Gifts for Grads

With graduation season in full swing, we wanted to share our top gift picks from our collections in celebration of a noteworthy life event. A recent graduate could be starting a new job, traveling around the world, continuing their education, or taking time to figure out the next step. No matter what the “real world” holds, fine stationery is something that can be put to use for any occasion!

 

Initial Note Cards

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Initial Note Cards

These engraved correspondence cards are perfect for sending thank you notes with a personal touch. A portion of the proceeds from the Initial Note Cards benefits Jumpstart, a national organization that is working toward the day that all children enter kindergarten- their “initial” school experience- prepared to succeed. $55 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

The Jet Set Collection

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The Jet Set Collection

Sometimes a semester abroad can inspire a greater adventure, whether it involves a job in a new city or a gap year overseas. Graduates will be ready to take on the world with inspiration from our Jet Set collection! $60 for a set of 10 cards and envelopes, shop here for Paris, London, Los Angeles, and New York.

 

Personalized Correspondence Cards

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Our #3 Correspondence Cards

A recent graduate will always make an impression when they send handwritten notes on personalized correspondence cards. Pricing begins at $480 for 100 cards and envelopes, shop here.

 

The Write Away Collection

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The Write Away Collection with matching leather enclosures 

They can take their correspondence on the go with one of our Write Away sets.  Our handsome leather envelopes are paired with five bordered correspondence cards and five envelopes hand-lined with colorful tissue paper to make for stylish travels. $105 for 1 leather envelope and 5 cards and 5 envelopes, 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

Paris

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. 

Spotlight on Little Red Fox Bakery

Kristi Tursi of Little Red Fox Bakery knows how to please the eye just as much as the palate. Dempsey & Carroll’s Austin Ackles recently grilled her about celebrating with sweets throughout the seasons.

 

In just a few words, could you tell us about your bakery? 

I’m the owner of Little Red Fox Bakery located in Essex, Vermont.  What’s with the name, you may ask? When I was six I told my family that I was the owner of Little Red Fox Bakery, thus a dream has become a reality. The majority of my business specializes in ‘Celebration Cakes’ for weddings and ‘Elevated Events’ as the component of my bakery that focuses on all catered events. I incorporate locally sourced and ‘Made in Vermont’ ingredients in all of my bakery goods. I’m lucky enough to be able to use maple syrup that is produced down the road from where I live!

I’m also a food stylist and photographer with ongoing assignments throughout New England and the New York Metropolitan area where most of my work is based. Yes, I focus on the visual presentation, but I live by this rule: Flavor Leads Style.

 

You’re living in a perfect world: So many of us love to bake and everyone loves baked goods! How did you discover this passion?

I’ve been baking since I was a little girl, but the road to opening my bakery and catering business wasn’t a straight route! My mother’s side of the family is Hungarian, so I was fortunate enough to start my baking adventures with some of the world’s most classic recipes. Holidays, birthdays, and special occasions were all opportunities to learn my beloved recipes. I’m not embarrassed to say that on a recent trip to Budapest, Vienna, and Paris, I sampled pastries for breakfast, lunch, and dinner!

I studied psychology and art history in college and even pursued post-undergraduate work in those fields, but my love for baking and the desire to run a business ultimately led me to opening the doors to Little Red Fox Bakery.  I love the exactness and precision of bakery life paired with the creative freedom and design work for wedding cakes and sweets.

And you’ve a great deal of experience as a food stylist down here in New York City?

I worked for a few luxury e-commerce sites and quickly segued into food photography and styling assignments–It’s an aspect of my business that I truly love. My work was recently published in PDN (Photo District News) for food photography and I also have ongoing collaborations with brands such as CARGO Cosmetics and Fjallraven for styling and photo work.

 

If you’re planning sweets for a large event, logistically speaking, what is a good direction to go in? And what types of treats might not go so smoothly?

For large scale events, I always work to appeal to everyone’s unique tastes and requirements; treats for people with nut allergies, some gluten free selections, and a show stopper type of dessert to add an element of surprise. I generally try to go with things that tease the palate, so I include a variety of textures: gooey, crunchy, smooth, and fluffy, to name a few. I also always like to include savory sweets, like rosemary or caraway biscotti. The latter goes well with wine at cocktail parties, so you can say that I cover the taste sensations that begin the meal and those that end it.

 

We’d love to hear more about some of the work you’ve done for weddings.

I specialize in wedding cakes, favors, and full service catering under the part of my business known as ‘Elevated Events.’ I love making wedding cakes that incorporate unique details, like calligraphed messages on wafer paper affixed to the surface.

A current trend is to have a dessert table in place of a cake. Brides (and grooms) come in for a consultation and talk about all their favorite memories of getting to know each other and the foods associated with those memories. We like to curate a menu that is truly a culinary reflection of their courtship.

 

Spring is just around the corner. What tastes and textures do you think are best served as people tire of heavy winter foods?

People generally want things with fruit and palettes that are reminders of the awakening of spring on the landscape. Small fruit tarts, fruit mousses in mini chocolate cups, and mini cheesecakes topped with fruit tend to be popular choices. On the more elaborate and fluffy side, we have meringues, a crowd favorite. They are feather light, perfectly sweet, and customizable to pretty much any flavor profile.

 

A truly elegant show stopper is a layered mocha dacquoise cake, which includes layered hazelnut meringue with mocha butter cream. A Spanish Windtorte, a Baroque looking construction of fancy meringue piping, is also excellent as it can be topped or filled with a pastry cream and seasonal fruits and berries – the perfect transition from decadent holiday treats!

 

What goodies do you think can keep cool in the summer heat?

I love trifles. The flavors are so versatile, and they can be made in large or small scale; it’s the ‘just right’ amount of cake to cream to fruit ratio! I also love fruits tarts and shortcakes, both of which incorporate fruit and can be made on the lighter side for those 90+ hot, humid days.

Last year, we did an event held in a non air-conditioned old barn at the edge of a river; think ninety degrees, humidity, and mosquitoes. We made a lemon three-tier cake with lemon and lavender infused pastry cream filling. It was a semi-naked cake that we adorned with frosted berries and mint leaves. On the side, I had chilled raspberry champagne-soaked watermelon mini cubes on a stick—they were almost as popular as the cake, maybe more so!

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And how is chocolate best served in the summer?

Hopefully not melted! I think a ganache tart can be served in hot and humid weather quite well.  My two most popular flavors in the summer incorporate orange blossom or lavender; both have a hint of flavor that is balanced by the semi sweetness of the chocolate. I love to garnish the tarts with edible flowers—always a gorgeous finishing touch for tying in the color scheme of a wedding. Time management and organization are key when baking and presenting food, especially when it’s warm. In summer weather, a cooler or two may displace diamonds as a girl’s best friend.

 

As fall returns, what ingredients do you like to bring forward from the back of the pantry?

Fall is one of my busier times for weddings and catered events, so I created a theme called ‘perfect pairings’ to help those planning a Fall wedding with some level of continuity among their sweet and savory choices! I tend to reach for nutmeg, cinnamon, or even smoked maple! I love mulled cider, as it pairs wonderfully with cider doughnuts and apple pies. As a Vermont-based baker, it goes without saying that I sweeten my desserts with maple syrup and maple sugar any chance I get. I think a dark maple syrup provides for the best pronounced flavors in my pumpkin pies, butter creams, and compotes! 15099470_1475730969123730_2837803386319929344_n

I also love chestnuts. I include a chocolate chestnut ganache tart as a holiday selection and I make Chestnut Mignons, a Hungarian specialty with chestnut cream, chocolate, and rum shaped into a chestnut shape and enrobed in chocolate and mocha couverture.

 

For winter holiday entertaining, whether it’s a cozy get together following an afternoon of ice skating, or a more formal holiday affair, what could we surprise our guests with?  

Who doesn’t love to fawn over a dessert table? For a small, casual gathering (after skating, say, by a roaring fire),  I would have a menu that includes cinnamon hot chocolate paired with Belgian brownies and whipped cream, hot cider paired with maple churros, and piping hot mochas with chocolate éclairs filled with blood orange pastry cream. 16122724_271096073310002_9068248877664043008_n

For a formal affair, I love to present a crepes cream cake that looks like it has a thousand layers. Another favorite that I made for a Scandinavian event was the Princess cake; a green dome of pistachio marzipan adorned with delicate pink flowers covering layers of cake, pastry cream,  and lots of whipped cream.

 

In terms of classic recipes, what do you think never goes out of style?

A classic genoise cake, which is a French-style cake that serves as the foundation for simple jelly rolls and many elaborate pastries. It is perfect ‘as is,’ but even better as the cake layers on a scrumptious wedding cake. A genoise holds up incredibly well year-round and can be made with ingredients that a home baker will have in their kitchen.

And when the ovens have cooled and you close up shop for the day, how do you like to spend your down time?

I live in Vermont for a majority of the year and love getting outside to enjoy the Green Mountains! From November through April, my skis are by the front door so I can literally step outside, don my skis, and off I go! In the summer months, I turn into a kayaker. I’m also the happy owner of a German Shepherd puppy, so hiking, trail running, and sailing on Lake Champlain are perfect departures from a chaotic day of baking and decorating (and it keeps the puppy happy)! My time in nature keeps me focused and serves as a beautiful work/life balance! When I’m in the city, I walk everywhere–I’ve been known to walk from SoHo to the UES. I love the contrast of solitude and city buzz. I think art and beauty and truth are found in that contrast.

 

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.