A post from our friend Mark Ingram…

The following handwritten note is dated July 1938. It was written by my 7 year old father James to his mother (my grandmother).
James Ingram letter 1938
James was spending the summer with his paternal grandparents in Florida after the recent divorce of his parents. It was a very vulnerable and unsteady time for my young father. This letter holds special meaning to me as it offers a small window into my father’s childhood.  At this time his parents and grandparents were trying to make every effort to maintain a sense of family and stability for my father, who was an only child. Sending him away to be with loving and nurturing grandparents at this time must have been very comforting to this young boy.
-Mark Ingram @markingrambride

135 Years of Dempsey & Carroll



135 years ago today, John Dempsey, a talented engraver, and George Carroll, a savvy businessman, collaborated in the founding of a company that would not only provide its clients with luxury writing papers but also offer advice on etiquette and proper decorum in a variety of social settings.

Today, we are proud to be a part of the history of this wonderful brand with deep roots in American tradition.  What an honor and responsibility to continue and enhance this legacy in the new millennium!

Nine years ago I was lucky to be part of a team of investors who purchased the assets of this storied, but at the time temporarily suspended, brand.  Our first order of business was reconnecting with our customers and getting our production up and running so we could serve them.   We did this quickly and were fully operational within a month of closing on the purchase.

Today, we continue to grow rapidly – working with new clients every day, adding designer collaborations, expanding with new retail partners and continuing to provide the highest level of client service with the finest engraving and most luxurious papers.

Our staff is dedicated, hardworking and in love with fine papers and the written word.  As we all connect more and more through email and social media, the impact and power of a handwritten note has never been stronger. Our mission is to continue this tradition and make it even more special for our clients and their colleagues, friends and families.

While our chapter in the Dempsey & Carroll history represents less than 10% of its total legacy, we take our mandate seriously – Dempsey & Carroll, made in America, is a brand and a company that will continue to flourish for generations to come. The impression of the handwritten note on the finest engraved paper has never been more powerful or meaningful.


We thank you for being a part of our history to date and we invite you to continue this long standing tradition with us for many years to come.



Lauren Marrus







Send a Handwritten note

Traditional and old-fashioned as it may be to some, the cost, time, and thought involved in writing a handwritten note always add a touch of luxury to your message.

From the Harvard Business Review:

Personal written notes grow rarer by the day. But if you want to convey to a client, a potential customer, a colleague, or a direct report that you value your relationship, put down the Blackberry and reach for a pen. Emails, tweets, texts, or Facebook messages are easy to write and free to send. Handwritten notes mean more because they cost more. Drafting an actual letter involves selecting stationery, paying for stamps, and visiting a mailbox. They let the people know you appreciate them enough to pause for 15 minutes and put pen to paper in an attempt to connect and sustain a relationship with them.

from: http://blogs.hbr.org/cs/2013/04/handwritten_notes_are_a_rare_c.html

Saying goodbye to my child…

We love this piece written by Michael Gerson-

Eventually, the cosmologists assure us, our sun and all suns will consume their fuel, violently explode and then become cold and dark. Matter itself will evaporate into the void and the universe will become desolate for the rest of time.

This was the general drift of my thoughts as my wife and I dropped off my eldest son as a freshman at college. I put on my best face. But it is the worst thing that time has done to me so far. That moment at the dorm is implied at the kindergarten door, at the gates of summer camp, at every ritual of parting and independence. But it comes as surprising as a thief, taking what you value most.

The emotions of a parent, I can attest, are an odd mix: part pride, part resignation, part self-pity, even a bit of something that feels like grief. The experience is natural and common. And still planets are thrown off their axes.

Read the rest here: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/michael-gerson-saying-goodbye-to-my-child-the-youngster/2013/08/19/6337802e-08dd-11e3-8974-f97ab3b3c677_story.html

A letter from Van Gogh

While living abroad, Vincent Van Gogh wrote frequent letters to his younger brother Theo. The two were very close, and the letters have provided great insight into the thoughts and beliefs of the artist. Below is one of the 600+ letters Vincent wrote, on this day in 1878.

Etten, 15 Aug. 1878
My dear Theo,
I’m enclosing a few words with Pa and Ma’s letter1 to bid you good morning. It’s raining outside and has done so a lot lately, with strong winds too. It was nice the day Anna and Joan registered their banns. Now that Joan is here, Anna looks a lot more cheerful and better than before.2 For their honeymoon they’re thinking of making a journey through Belgium, first to Brussels and from there probably south to Liège or Chaudfontaine or the cave in Han. Wrote and told the Rev. De Jonge that I was ready to come to Brussels straightaway if work or duty should call me, but that if there were no sound reasons that made it desirable for me to go there now, I’d like to stay here another week (because of Anna’s wedding), coming in that case before Sunday, 25 Aug.3  1v:2
I’m very curious to know whether the exhibition of paintings there will still be open,4 I should so much like to see it.
Things are very sad at Princenhage, Aunt suffers a lot, and they’re all very worried about her.
I long for a word from you, hope to write to you in more detail as soon as I’m in Brussels, also about the exhibition, at least if it isn’t over yet.
Give my regards to Braat and Soek, if you see them, and Ernest. Adieu, I wish you the very best, not a day goes by that we don’t speak of you. Do write again soon, and accept a hearty handshake in thought from

Your loving brother


The gift of a smile

There is some sort of unspoken rite of passage that occurs between the ages of 30 and 40. No one talks about it or really acknowledges it but from my observations (yes I can admit I’m over 40), it’s a universal truth. Life starts happening to and around you in a very real way.

If you’ve been fortunate enough to experience a trouble free existence up until your thirties, reality can hit you surprisingly hard. Tragedy can strike as easily as triumph. You can find you have a child on the way, a new puppy, a friend in need, a parent who is sick, or financial uncertainty, and it all happens at once. Through all of this you realize communication – sharing an honest emotion – is priceless.

Like most people who work I receive and send an unseemly number of emails and text messages at equally unseemly hours of the day, every day. They come in and go out at a feverish pace. Curiously I’ve also never written as many hand-written notes as I have over the past several years. I use to only write thank you notes. I now find that I write notes more often than not to acknowledge tragedies and triumphs simply because I care.

I find my hand-written notes require a down shift, a quiet moment to give the recipient a little piece of my heart and mind. Each note is truly a gift – written, stuffed, sealed and stamped with sincerity and sent along with the hope that the words will actually make a smile.

Jennifer Pool