Destination Dempsey: On the Mediterranean

There’s nothing better than coming home to your own bed after a few days or weeks away, but boy, those vacation days sure are lovely to look back and reflect on…

Carolyn, here, from Dempsey & Carroll’s marketing department. I just returned from eleven days traveling through the Mediterranean. It was absolutely fabulous. There is nothing better than the crystal clear blue waters of the Mediterranean Sea and the delicious salty breeze in the air. IMG_1210

I started out in Nice, France – a perfect jumping off point, especially if you want to spend some time exploring some of the nearby towns. A favorite of mine is Beaulieu-sur-Mer. If you’re looking to stay over, I recommend La Reserve de Beaulieu as it’s centrally located, and the hotel itself is gorgeous, with an unbelievable pool and access to the sea.

From Nice, I went off to Saint-Tropez where I spent most of the day at the famed beacb club, Le Club 55. There are many other beach clubs along the same stretch of beach – Nikki Beach, Tahiti Beach, to name a few – but I’m partial to Le Club 55 which sits at the end of beach and is a bit more relaxed and quiet – perfect for families!

IMG_1136

Next up, Marseille, France! To be honest, I wasn’t sure what to expect in Marseille and I was pleasantly surprised. Some of the newer buildings on the city’s waterfront including the MuCEM, built in 2013, were incredible. The MuCEM had a wonderful Ai Weiwei exhibit that I was lucky to see.

After a day in Marseille, it was off to Corsica. I visited a charming coastal village called Calvi which has beautiful shops, and stunning beaches. The water was the perfect respite from peak afternoon heat.

Onto Sardinia! I spent the day in Alghero on the northwest coast of Sardinia. The town has a ton of Catalan influences though it is Italian. The beaches were breathtaking, though my favorite part of my visit was tasting a local delicacy: seada – a semolina dumpling filled with pecorino cheese and topped with honey.

IMG_1303

From Sardinia, I traveled to Palma de Mallorca, Spain. I took a biking tour of the old city and saw everything from the iconic cathedral, to hidden shops on cobblestone streets. I only wish I had had more time there. I’m told the Belmond La Residenicia Hotel is magical…A reason to journey back to Mallorca!

IMG_1320

The final stop of my trip was Barcelona, Spain, a city that I have visited before, and could travel back to time and time again. Everything from the palm trees, to the grand avenues, to the delicious food and divine smells draws me back to this incredible city. I spent two days of my trip exploring Mountjuic and visited the Joan Miro Foundation, the Botanical Gardens, the Greek Gardens, and strolled through the windy, charming streets of the neighborhood.

That’s all for now….Until next time!

Xo
Carolyn

#DestinationDempsey

What’s in the Box?

Sure, we love keeping our note cards and sheets in our Keepsake Leather Boxes, but once our papers run out, we often wind up using our signature boxes for all kinds of fun storage needs. If you’re nearing the end of your stationery supply here are a few tricks we’ve been using ourselves that we thought you all might enjoy!

  1. Some of our favorite pens and a few forever stamps – perfect for when we’re writing a note. All of our supplies are in one place!
  2. A few of our favorite necklaces and rings to keep them from getting tangled in a larger jewelry box lb11
  3. Scarves — Summer, winter, you name it. Our boxes have everything from wool scarves to silk scarves stored in them.
  4. Lipstick – sometimes we’ll use a few boxes depending on the lipstick color. One for reds, one for pinks, one for clear glosses.
  5. Buttons – finally a place to keep all of those extra buttons from new sweater purchases.
  6. Photos — Retro, we know. Our boxes are perfect for any old photos, or even new ones (some of us still get them printed)!
  7. Letters — A given coming from us, but a very true statement. We LOVE saving letters and invitations from friends and family. Our boxes are the perfect place to store them.

lb3

We’d love to hear about how you would use your Dempsey & Carroll Keepsake Leather Box. Purchase your own box on our site and share with us on Instagram @dempseycarroll.

 

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.

Photo Jun 05, 12 44 48 PM (1)

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!

Spotlight on Marcia Selden Catering

For over 30 years, Marcia Selden Catering has been creating unique events with an accent on extraordinary food, creativity, and highly polished professional service. We sat down with Managing Partner and Executive Chef Robin Selden to learn more about the family business!

Can you tell us how your mother became inspired to begin Marcia Selden Catering?

I always start by saying that my mom was an entrepreneur before the word was in the dictionary. When Martha Stewart published Entertaining forty years ago, Marcia exclaimed “I can do that,” and that’s exactly what she did!

She spent the next 20 years cooking for countless dignitaries and celebrities, catering everything from intimate dinner parties and cocktail receptions, to galas for thousands in New York City. At this point, her business was booming and she tapped me and Jeffrey (my brother) for help. He was on a fast track in the New York Luxury Hotel world and I was fairly happy in my job, but we figured that it was a once in a lifetime opportunity. The rest is history as we grew the business to twelve times its size in revenue and staff and moved to our current home at 65 Research Drive in Stamford.

Being an entrepreneur is all about wearing multiple hats. How did each family member find their perfect spot within the business?

Jeffrey joined us the summer of 2011, leaving the New York Palace Hotel as the second-in-command for their Food & Beverage department. He brought a wealth of business knowledge to the company along with his NYC Catering contacts and clients, so we felt that it was important to have a presence in the city. In the summer of 2014, we took over a floor of a building on 38th street to dedicate to our NYC offices, kitchen, and venue called Above Twelve. As a Managing Partner, Jeffrey wears a variety of hats and is responsible for Sales and Operations along with our beverage program called Liquid Kitchen.panna cotta

I am responsible for the Culinary Team, our Creative Operations team, and all of our Marketing efforts. I’ve found that I’m happiest when creating our advertising campaigns and working on research and development for new recipes. Mom is the “name on the door” and she is responsible for whatever she wants on any given day—much deserved after working on building this amazing company for 40 years. She is the creative force that pushes us all to do our best and she reminds us to never accept mediocrity. She is the greatest mentor to us all!

 IMG_2747

Could you describe the happenings in your kitchen on the morning of a big event?

Like the opening night of a Broadway show– very organized and perfectly executed mayhem!

What looks fresh to you this year as we head into the summer months?

I’m most excited for the local farm fresh produce.  I’ve never met an Heirloom tomato that I didn’t love!

1262-M4209-Hechler

Is there a recent food trend that you’re glad to see disappear?

Yes– Activated charcoal!

Is there a classic you’d love to see come back in vogue?

I would love to put a modern twist on traditional dishes like Chicken a la King and Beef Stew.

You’ve just served up another successful wedding reception on a lovely Saturday evening. What does your perfect recovery Sunday look like? How do you treat yourself?

I’d definitely head to the local diner for breakfast before my “real” job as a parent kicks in. I’ll hit usually the grocery store, do laundry, help with homework, and then maybe treat myself to a pedicure.

And when you’re cooking for yourself, what’s your favorite comfort food?

I love anything cooked out on the grill and big pots of soup chock full of veggies (usually with beans and quinoa).  I’m also obsessed with breakfast and will never turn down an awesome omelet!
IMG_2903

Imagine you’re marooned on a desert island. What three kitchen tools would you like most to have with you and why?

  • My favorite Stainless Steel mixing bowl because I can prepare anything in it and even eat out of it and it won’t get damaged by the sea water.
  • My Shun Chef’s Knife which is my favorite, “can’t live without it,” tool in my kitchen
  • My Porcelain Enamel Coated Cast Iron Casserole (with the lid) because I can use it to boil water, cook soup, sauté, braise and even fry if I’m lucky enough to start with a few pantry items like oil!

 

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

Grads_Initials

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

Grads_JetSet

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

Grads_No3

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

Grads_WriteAway

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

Wild

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  

Monogram

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  

Stripes

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 

Patterns

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

Home

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. 

Real Weddings: Carolyn & Zach

Real Wedding

Carolyn and Zach

Rainbow Room

November 11, 2017

0400

On a cool and crystal-clear November day, Carolyn and Zach were wed and many a passerby could not resist congratulating the happiest couple.

Called “Fernanda,” the dress is from Vera Wang’s Fall 2016 collection. The bodice, with a very clean and simple construction made of a crisp ivory silk, featured a drop waist,  also known as a Basque waist. The skirt portion of the dress featured layers upon layers of tulle that created a quite extensive seven foot train which was bustled for the cocktail hour and reception. An embellishment featuring little blue beads from the bride’s great-grandmother’s garter was sewn into the lining of the skirt.

The bride wears her sister, Lauren’s, cathedral style veil from her wedding last winter.

 

Vows are shared beneath an intimate, light-as-air chuppah and then, above and beyond, facets of light expand like a vast, unending jewel made of light.

0729

Neat rows of carefully crafted Dempsey & Carroll escort cards await excited guests as they move into the reception. Event planner Lauren Fremont of LOLI Events made sure every detail came together harmoniously.

DeJuan Stroud created flowers in luscious violets and velvety reds surrounding gorgeous textures in back-to-earth shades of fresh greens. You could feel their beauty as you neared the arrangements: their drama perfectly present but not overwhelming.

Other arrangements were more experimental: A symbol of faithfulness, calla lilies, rest in abstract glass forms and then seemed to float in midair.

0974

There was ambient lavender and powdery magenta glow overhead– crystal chandeliers and sconces sparkle and meld with city lights stretching on for miles.

Rainbow Room soars above New York and resides alongside the most famous lighted spires in any night sky.

0005

Zach, Carolyn, and her mother, Wendy, selected our creamy, custom-milled, cotton Dempsey White paper for the invitations and each would be hand-engraved on antique presses as old as midtown Manhattan’s skyline. A crisp block font hinted at the importance of design given to every inch of the splendid Rockefeller Center landmark. And at the bottom of each invitation? Two reflected triangles form a pert bowtie. For a subtle finish to the inner envelopes, the bride requested a sunburst gray linear pattern that reminds of deco, but just so.

0415

Dempsey & Carroll congratulates Carolyn and Zach!

 

Credits:

Photography: Ira Lippke, The Day Collective

Wedding Planner:  Loli Events

Design: Dejuan Stroud

Venue: Rainbow Room

Dress: Vera Wang

Spotlight on Caitlin McGauley

In celebration of our brand new collaboration, we sat down with Watercolor Artist and Illustrator Caitlin McGauley to learn more about her work and how she gets inspired. We first met McGauley through our friend Michelle Adams, founder of The Maryn. In fact, the artwork from our collection in partnership with The Maryn was also designed by McGauley!

We are excited to launch the whimsical Caitlin McGauley Animal Collection featuring the Cheetah and Fox motifs and envelope finishings customized by McGauley. We hope that you are as charmed by this collaboration as much as we are! #caitlinmcgauleyxdempsey

 

How did you get started with watercolor?

I was constantly drawing as a kid, so my parents signed me up for group watercolor lessons at 9 years old. I had a great teacher who was in her mid-eighties, and we would sit at card tables in her dining room and copy pictures of landscapes that she tore out of magazines. My next painting teacher was a friendly hippie who taught in a 70’s A frame cottage on a lake. I really loved watercolor and I never pursued any other medium.

 

What are some of your favorite projects that you’ve worked on recently?

Custom projects with interior designers are always fun and diverse, and it’s nice to collaborate with fellow artists. Currently, I am designing a wallpaper with repeating feathers for the ceiling of a restaurant, and I’m in the sketch phase for an animal-themed wallpaper mural that will span a massive playroom without repeating itself.

DSC_6552 - Copy

 

What inspires you the most?

Spending time at book stores and antique/secondhand shops! My daughter and I like to go and ‘look for treasures,’ and I keep my eyes peeled for weird or beautiful objects and vases that can be incorporated into my paintings. If I have an hour or so to kill, I would probably spend it at Books of Wonder on 18th street looking at children’s books. I am a picture book fanatic and I always attend the Children’s Book show at the Society of Illustrators, where they show the original work from all of the best picture books from the previous year.

 

Your two young children must have so much fun when they get to visit you in the studio! Do they share your creativity?

Yes, they definitely have the art bug! My six-year-old daughter stays up later at night than I do I presume, since in the morning she has all kinds of new ideas and drawings in the sketchbook that she keeps on her bedside table. My son is a perfectionist and asks me to put white-out on any of his coloring pages where he’s gone outside of the lines.

DSC_6565 - Copy

 

Are there any places that you’ve traveled that have had the most influence on your work?

I worked at a small textiles company in my 20’s and was lucky to travel to Asia several times to source fabrics and visit factories. India and China have such a rich textile history and I am so grateful that I got to soak it all up in person. I still reference fabrics and pictures from my trips for inspiration. Time to go back, I think!

22280564_120684728622772_669516746394173440_n

What inspired this collaboration? We’d love to hear a bit more about the colorful prints that are featured!

I love to paint animals, so I started with the pink cheetah and orange fox, and the prints evolved from there. The fox felt masculine and preppy so I looked at vintage ties on eBay, which resulted in stripes and an abstract collegiate-feeling crest print in primary colors. For the cheetah, I drew from animal prints and foliage, but I used colors not necessarily found in nature.

 

Where is your ideal place to sit down and write a letter?

In the peace and quiet of my studio. I always send a hand-written note with paintings– it shows a kind of appreciation that cannot be conveyed over email!

22158037_1683918061626607_287243985372577792_n

 

Where else can people find your work (aside from our stationery, of course!)?

I have a collection of wallpapers available through the showrooms Studio Four in New York, James in Austin and Dallas Texas, and Nicky Rising in Los Angeles. I also have a shop on my website which I consistently update with original paintings, mostly florals and animals.

Shop the Caitlin McGauley x Dempsey & Carroll on our site here!

 

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

DSC02452

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

 

DSC_6473

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

 

DSC_6472

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