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.


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.


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.


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”.


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.


Retail Partner Spotlight: Ito-Ya

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


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!


A Spotlight on Haute So Sweet Cake Creations


Dempsey & Carroll event curator Austin A sat down with Michelle Apiar, owner of Haute So Sweet to discuss her beautiful creations.

AA:A lot of brides are asking for very classic and timeless engraved invitations. Your range is amazing but are you seeing a similar trend developing in requests for cake designs?

 MA: I find that Manhattan couples are interested in classic designs for cakes with a modern edge, a “new classic”, if you will.  They are moving away from cakes with abundant flower sprays and choosing designs that are textural and structural.  So many venues feature the Manhattan skyline as the backdrop for the wedding, so they choose cakes that work with it.  Another shift that I’ve noticed is the groom being very involved in the cake process.  He is usually in charge of choosing the flavor!

AA: Your cakes are works of art. Do you ever title them?

 MA: Thank you for the compliment!  I currently do not title them, as each cake is designed specifically for an individual client and are generally not exactly replicated.  However, each cake does tell a story, which serves as my inspirat20120607_ma_481ion for creating them.  For example, a client of mine wanted to surprise her best friend with a Manolo Blahnik shoebox cake for her 40th birthday.  What was wonderful about this is her friend was battling breast cancer, and she vowed that if she made it to her 40th birthday, she would buy a pair of Manolos to celebrate. Well, she made it to age 40 and she got the shoes and the cake!  Contributing to beautiful celebrations like this is truly why I do this for a living.

AA: What is the most far fetched inspiration a client has showed you and then asked for it to be translated into cmaake?

MA: I went into this business because I love challenges, and Haute So Sweet specializes in making the impossible possible.  This past season, a wedding planner introduced me to a bride who wanted a chandelier cake, which is a hot trend right now.  We chose a beautiful crystal chandelier and designed the cake to match the chandelier.  The wedding planner and I worked together with the venue to install the new chandelier that was rigged to hang the wedding cake from.  It was an impressive centerpiece to the wedding and wowed all the guests.  The bride contacted me weeks after the wedding and said the guests were still talking about the cake!

AA: Corporate events or weddings? What is the biggest difference and what do you loveabout each?

MA: Artistically I love doing wedding cakes because they have the “pretty” decorations like flowers and intricate piping, you know, the fun stuff.  I also love working with the couple and often their family members to create a beautiful cake and dessert presentation.  I’ve built lasting relationships with many families though this.  The interaction is much more personal.

Corporate events are great because they demand high volume, and at Haute So Sweet we love making hundreds of something.  It’s exciting and challenging to produce 500-1000 cake pops for a trade show, for example.  Also, being a business owner and formerly in PR, I understand what companies are trying to accomplish with a promotional mailing or event. They want to gain brand awareness or retain their clients’ attention, and we create a delicious and unique product to accomplish that goal.

Michelle is the featured guest for our October 9th showroom event.