A Note From Our CEO

We always think that it’s important to start the New Year on a new note. Our CEO Lauren Marrus shares a few of her thoughts from Bob Greene’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal about the importance of making a meaningful resolution for the New Year.DSC_6428

Over the holidays I had lots of time to relax with my family and read books, magazines and lots of newspapers.  On December 29th as I was trying to come up with a meaningful resolution – beyond the usual – I found Bob Greene’s opinion piece in the Wall Street Journal.  Mr. Greene discusses the value to be found in generosity of spirit and quotes frequently from a speech made by Chief Justice John Roberts at his son’s ninth grade graduation. Worth repeating here, I am quoting directly from the speech.

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Chief Justice Roberts says, “Once a week, you should write a note to someone.  Not an email.  A note on a piece of paper.  It will take you exactly 10 minutes.”

He goes on to say that if you do this, for 10 months, “40 people will feel a little more special because you did, and they will think you are very special because of what you did”.

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Many of us already practice this habit – a quick note after a dinner party; a thank you for the business meeting; and a sympathy note all too frequently.  What if we all added in a few more notes to make those around us feel just a little more special?  I, for one, wouldn’t mind feeling just a little bit special every now and then.

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Destination 2018

As we celebrated the holiday season and closed out 2017, we worked with five fantastic lifestyle influencers to share their holiday traditions and New Year’s resolutions through handwritten notes.

First, our partners started off by sharing their holiday traditions on one of our newest collections – our Home for the Holidays: City holiday cards. We loved seeing how everyone celebrates the holiday season each year and the sense of connectedness to family and loved ones.

A few days later, in anticipation of New Year’s Day, our partners posted a selection of photos featuring their goals and resolutions for 2018.

We’re excited to share our friends’ posts with you – after all, it’s a new year, let’s start it on a new note!

… Here’s to a fantastic year ahead.

 

Jackie Greaney

@jackiegreaney moved to a new home in 2017, but her old traditions of bourbon milk punch & cookies for neighbors and handwritten holiday cards continued on. Jackie used our collaboration with The Maryn to jot down her 2018 goal of doing more international travel (preferably to someplace warm)!

 

Beth and Danielle, Palm Beach Lately

Christmastime in NYC holds special memories for @palmbeachlately because Danielle and her husband got engaged here during the holiday season. Beth and Danielle chose our Palm Beach Collection: Everglades Island set to share their 2018 goal of finding more ways to spread the Palm Beach sunshine!

 

Meghan Murray

@meghanmurray’s favorite holiday traditions include enjoying tea and cookies while staying cozy and writing Christmas cards to friends. Meghan shared that she hopes to have a new year filled with lots of great food (and champagne, of course) and travel adventures. Our Jet Set: Paris cards surely set the tone for a travel-filled 2018!

 

Carissa Burton

@carissa_burton shared a few of the wonderful Christmas traditions in her family, like singing Christmas carols by the fire with eggnog and gathering in the kitchen to decorate sugar cookies. Carissa used our Palm Beach: Tarpon Island cards to write down her dreams for 2018, like committing to unplug for a bit each day and giving back to the community.

 

Andrea Nunez

@andreannu spent her first holiday season in New York and was able to experience the magic of the Rockefeller Center tree and all of the festivities around the city. Her first holiday season away from home prompted a new tradition of sending handwritten notes back home to her family and loved ones overseas. Andrea then used our Jet Set: New York cards to create a bucket list for all of the new places in and around New York City that she’d like visit in 2018!

Spotlight on: Christos Dovas

Celebrated designer Christos Dovas is your first stop for a celebration in unforgettable style. Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles sat down with him to discuss how Greek origins formed a great New York talent.

 

QUESTION: You’ve been involved in garment design and construction since an early age. Can you tell us about those beginnings?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I believe I was born artistic – The fact that I grew up with a father who was a shoe designer was a coincidence of destiny. I first learned to design from picking up the leather scraps from the floor, and making small wearable pieces. As a child, I watched my father buy raw materials and deal with market professionals – This taught me about business. watching my father work at the bench itself taught me how to pull the grow and straighten the fabric. I would say I was most fortunate to see my dad working original designs from the 50’s 60’s 70’s in leather skins, fabric and laces.

QUESTION: When we think of your work, what images would you like first to pop into our heads?  Light? Air? The sea? How has your Greek heritage informed you design?

CHRISTOS DOVAS:  I am a dreamer. I want my designs to conjure up the imagery of books, sculpture and paintings– secret stories all through the medium of my pencils and threads. It sounds funny but I get inspired while in New York; blending my past work experience and the city’s active lifestyle results in contemporary, artful pieces. My creations are influenced by pure poetry, clarity and symbolism. I love to design, create, and ultimately make women feel beautiful.

QUESTION: What thrills you most about Greece? And what do you find most exciting about New York?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: In Greece, it is exciting to be surrounded by time. History and Art have left marks with the Ancient Greek artifacts that inspire me daily. In contrast, New York’s contemporary presence is alive with a melting pot of different cultures.

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QUESTION: You’re an amazing colorist! When you use color, it feels at once bold and yet gently nuanced. Are there colors have you not been using that you are becoming more and more interested in?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: Since childhood, I have loved to draw with my pencils in black and white, along with watercolor and wax. I love gentle, smooth, soft pastels in combination with strong, dark, powerful hues. There are many different ways that color and fabric can be combined to create unique creation. The personality of someone is definitely the most important factor to consider when applying color onto fabric.

 

QUESTION: What’s it like to work with you and your studio? Can you tell us a little about the experience of commissioning your work?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I am an old fashioned designer, which means that I like to show personal interest in the commission of a dress. Once we agree on the design, I begin to drape the fabric and bring to the drawings to life. Lots of hand-stitching is involved in the execution, and many fittings will happen to perfect a bespoke design.

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QUESTION: Can you give us a tip? What design elements should be avoided for practicality reasons?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: My philosophy revolves around beauty and timeless elegance. I would rather stay with simplicity instead of opting for a design with lots of lines and shapes.

 

QUESTION: When you’re seeking inspiration and renewal, where do you head?

CHRISTOS DOVAS: I often seek inspiration through books, art history, paintings, and sculptures. I always like to head to the Metropolitan Museum of Art here in New York and I love reading biographies of artists and designers.

 

QUESTION: Before we go, will you please share a sweet story about one of your favorite clients?

CHRISTOS DOVAS:  Every moment is a special occasion, though weddings take the cake. When designing a wedding dress, the mother is always the biggest advisor to the bride.  When it comes to details, there are usually different ideas and opinions to be had, especially when choose sleeve embellishments. A bride-to-be chose one ribbon with embroidery as the finish detail, and the mother chose another ribbon with bugles and crystals. There were a lot of hard decisions to make on their end in terms of which ones to choose. The final creation was beautifully stitched with attention to detail to make both the bride and mother happy with the design!

Learn more about Christos Dovas at http://www.ChristosDovas.com 
Credits:
Photography: Manuel Vasquez and Stephen Shadrach
Model: Jackie Swerz
Make Up artist: Alison Cornely,
Hair: Abby Ballin
Portrait credits: Francois Legagneur

 

 

 

Destination Dempsey: Labor Day

Labor Day is coming up and some of us are planning on taking advantage of the long weekend to enjoy the final days of summer. We asked the team about where they plan on heading, a fun fact or anecdote about their destination, and what piece of Dempsey & Carroll stationery they plan on bringing with them. Bon voyage!

 

Umara: I’m traveling to good old sunny California!

 

Emma: I’m going to Block Island to spend the week (and long weekend) with my family

  • There are too many reasons to love Block Island, especially because it’s been a family tradition since my dad was 11. I love the moment on the ferry ride over when I can see the first glimpse of the bluffs and then the town comes into view. Nothing beats spending the day at the beach and wandering through town or taking a hike on one of the many trails.
  • I’m bringing pieces from our collaboration with The Maryn because it’s perfect for spending time by the sea!

 

Jaimie: I’ll be at Yankee Stadium for the Yankees/Red Sox game! What better way to spend Labor Day weekend than watching the National Pastime and cheering on your favorite team (The Yankees, of course) while they play their #1 rival?Jaimie- Yankee Stadium

  • My favorite part of the stadium is Monument Park. I love seeing the history and all the retired numbers (#7 forever)! It’s also absolutely necessary to get a hot dog and a beer (and maybe some cotton candy). It’s a baseball game after all!
  • The Dempsey & Carroll Game On Handsome Tablet is perfect for keeping scorecards. Play ball!

 

Carolyn: I’m traveling to Newport Beach, California for a wedding206360_MW_ColiseumPool_378_r11

  • I’ve actually never been to Newport Beach before, but The Resort at Pelican Hill looks incredible! What’s not to love?
  • I’m definitely bringing some Jet Set: LA for my trip to the West Coast

 

Austin: This Labor Day, my partner and I will spend the long weekend as guests of a dear college friend at her house on Lake Pocono in Pennsylvania.IMG_0234.JPG

  • The lake sits in the middle of a vast preserve and, when the houses that surround it were built, there was a requirement that they not be visible from the lake. Eagles soar above as your canoe glides across the surface. No speedboats here.
  • Our host loves Dempsey & Carroll paper so what to bring her is a no-brainer. This year, a Schumacher Journal for her sketching habit, and Jet Set: Los Angeles note cards because she loves to travel and that classic airliner engraved in blue is a complete charmer! Stationery makes the smartest gift because the recipient will be reminded of you each time they treat a friend to a special handwritten note.

 

Highlights from Memorial Day Weekend

Though the Solstice is weeks away, Memorial Day is generally considered the unofficial start of summer. A few of our team members shared highlights from how they kicked off the season in style over the holiday weekend!

A Birthday Weekend in the City 

Leo: Nothing beats a holiday weekend on my favorite island, Manhattan.  We celebrated a special birthday at Gramercy Tavern, where walk-in tables were easy to score. The “off the menu” order, a bacon cheeseburger with otherworldly house made chips, garnered jealous questioning from surrounding tables.

A Road Trip Through Connecticut

Jaimie: I’m a relatively new Connecticut resident so I love to hop in the car and explore my new home on weekends. There is so much natural beauty here, and there are so many charming towns to visit.

Dinner by the sea in Maine

Emma: My family was up in Durham for my sister’s graduation from the University of New Hampshire and we took advantage of our proximity to southern Maine. We dined on delicious lobsters at Fox’s Lobster House while enjoying the beautiful views of The Cape Neddick (“Nubble”) Lighthouse.

Exploring Rockland County, New York

Ariel: I love exploring Nyack Beach State Park because it allows me to escape from the city without having to travel too far! It’s my favorite place to stay-cation. We also had the chance to visit the site of Piermont’s Watch Fire, a Memorial Day tradition to honor fallen soldiers.

Retail Partner Spotlight: Ito-Ya

Dempsey & Carroll’s Chandra Cox offers a glimpse into the world of one of our esteemed Retail Partners.

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If Willy Wonka’s enchanted land had consisted of beautiful stationery instead of delectable candies, then it would probably bear resemblance to ITO-YA.

ITO-YA is a specialty stationery store founded in 1904 in Tokyo, Japan. Its incredible twelve-story flagship store is located on the main street of the Ginza district in Chuo-ku, Tokyo. Major renovations were completed in 2015 to enhance their offerings. In addition to seven levels dedicated to many categories of paper goods and desk accessories, the top three levels of ITO-YA spectacularly house a business lounge, hydroponic farm, and cafés.

 

This last photo is a favorite of ITO-YA buyer Etsuko Sato. She never tires of looking at all of the beautiful cards and stationery and has loved ITO-YA since she was a child. Being a big collector of cards, papers and stamps, she says  “I think stationery is special and the best way to connect with the people you love and care for. Somehow, it conveys the love and warmth of people’s thoughts in a way that text messages or social media cannot. ”

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Be sure to add ITO-YA to your must-visit list if you plan on traveling to Tokyo!

 

For the Love of Script: The Importance of Teaching Cursive Writing in Schools

Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles shares his thoughts on the importance of script and how cursive writing should always be taught in schools.

I know there’s a lot of debate about teaching cursive writing in schools, but studies have shown that when notes are taken by hand (versus notes typed into a device), the information is much better retained. Furthermore, writing in cursive is fast and efficient, while block printing tends to take more time.

I can’t imagine someone not having a cursive signature. Though digital signatures are now legally binding when necessary, something important like a condolence letter should always be handwritten and sent through the post. A Facebook message or email is never acceptable for serious, life changing matters.

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When I was searching for my last two jobs, I would apply electronically and then send a printed hard copy in the mail. I know that the electronic applications to several companies were completely overlooked while the printed ones got me in the door. At the bottom of those printed cover letters, you must have a cursive signature to finish it off. Following a job interview, a handwritten thank you note will be noticed and remembered far longer than an email.

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Dempsey & Carroll always gets busy in the early fall with parents ordering engraved correspondence cards for their children. It’s school application time and those kids will all be following up with handwritten thank you notes after interviews. Cursive writing is a must if you’re looking to impress admissions at prestigious schools.

reply-card-1.jpgWhile a few of our clients do send digital save the dates, everyone sends a printed wedding invitation. As the recipient, you will need to send back a reply card, and a cursive signature is going to look very appropriate after that “M” prompt on many R.S.V.P cards.

 

 

If my child’s school did not teach cursive writing, I would teach it to her myself. Good social skills and dexterity never go out of fashion!