writing little notes to your guests. These lemon place cards from the Dempsey & Carroll Destination: Capri collection are the perfect addition to the table and tie the whole theme together!

— Chrissy, @_harlowejames

 

meaghanmurray 1“I couldn’t be shellfish and not share this with you” -said my Dempsey & Carroll party invitation 

meaghanmurray 2What the shell! Let’s eat some oysters. Thanks to my Dempsey & Carroll place cards for hooking up my oyster situation. Long Reach or Shore Island, anyone?

–Meaghan, @meaghanmurray

 

Traditions are everything and whenever I travel abroad I love collecting unique stamps to send notes, postcards and in this case invitations back home to my friends and family. A few weeks ago my family and I traveled up the Coast of Italy and on the way, I purchased stamps at Pompeii, Rome, or to sum it up, basically each stop. Once we arrived at our final destination, Florence, I had accumulated enough stamps to send out my annual Lobster Boil invitations to my friends far and wide. I figured this was a fun way for my guests to receive a little piece of Italy straight to their mailbox, along with a piece of New England thanks to these Dempsey & Carroll Seaside Correspondence Cards. I mean, you couldn’t find a more fitting invitation card for a lobster broil even if you tried. Now I want to hear from you all, does anyone else love writing letters back home when they travel 

A New England Summer isn’t complete until you’ve eaten your weight in dock & dine lobster rolls. Each summer I’m in charge of creating a unique lobster-themed table setting, for when my family and I head down the river, to our favorite dockable lobster joint. This year’s setting was designed around these Dempsey & Carroll Lobster place cards! Originally, I took inspiration from the bright red lobster featured on the place cards by incorporating similarly shaded napkins for a pop of color, amongst the natural tones of cream and brown. Creating these tablescapes is an annual tradition I adore, and while I do love seeing how excited our guests get when they dock up and find their names written on a place card, I’m really just going the extra mile in hopes of winning the annual table setting contest. Fingers crossed, this could be my year! 

— Aubrey, @thecoastalconfidence

 

post 1aWe don’t know about you, but one thing that we look forward to at dinner parties is the appetizers. Our dream dinner party would consist of a happy hour with different charcuterie boards and a variety of apps. What’s your dream dinner party? 

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Can’t resist oysters, especially while at a dinner party. What’s your favorite thing to eat during cocktail hour? 

— R’el and Marcus, @theplaceiwastellingyouabout

Destination Dempsey: On the Mediterranean

There’s nothing better than coming home to your own bed after a few days or weeks away, but boy, those vacation days sure are lovely to look back and reflect on…

Carolyn, here, from Dempsey & Carroll’s marketing department. I just returned from eleven days traveling through the Mediterranean. It was absolutely fabulous. There is nothing better than the crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the delicious salty breeze in the air. IMG_1210

I started out in Nice, France – a perfect jumping off point, especially if you want to spend some time exploring some of the nearby towns. A favorite of mine is Beaulieu-sur-Mer. If you’re looking to stay over, I recommend La Reserve de Beaulieu as it’s centrally located, and the hotel itself is gorgeous, with an unbelievable pool and access to the sea.

From Nice, I went off to Saint-Tropez where I spent most of the day at the famed beacb club, Le Club 55. There are many other beach clubs along the same stretch of beach – Nikki Beach, Tahiti Beach, to name a few – but I’m partial to Le Club 55 which sits at the end of beach and is a bit more relaxed and quiet – perfect for families!

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Next up, Marseille, France! To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect in Marseille and I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the newer buildings on the city’s waterfront including the MuCEM, built in 2013, were incredible. The MuCEM had a wonderful Ai Weiwei exhibit that I was lucky to see.

After a day in Marseille, it was off to Corsica. I visited a charming coastal village called Calvi which has beautiful shops, and stunning beaches. The water was the perfect respite from peak afternoon heat.

Onto Sardinia! I spent the day in Alghero on the northwest coast of Sardinia. The town has a ton of Catalan influences though it is Italian. The beaches were breathtaking, though my favorite part of my visit was tasting a local delicacy: seada – a semolina dumpling filled with pecorino cheese and topped with honey.

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From Sardinia, I traveled to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. I took a biking tour of the old city and saw everything from the iconic cathedral, to hidden shops on cobblestone streets. I only wish I had had more time there. I’m told the Belmond La Residenicia Hotel is magical…A reason to journey back to Mallorca!

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The final stop of my trip was Barcelona, Spain, a city that I have visited before, and could travel back to time and time again. Everything from the palm trees, to the grand avenues, to the delicious food and divine smells draws me back to this incredible city. I spent two days of my trip exploring Mountjuic and visited the Joan Miro Foundation, the Botanical Gardens, the Greek Gardens, and strolled through the windy, charming streets of the neighborhood.

That’s all for now….Until next time!

Xo
Carolyn

#DestinationDempsey

What’s in the Box?

Sure, we love keeping our note cards and sheets in our Keepsake Leather Boxes, but once our papers run out, we often wind up using our signature boxes for all kinds of fun storage needs. If you’re nearing the end of your stationery supply here are a few tricks we’ve been using ourselves that we thought you all might enjoy!

  1. Some of our favorite pens and a few forever stamps – perfect for when we’re writing a note. All of our supplies are in one place!
  2. A few of our favorite necklaces and rings to keep them from getting tangled in a larger jewelry box lb11
  3. Scarves — Summer, winter, you name it. Our boxes have everything from wool scarves to silk scarves stored in them.
  4. Lipstick – sometimes we’ll use a few boxes depending on the lipstick color. One for reds, one for pinks, one for clear glosses.
  5. Buttons – finally a place to keep all of those extra buttons from new sweater purchases.
  6. Photos — Retro, we know. Our boxes are perfect for any old photos, or even new ones (some of us still get them printed)!
  7. Letters — A given coming from us, but a very true statement. We LOVE saving letters and invitations from friends and family. Our boxes are the perfect place to store them.

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We’d love to hear about how you would use your Dempsey & Carroll Keepsake Leather Box. Purchase your own box on our site and share with us on Instagram @dempseycarroll.

 

Destination Dempsey: Fourth of July 2018

Whether we’re out east on the beach or discovering a new spot here in Manhattan, the Dempsey & Carroll team knows how to celebrate The Fourth of July in style. Some of our team members have shared what they were up to and where they went for the Holiday. #DestinationDempsey

 

I had a staycation in NYC – I relaxed by the East River and then I spent time downtown at Jefferson Market Garden, a beautiful oasis with an interesting back story. In the 1960s, Greenwich Village residents successfully persuaded the city to demolish a Women’s detention center. In its place, sits the most magical garden filled with magnificent floral hues set against the backdrop of NYC. – Ariel

 

I spent the holiday in Piermont, New York – a fun little getaway less than an hour from the city. I love going there to escape the summer heat and to enjoy a few drinks on the water. – Carolyn

 

 

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I spent the Fourth of July with friends at Luna Asian Bistro, a fun rooftop bar and restaurantin Astoria. There was an amazing view of the East River where we watched Macy’s spectacular Fireworks Show. – Marjorie

 

 

 

I loved taking a drive up Route 7 in Connecticut. There is so much beautiful scenery, farm stands with local produce, and lots of small shops to poke around in. It’s one of the most beautiful drives in New England, and you really get a sense of the area’s history on this road. – Jaimie

 

I had the pleasure of spending the long holiday weekend at Kripalu Center in the Berkshires where I was able get some much needed R&R at this tranquil wellness center. Outdoor bliss! – Megan

 

I escaped the city heat and spent a few days out east in Lloyd Harbor, an hour from the City by train! There are plenty of charming cafés and shops to explore in the area, namely Kerber’s Farm, a “must-visit” place for breakfast, baked goods, and more! I also spend some time relaxing at the beach at The Head of the Bay club in Huntington; the perfect seaside destination for getting some sun and swimming in the Sound. There’s nothing better than spending the Fourth of July on the water! – Emma

 

 

Spotlight on Sister Parish Design

In honor of our new collaboration with Sister Parish Design, we had the pleasure of interviewing its President and Co-Founder, Susan Crater. We learned about her decorating style, inspirations, and the lasting influence of her grandmother, legendary Designer Sister Parish.

We are thrilled to bring the Parish-Hadley design legacy to paper with the launch of our Desmond and Serendipity correspondence card sets!

What inspired you to revive your Grandmother’s work and start Sister Parish Design in 2000? Did you always know that you wanted to work in the design field?

The truth is that I did not always know that I wanted to work in the design field. I did always know that I appreciated a beautifully decorated room, and especially appreciated and loved the rooms that my grandmother and Albert [Hadley] designed. It is these rooms that inspired me to create this collection.

Many of your patterns are from the Parish-Hadley archives, though you have also launched new patterns along with a home accessories collection. How do you find a balance between honoring the Parish-Hadley tradition while continuing to update your offerings?

We look to the rooms that Parish-Hadley decorated and we look to the rooms that inspired Parish-Hadley to guide us in building our collection. How are textiles being used and what types of textiles are being used in these rooms?  Will decorators today want to use these textiles in the same way or will they want to use them differently? These are the types of questions we ask ourselves in order to build a collection that will continue to honor the Parish-Hadley legacy.

What is your favorite piece of decorating advice that you like to share with friends and clients?

“Innovation is often the ability to reach into the past and bring back what is good, what is beautiful, what is useful, what is lasting.”  -Sister Parish

Photo: Horst P. Horst/Condé Nast Archive

Sister Parish, 1974

What do you think that everyone should avoid when decorating a home? Do you have any design-related pet peeves?

One thing my grandmother taught me was the importance of scale. Overly large and overstuffed furniture will ruin a room.

 You have a gorgeous house up in Bedford, New York!  How would you compare your personal design aesthetic to that of your Grandmother’s? Do you have any favorite pieces of hers that you have out in your home (furniture, decorative pieces, etc)?

I’ve always wanted to create the same comfortable and beautiful rooms for my family that my mother and grandmother created for theirs.  I’m particularly in love with a green velvet Lawson style sofa designed by Billy Baldwin. Baldwin was small in physical stature and would use the Lawson sofa as his bed in his studio apartment. The same green velvet has been on the sofa since the 1980’s and it has only gotten better with time!

We’d love to hear a bit more about the Desmond and Serendipity patterns that are featured as part of our collaboration. How did you end up choosing these particular designs?

Both Desmond and the Serendipity are small all over prints that make a big impact. They are tried and true patterns that have added depth and sophistication to many rooms over the years. We knew they would have the same effect on stationery as they’ve had on rooms.

You have priceless handwritten letters from First Lady Jackie Kennedy to your grandmother in your archives—a perfect tie-in with our partnership. Why do you think that handwritten correspondence is still important in 2018?

A beautifully handwritten letter is like a beautifully decorated room. If properly cared for, it will last forever!

Where is your ideal place to sit down and write a letter?

My porch in Maine.

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Susan and her daughter, Eliza, at the Dempsey & Carroll office during the photo shoot for our collaboration

Many thanks to Susan for taking the time to speak with us. Be sure to shop our collaboration on our site here!