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The Importance of the Handwritten Note May 1, 2008

The Importance of the Handwritten Note

When was the last time you received a handwritten note from a business associate? It may be that it was too long ago for you to remember. On the other hand, if you have gotten one lately, you know exactly who sent it and when. Handwritten notes have become almost extinct in the business world. So if you are looking for ways to stand out from the crowd, to be noticed by your colleagues and clients, try putting pen to paper whenever you have the slightest excuse.

There are few acts more impressive than handwriting a letter or a note to someone with whom you do business or would like to. Most people think that writing notes by hand requires extra time and effort. Ironically, it can be quick and painless if you do it frequently and follow these tips:

1. Have writing supplies close at hand.
Store stationery and stamps in the most convenient place in your desk. When you need to send a note, all you have to do is reach for your stationery, dash off a few lines, address the envelope, put the stamp in place and mail it.

2. Keep your message brief.
These are notes so you only have to come up with three or four sentences. If you attempt to compose more than a few lines, writer’s block is liable to set in and you will never get past “start.”

3. Develop a system.
Before you head out of the office to a business meal or function that someone else is hosting, address an envelope to your host. It will be a breeze to jot down your short message when you return.

4. Use the appropriate professional stationery.
Both single-sided correspondence cards and fold-over notes with the company name or logo imprinted on them are business-like and will represent you and your organization well.

5. Poor penmanship is no excuse unless your handwriting is totally illegible.
The person who receives your note will appreciate your thoughtfulness and will not be grading your handwriting. If your penmanship does not meet your standards, it is never too late to improve. There are numerous resources at your library or on the Internet to teach you to write legibly.

6. Use any occasion to get noticed with a note.
A few of those instances are when…

  • You have received a gift
  • You were a guest in someones home
  • You were treated to a meal
  • You received a business favor
  • You are replying to an invitation
  • You are sending condolences
  • You want to offer congratulations
  • You need to apologize

 

7. Make your message timely.
Whether you are sending a note of appreciation, congratulation or condolence, do it as quickly as possible. A thank you should go out within 24 to 48 hours. However, don’t forgo sending a note because you think too much time has elapsed. There is no definite statute of limitations on appreciation.

8. Understand that e-mail is not a substitute for the personal handwritten message.
The Internet is fast, efficient and remote. If you are corresponding by e-mail immediately following a meeting with a business associate, include your expression of gratitude, but don’t let that stop you from sending a second message by ground.

Successful people pay attention to the details and look for ways to build better business relationships. When you take the time to send handwritten notes, you will stand out from the crowd for all the right reasons. Your next big sale or job promotion may came about as a result of your doing business just a little differently.

-Taken from an article written by Lydia Ramsey of Manners that Sell

I personally have seen a huge benefit, both personally and professionally of being a “note writer”.  I became a note writer because, quite frankly, my parents made me.  While my friends could get by with a quick call to the grandparents to say “thanks”, I was made to sit and write a note.  The act of note writing later became a habit and I am so glad that it did.  I now own and operate a small stationery store, and, I am a first-class note writer….if I do say so myself!

I belong to several organizations including the Chamber of Commerce and a local women in business group.  When I meet someone I will always ask for a business card…every time…and follow up either that day or the next with a handwritten note.  I have gotten extremely favorable responses from note writing. I recently received a call from a very prominent local CEO after having sent a note following his speech at a breakfast meeting that I had attended. I also write a note to EVERY new customer who provides me with an address.  It is so important to show appreciation to your clients.

-Becky

 

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Pink and Green Fever March 22, 2008


Spring is coming…I just know it! Even though it might be snowing here in PA (we call it the “onion snow”) I am still longing for the bright, warm, wonderful days ahead.  So, I am going to showcase a few little items here in Pink and Green, my fav color combo….duh, just look at my store!

 

Anyway, here is my favorite thing for spring…a super cute trench in, um, PINK! It’s from Chadwicks of Boston and retails for $39.99….wahoo!

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Wow, just found these ADORABLE shoes in GREEN and LEOPARD…can you imagine? They are from www.shoes.com and are a little more expensive than the stuff I usually look for ’cause I think fashion should be affordable. But, they are from Oh Deer and are $154.99 and I am in love…

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Since I am on a shoe roll…what do you think of these from Tommy Hilfiger??  Love ’em and they have a much better price point at $74.99. They are also from shoes.com  Check out the lining…TDF!

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I would be totally remiss if I didn’t mention some cute stationery!  www.threedesigningwomen.comoffers a look at their fantastic personalized stamps and embossers.  There are so many designs to choose from….I absolutely LOVE my stamper…us it every chance I get (course, I use bright pink ink).  Here at Pushing the Envelope the stamps are on sale right now for $36.00 during my Spring Fever sale.

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Now, the same company also offers a product called “imprintables”.  It is a collection of folded notes, wine tags, memo paper, gift tags, etc that you can personalize with your cute stamp.  Check out the wine tags…toooooo cute…..!

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So I just turned 41….and ummmm my eyes are maybe not as ummmm good as they maybe used to be.  Not saying I have to get full-on prescription glasses yet.  I might just need a little something to help me out with the newspaper print.  Why have they started to make the print smaller?  I don’t get it.  If you could use a little magnification in your life, you might want to log on to http://www.target.com/Influence-Reading-Glasses-Olive-Pink/dp/B000TVXCZK/sr=1-14/qid=1206197930/ref=sr_1_14/601-9129330-7380928?ie=UTF8&rh=k%3Apink-and-green-bags&page=1 and take a peek at these darling glasses in, what else, but PINK and OLIVE (green):)

I love a cute wristlet….I am still trying to rid myself of my giant bag!  Anyway, here is one from my favorite web site www.etsy.com.  It’s darling and it fits in with my theme…AND it’s only $12.00.  Find it here http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=6665962

 

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Now go look for spring…it’s lurking out there somewhere…just like my BFF cyber stalker!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yellow and Gray February 21, 2008

So, have you all been following the latest color trends?  Are you absolutely certain that you have got to have something fab in that great yellow and gray combo?  I am, I do, I must have it.  Found some super kewl stuff just for you.

Check out this smart looking top from Lulu’s http://www.lulus.com/products/Yellow+and+Gray+Daytime+Top/7883.html It’s soooo cute, 100% silk and it’s only $38 get two for heaven’s sake.

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Everyone knows that I LOVE paper…I guess that I darn well better since I sell the stuff!  Anyway, I found these great notes from Whitney English http://www.whitneyenglish.com/catalog/index.php

I don’t carry their papers yet…but I will!  Darling!

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Get your vintage on with these great trainers from Urban Outfitters http://www.urbanoutfitters.com for 58 bucks.

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Now have a look-see at this cute yellow clutch from Target (did I hear you use a french accent when you read “Target”??)

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This little clutch is a whopping $14…isn’t it cute?  I am seriously trying to use a 12 step program to break my addiction to a large bag.  I am really trying to use a wristlet or clutch as much as I can…it’s hard.  Say a prayer!

Here’s a little mirror to tuck in to that clutch…it’s on Etsy http://www.etsy.com/index.php

oh crap, can’t get the photo to work….click on this to see the cute mirror

http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=8826920

BTW, do you shop Etsy?  It you don’t, you should!  It’s all handmade, really cool goods from mostly groovy and totally creative babes like us.  Check it out!

 

 

Alrighty then, go and find yourself something fabulously yellow!

 

 

 

 

Ms. Monogram is Behind the Wheel February 6, 2008

Filed under: cars,decorating,girlfriends,monograms,relaxation,shopping,Uncategorized — msmonogram @ 7:46 pm

By now you all know my BFF Andrea…the one with the famous uterus!  Anyway, we were talking on the phone yesterday…just like we do everyday…and Andrea reported that she was in the car wash.  And she said something that was kewl…she said going through an automatic car wash was one of life’s little pleasures because it forces you to just sit and simply “be” for a little while.  It’s a break for cryin-out-loud and we all need those. So I was thinking about what would make life even more pleasurable while you are taking your break in your car and here is what I came up with.

The first thing, of course, has got to be a set of hot monogrammed floor mats like these from http://logoproducts4less.com/personalized-accessories.html?gclid=COHh4L6hsJECFQ2nGgodQkFreQ

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Or these from http://www.ggbailey.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Category3_10101_10151_11655_-1_Y_Design%20Your%20Car%20Mats

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Then I got to thinking about personal car safety and found this cute (?) pink Club on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Designer-Steering-Wheel-Anti-Theft-Device/dp/B000F6SO1Q/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=automotive&qid=1202325668&sr=1-3  …on sale for a mere $34.95 – get one!

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Next, I was thinking that with the windows all closed up while you are in the car admiring your new monogrammed floor mats that you might want it to smell good in there.  Now I am a gal who despises car air fresheners, so, I found one that uses essential oils like lemongrass, peppermint and something called World Peace Affirmation…I want a whole skid of whatever that is.  Anyway, check these out…very cool. http://www.earthsolutions.com/products/Aromatherapy_Diffuser_CarScenter-73-0.html

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Now, while you are sitting there and enjoying your Super Duper Scrubby Wash, you will feel completely relaxed because every little thing will be in it’s place thanks to the folks at Driving Comfort http://www.drivingcomfort.com/index.cfm/fa/c/cid/117/sc/32887 Do you LOVE this??

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Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention something cute that you can find at my store. 

After your car comes of the wash, and you are full-on relaxed, won’t it be great to know that you are not only sporting a clean car, but, your monogram decal is still attached and looking just as shiny new as ever…get one, they are SO cute!

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Now go on and grab a wash for your ride and a rest for you!

 

 

 

 

It’s in the Bag! January 30, 2008

Filed under: girlfriends,green,handbags,recycle,shopping,Uncategorized — msmonogram @ 5:53 pm

I recently saw something on-line that inspired this post.  I almost couldn’t believe my eyes…I was shocked, impressed, amused and had a little bit of that “why didn’t I think of that” response. So check this out….you can RENT designer handbags.

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At www.bagborroworsteal.com you will find yourself in handbag heaven.  Ever drooled over that Vuitton bag but knew that you just better not spend the cash…or, wanted the Kate Spade to go with that sweet little shift you were planning on wearing to the garden wedding?  Well, now you can try but not buy.  For as little as $5 month you can enjoy member benefits including lower rental fee’s and first dibs on new items.  I even think that this concept is, dare I say it, GREEN.  Recycled but fabulous bags…gotta love it!

 

Next, please take the time to look over these incredible bags from http://seabags.com/index.php

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Did you ever wonder what became of old sails after they were no longer useful?  I didn’t either, but, some incredibly clever folks decided to re-use them and turn them in to very cool, very unique bags. The people at Sea Bags say

“Since 1999 we have been making custom tote bags out of recycled sails. Every bag we make has sailed around the world before it even leaves our shop, and we like that”

Isn’t it fascinating to dream of all of the places your Sea Bag has seen?

 

So now I am on a roll…I am suddenly all about recycled stuff.  And, if you can get it in a cute bag, why the heck not?  Here is a fun bag by Ecoist…it’s made of recycled wrappers…kewl!

 

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You can find it here http://www.treehugger.com/files/2005/11/ecoist_recycled.php

Lastly, some talented and undoubtably green babes on ebay found a way to recycle gently used Vera Bradley bags http://cgi.ebay.com/Night-Light-made-with-Vera-Java-Blue-Bradley-L-K_W0QQitemZ110218329697QQihZ001QQcategoryZ63852QQssPageNameZWDVWQQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

 

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Take a closer look at this woman’s ebay store…she has used old Vera fabric for lot’s of great things…I am impressed!

 

 

Monogram It Baby!! January 23, 2008

So, I get this great trade magazine called Greetings, etc.  I love this magazine because it’s a fantastic way to follow and predict the trends in the stationery biz.  Anyway, this month Greetings, etc. listed the top 25 trends to watch for in 2008.  And, to my excitement, the “Push for Personalization” was listed as one of the top trends. The magazine states that “customers of all ages seem to be a part of the ‘me’ generation – and thy are making their mark via personalization”.

Who knew that lil ol’ me would be such a trend setter and WAY ahead of the curve with all of my smart looking monograms on everything and anything that I can get ’em on.

I carry a line of wonderfully creative pieces from a company called Heartstrings…have a look at these…

Monogrammed Stone Pendant

A great looking pendant!  Carved stone available in several colors and shapes and can be mixed and matched on any number of necklaces with your choice of fonts.  I have other styles available in wood and shell too….. from $25, very, very cool!!

What about these great monogrammed soaps?  Not only do they look great, but, they  are really wonderful soaps….smell amazing too and available in several different scents like mandarin mango, fresh linen, cherries jubilee and milk chocolate truffle…starting at $11 YUM!

 

mandarin Mango Soaps

Monogrammed bumper-shoot anyone?  Please, tell me, who wouldn’t want to carry this darling umbrella that is completely personalized just for you??  At $29, you will be singin’ in the rain for sure!!

 

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Checkout these cute folded initial notes from Hype Strype…I offer several different designs and at ten bucks for a pack of ten, you can not pass them up.

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Last, but never least, have a peek at these amazing key-fobs from Lauren Nicole Fashions

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I carry an identical product in my store, Pushing the Envelope!  Ours are a bit bigger to fit over your wrist..soooo very convenient…never lose your keys in your bag again.  I have lot’s of darling ribbon choices….polka dots, sports themes, pink leopard, preppy as can be and more!  $10 or $13 with a monogram!

 

 

So go personalize something…you’ll be a trend setter just like me 😉

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chalk this one up….! January 15, 2008

Filed under: decorating,girlfriends,Uncategorized,wedding,writing — msmonogram @ 7:07 pm

Chalk this post up to creativity!  Suddenly I am in to all things chalkboard.  Don’t ask why, but, it has been a recurring theme during the last week or so.  Everywhere I look…chalkboard stuff.  Something about the non-permanency of it, the ability to re-create it on a whim.  So, if you have a sec, take a look at these fine chalkboard vases from www.iloveuma.com, a very hip website… http://www.iloveuma.com/detail.aspx?ID=1042  How unique is that??  …and guess what…they even come with chalk!  Don’t you just love a bonus gift?

Also from iloveuma is this groovy chalk clock http://www.iloveuma.com/detail.aspx?ID=1087  Don’t cha love it?

Martha Stewart just happens to have a chalkboard paint recipe on her web-site.  Can you stand it, she’s got a recipe for everything.  http://www.marthastewart.com/article/make-custom-color-chalkboard-paint

Anyway, if you don’t want to go with the traditional black or green chalkboard paint, you can mix up your own Martha-esque concoction.  If you do, send pictures!

 Next stop is www.theorganizedparent.com. How bout sending your tiny one off to school with one of these fun lunchboxes http://www.theorganizedparent.com/servlet/the-91/Chalkboard-Lunch-Box/Detail

Or, www.uncommongoods.comfor these darling chalkboard place-mats http://www.uncommongoods.com/item/item.jsp?itemId=13911 take them with you when you dine out….remember to bring one or two for the little darlings at the next table 😉

My friend Lisa and I are working on creating a really cute version of this with wonderful fabrics where you will be able to roll it up and use the self tying ribbon to keep it tidy in your bag…darling!

Last, but not least, if you want to paint any old object of your choice and turn it in to a chalkboard (and a magnetic one at that) look no further than right here http://www.fridgedoor.com/machpaga.html O.k., it’s expensive, but fun!  Comment here on the things that you want to turn in to a chalkboard….and keep it clean ;0) 

 

Now go create…and have fun!!