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

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!

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is right around the corner, but there’s still time to find a noteworthy gift from our collections.  Follow along to see a few of our top suggestions to fit any Dad’s style!

 

John Derian Fly Fisher

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Lure one in with our John Derian Fly Fisher Set. Go Fish! $65 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Caitlin McGauley Fox

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Dapper style can continue from the closet to the desk with all of the colorful patterns by Watercolor Artist Caitlin McGauley. $55 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Happy Hour

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Most Dads know that a well-crafted cocktail is often the perfect punctuation mark at the end of the day. Say cheers to Dad with the engraved silver bar set from our Happy Hour set! $65 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Handsome Notes

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Keep it classic with the stately motifs from our Handsome Note Collection, a must-have for the Dad who knows less is more. $55 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Personalized #7 Monarch Cards

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At 7-1/4” x 3-3/4”, the Monarch Card is wider than our standard correspondence card and is sure to make an impression. Pricing begins at $405 for a set of 100 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Personalized Jotter Notes

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These 3” x 5” sheets can be personalized with a name or monogram and are perfect for quick notes on the go or at the desk. Helpful Hint: All bespoke stationery orders are completed within our standard 4-6 week timeline, though you can gift your dad one of our Leather Jotter Note Holders as a preview of the delights to come!  Pricing begins at $305 for 100 engraved jotter notes, shop here.

 

Mother’s Day Gift Guide

With Mother’s Day coming up in a little over two weeks, we wanted to share our top gift picks from our collections. Whether your Mom favors bold colors and patterns or more subtle tones, we’re certain that you’ll be able to find something to fit her personal style!

Jet Set: Paris

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Jet Set: Paris 

The City of lights comes alive with our Eiffel Tower motif and dreamy vignettes of Paris. C’est la vie! $60 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

Caitlin McGauley Cheetah

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Caitlin McGauley Cheetah

Mom will love the whimsical Cheetah and bright patterns by Watercolor Artist Caitlin McGauley. $55 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Monogram Cards and Sheets  

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Custom Monogram Stationery

You can choose from our standard monogram templates or create something completely new depending  on your Mom’s taste. Pricing begins at $375 for 100 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

The Maryn x Caitlin McGauley  

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The Maryn x Caitlin McGauley

Our nautical collaboration with The Maryn Shop features original art by Caitlin McGauley. Take a trip to the seaside! $55 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

J.McLaughlin Correspondence Cards 

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J.McLaughlin Correspondence Cards

The classic prints by J.McLaughlin take on a new form with this fashionable collection. $25 for a set of 5 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

Custom House Vignette Stationery

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Custom House Vignette Stationery

Your Mom can work with our team to create a custom motif inspired by home (or anywhere meaningful). Pricing is available upon request and it is dependent on the intricacy of the project. Please contact us at info@dempseyandcarroll.com to learn more. 

National Letter Writing Month 2018

There are countless reasons to send a well crafted letter, whether it’s pages long or just a quick note. In celebration of April being National Letter Writing Month, we wanted to share a few reasons to pick up a pen and write!

 

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Congratulate someone on their new home

 

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Thank someone for great cocktails at a much needed Happy Hour

 

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Reminisce about a recent road trip with friends

 

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Remind someone that you’re thinking of them

 

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Write a love letter

 

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Wish someone good luck on their upcoming audition

 

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Send a letter from a new city in a foreign language

 

How are you getting inspired to write during National Letter Writing Month? Use the #writeitreal hashtag and tag @dempseycarroll on Instagram to share your letter writing inspiration with us!

Write it Real

We’ve always thought that an important part of writing a well-crafted letter begins with the space that you’re in–from coffee shop corners to cozy places at home.

As winter came to a close, we partnered with five lifestyle influencers to share how they like to write it real.  First, our partners started off by sharing photos of them in their favorite writing spaces along with reasons why they love to write.  The following week, our partners posted photos that featured handwritten lists on their favorite Dempsey & Carroll stationery of where they wish to visit and write from this year.

We hope that our friends’ posts inspire you to share your own writing adventures with us in 2018! #writeitreal

Beth and Danielle, @palmbeachlately

Favorite Place to Write: The beautiful Town Square Park in Palm Beach

Favorite Stationery: Jet Set: Paris

Where they hope to write from this year: Paris, Positano, Nantucket

Janelle Ho, @yay.janelle

Favorite Place to Write: Cozy NYC coffee shops like Toby’s Estate

Favorite Stationery: Jet Set: New York

Where she hopes to write from this year: Morocco, Peru, New Zealand

Caroline Bramlett, @lcbstyle

Favorite Place to Write: Her inspiration corner at home in Birmingam, Alabama

Favorite Stationery: The Maryn x Caitlin McGauley

Where she hopes to write from this year: Palm Beach, Nantucket, Capri

Kim Nyguyen, @kimmyn_

Favorite Place to Write: One of her favorite coffee shops in Boston, Tatte Bakery and Café

Favorite Stationery: The Initial Note Write Away Collection

Where she hopes to write from this year: Austria, Paris, Denmark

Maggie Tate, @blushandblooms

Favorite Place to Write: The inspiring Cadillac House in Manhattan

Favorite Stationery: Jet Set: Paris

Where she hopes to write from this year: Paris, Charleston, London

From Dempsey, With Love

Imagine a time before it was possible to instantly connect with somebody across the country (or world) with text messages and emails.

Your letter gave me more delight than anything in the world but yourself could do; indeed, I am almost astonished that any absent one should have that luxurious power over my senses which I feel. Even when I am not thinking of you I receive your influence and a tenderer nature stealing upon me.

– John Keats to Fanny Brawne, 1819 (from “Love”)

In 1883, Messrs. Dempsey & Carroll published “Love,” a collection of love letters and sentiments from the ages. In the 14 days leading up to Valentine’s Day, we’ve been sharing some of our favorite excerpts from these historic words as a way to inspire others to put pen to paper and send the love. In our opinion, a handwritten letter will always be the most meaningful way to express deep feelings of affection.

We would love to hear more about some of your favorite love letters or Valentines. Perhaps you have a favorite quote from a famous (or not so famous) love letter that you’d like to share, or maybe you’ve written a love letter to a special person or place (we’ve written plenty of love letters to New York City, our cherished home, over the years).

Share with us on Instagram by either Direct Messaging @dempseycarroll or by posting a photo on your feed and tagging us and using the #fromdempseywithlove hashtag. We’ll be sending the first 10 submissions a card from our Love Notes Collection so that you can send the love in style this Valentine’s Day!

From Dempsey, With Love

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Want the House? Write a Letter!

As our CEO Lauren Marrus was catching up on her reading over the weekend, a headline in the Wall Street Journal caught her eye: “Want a House? Write a Letter.” As it turns out, a writing a letter might just be the key to securing real estate in a bidding war.

In a bidding war, penning a note to the seller can dramatically boost a buyer’s odds of success. Leigh Kamping-Carder’s article goes on to present quantitative evidence about the importance of adding a note to your offer to purchase a home.

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Kamping-Carder continues, “ In addition to flattering a seller’s ego—or assuring him or her the home will be cared for—a letter can also signal that the buyer is serious, which translates into a willingness to follow through even if hurdles come up in the sales process.”

I promise that we do not have a direct line to the Journal, but I can say that it’s still a real thing to write a note or letter to make a point.  Now in the time of instant messages, text messages, and email, a handwritten or personalized note or letter rises above the noise more than ever.

If you’d like to write this note on Dempsey & Carroll papers,  we’re here to help! If not, we still encourage you to pick up a pen and #writeitreal.

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National Handwriting Day 2018

Each year, National Handwriting Day falls on January 23rd as a reminder to put pen (or pencil) to paper and bring awareness to the importance of writing.

As noted in this article on Forbes.com, “Handwriting allows us to be artists and individuals during a time when we often use computers, faxes and email to communicate. Fonts are the same no matter what computer you use or how you use it and they lack a personal touch. Handwriting can add intimacy to a letter and reveal details about the writer’s personality.”

We’re celebrating the individuality of our penmanship by writing down our unique goals for the New Year in our distinct writing styles. There’s no better way to start the New Year on a new note!

How will you be celebrating National Handwriting Day? Share your thoughts with us on social media by using the #NationalHandwritingDay hashtag!

 

Megan’s thoughts: “Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.” – George Bernard Shaw

 

Come from a place of YES! – Carolyn

 

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Read more novels. Nourish my body. Cherish the small things. Create beautiful things. Master a new skill. Write down my dreams. – Chandra

 

Watch more sunsets. Live in the moment. Try something new. – Ariel

 

Explore new places and document everything in handwritten letters to friends and family. – Emma

 

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For 2018, all of my social media will be pen to paper. – Austin