Best. Rep. Group. Ever.

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Anne McGilvray Headquarters – Dallas, TX

Having a connection — and hopefully a relationship — with the people I work with has always been important to me as we grow. So deciding to work with a larger rep group was a difficult choice to make last year. But all arrows pointed to yes, and after working with Anne McGilvray for 6 months — and now finally meeting many of our reps and the matriarch herself — I’m so very glad we said yes!

This last week I had the opportunity to travel to the Dallas Market and be part of the Anne McGilvray showroom as their reps showed around all kinds of stores, small and large.

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6.25 Paper’s booth in the showroom

While it was great to meet some customers face to face, it was priceless to meet my reps for the first time and learn more about Anne McGilvray & Company. Holy damn, was I clueless! AM is based in Dallas and has their own showroom. NOT a typical large permanent showroom space within the market, but their very own giant (more than 30k sq/ft!) building down the road from the Market. It’s practically a show within a show, as they have around 150 lines — and this is just 1 of 5 showrooms around the country. I was truly spoiled by the atmosphere away from the chaos of the regular market. Everyone was helpful and kind, the bathrooms were amazing (always a perk:), I didn’t have to worry about my stuff getting stolen, there was a candy bar, and there were (free) meals, coffee, wine and beer everyday! Anyone who was shopping or selling was very well taken care of.

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If you attend Dallas Market, the AM showroom is a must see! They even have a cute party bus that conveniently shuttles people back and forth from the main Market building.

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Par-tay bus

Chatting with the reps and show managers, I learned more about the history of the company and how they’ve grown, opened they’re own stores in Dallas and expanded their reach across the country. I learned that many employees have been with the company for over 15 years, 20 year and even 30 years. Vendors that have been with AM for that long as well. I’ve always believed the best way to learn about a company is to ask it’s employees how happy they are in their job. Anne obviously takes care of her staff and it shows in their teamwork, tenacity and geniality.

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Reps, employees and vendors with some serious loyalty to AM!

Speaking of Anne, I had the opportunity to meet the woman (now in her golden years – seemingly in her prime from my point of view!) who started it all, Anne McGilvray. She was not only at the showroom daily to meet and greet customers, vendors and reps, but she was making sure everyone was happy and hustle’n just as much as the rest of us. I can only hope to lead in such a graceful way when I’m her age. I was humbled when she placed a large order for their store in Dallas as we had a few laughs over our new 2017 cards.

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Just a couple of the new releases for 2017. Full catalog HERE

The lines AM carries are amazing. I’m honored to be included in their line list and was excited to do a little shopping myself! In 2017, you’ll be seeing new goodies in our store from Whiskey River, Freaker, Lucy Lu, Design Ideas, Smitten Kitten & more.

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Whiskey River Candles. Hilarious.

So if I haven’t made it clear enough, Anne McGilvray is the shit and you should be their friend. If you are a store in one of their areas, you should definitely connect with your sales rep (email us if you want to be connected!), and be sure to check out their showrooms (Dallas, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, San Fransisco & Seattle). Maybe I’ll see you in Minneapolis in March!!

Also, this gem was in my fancy Airbnb high rise condo. (I totally won the Airbnb lotto!)

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This Airbnb gets me.


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Stationery for President

catalog2016_fbtop12This Presidential election isn’t typical. Never before, it seems, have candidates been so polarizing, that there becomes a general sense of dissatisfaction and trust for the average citizen — on both sides. We at 6.25 Paper tend to diffuse situations with humor, and the 2016 election seemed like a good reason to bring some smiles to our loyal customers.

Laughs quiet fear.

Our team worked together to bring clever sentiments around each major candidate paired with incredible illustrations by Jaimé Johnson and hand-lettering by Abbey Fowler. Shop our Presidential Candidate Cards here.

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Additionally, in this spirit of fun amidst the current political climate, we made “I Voted” pins as our swag for the National Stationery Show this year… Stop by the store to get yours (for free) today! We voted #stationeryforpresident. You can join us, from now until November (and forevermore) — send your sentiments in snail mail!

Hear, hear, Stationery for President!

6.25 Paper’s Birthday Bash

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We are turning 5 this month and want to celebrate with all of you – our loyal and wonderful customers who give us the opportunity to grow. As a thank you for all your support over the years, we’re serving up some refreshments and treats, doing raffles all night long, giving away a coupon plus an extra special gift with each purchase and for the first 20 people after 6pm, there will be an extra special grab bag full of goodies!!

You are truly the spark that keeps 6.25 Paper going. Please come celebrate with us and make it a night to remember for our business and your growing downtown!

6.25 Paper’s Birthday Bash
Thursday, September 15th 2016

6pm – 9pm
40 Monroe Center, Suite 103, Grand Rapids, MI 49503

As a way to think about what the past five years have brought each of us, I asked our staff to share: 1. What is their favorite memory while working the store; 2. What is their funniest memory while working the store; and 3. What do you think makes our store so great…

Tarah:
1. One of my favorite memories is our first DIY Holiday gifts class, there was so much energy and it was fun to watch as people recognized their creativity and then were so excited to share their handmade gifts with family and friends. It felt meaningful and that there was a community being cultivated… people left as friends.
2. A funny moment I will always remember is when a 30 something man came in and picked out a card from our Naughty Midwest line with a sweet little cow illustration on the front. When he slid it across the counter and told me it was for his mom that grew up on a farm I suggested he read the inside, which said, “Milk me.” We both had quite the laugh and as you can guess, he opted for a simple Happy Birthday.
3. I love our variety and that there is literally something for everyone. I love that people feel at ease, that it is filled with laughter (because of our amazing cards) and that it is a place for inspiration and creativity.

Susan:
1. I have too many favorite memories to single out just one. Without sounding too trite, I love helping people with ideas and finding just the right card. I love the “meet and greet” of working at 6.25 as we have some of the most interesting and friendly customers ever. I enjoy the touch and feel of paper so this is never a job but a spot that brings a certain energy and spark to my life. I also work with some pretty freakin’ amazing coworkers who never cease to astound me with their talents.
2. A man came in one day and spent quite a bit of time looking through the store-this is not typical of men since they usually want just a birthday or anniversary cards. After about 10 minutes he looked over to me and said “this is not a Hallmark store, is it”?
3. What makes our store so great is that we reach all customers, from the crayon table for little hands to keep busy while mom or dad shop, journal/planner people, calendar customers not to mention the myriad of cards for every occasion. I enjoy that we provide entertainment, free of charge, and so many people say this is the store they come to for a cool and edgy card.

Kerianne:
1. There are so many things I love about 6.25 Paper, but my favorite part of the job is interacting with our customers, especially around the time of ArtPrize. ArtPrize brings a certain excitement to the air; everyone who walks into the store seems to want to talk about where they are from or the art they have enjoyed. Working throughout ArtPrize can be pretty hectic because so many people flood the store, but it also brings about a sense of pride in the Grand Rapids community. Last year Tarah and I worked a Saturday of Art Prize together and even though we were exhausted by the end of it, we walked out feeling proud of being able to share our store with so many people (having the highest sales day of the year probably helped with that feeling too:)).
2. I love listening and watching people’s reactions as they read the cards in our store. I still smile at the memory of two elderly women who began to browse the cards. After reading one of our more suggestive cards…one of the women called out to me, “Do you know what this says?!” Their giggles continued as they huddled together and proceeded to read almost every card in the store. As they left, they told me they were so glad they didn’t have their prude friend with them because it wouldn’t have been as fun:).
3. Even though our product is pretty amazing, the people in our store is what makes 6.25 such a unique space. Our staff is so welcoming and fun to be around that I consider them not just colleagues, but friends. The customers we interact with on a daily basis bring a sense of excitement into the store. I have never been in another space where customers actively talk about what they are reading; as staff, it is fun to be included in their running commentary about the cards and products we carry.

Abbey:
1. My most memorable moments are those turning points in our growth and development. I’ll never forget the feeling of the first couple weeks after opening during ArtPrize 2011 – the excitement, the new people and the feeling of not knowing what the shit I was doing or where this whole thing would end up. I also cherish our ribbon cutting with MoDiv, the first day for each new employee, and of course our wholesale successes at National Stationery Show 2015. One of my most favorite memories was when we moved to our current location 3 years ago (Oct. 2013). This was a huge financial transition for us, going from 700 sq/ft to about 1300 sq/ft. With the support and trust of Rockford Construction, being able to move next door to MoDiv was the perfect switch for us. And with the help of my staff, we got our hands dirty to do all the moving, cleaning, tear down, painting, setup, etc. ourselves. It was such a joy and an honor to have employees that were willing to get down to business during this time. I feel like these moments of transition, set the tone for our culture and comradery as we built this space together.
2. Literally, we laugh every single day at the store. We laugh at new cards coming in, we laugh with customers who are experiencing our store for the first time and most of all we laugh at each other (often at me and my daily mishaps). I cannot think of just one moment, but I usually laugh the hardest when one of my staff comes to the back room to tell me something and I’m so intensely focused that I get startled — almost every time. If you ever here a shrill coming from the back, don’t be alarmed.
3. I rarely work the front of the store anymore – but when I do, I’m reminded of the happiness we give to our customers and of the amazing support they provide to us. Our customers not only come in to find that special card or gift, but our regulars often stop in just to say hi or to take a break from work and read new cards when they need a laugh. The store has organically evolved into a little micro-community. Something I could not create, but has perfectly grown over time with the help of our wonderful staff. I love this about the store – I love feeling connected to downtown GR and the people who live it.

Jaimé:
1. One of my favorite memories is pretty much attending any of our classes. There’s always a fun loving group of people, it’s such a relaxed atmosphere, and it feels like everyone leaves feeling a little surprised with how well a project turned out (like with shaving cream marbling, ha!)
2. A re-occurring funny memory is that whenever I go to the back to ask Abbey a question, I’m bound to scare the shit out of her without even trying.
3. The selection of cards really make our store great, there’s a lot of humor and sass that gets a great reaction. It’s so great to hear people laugh in store and knowing they’re having a great experience and seeing people bond over it.

Dayle (employed during our first year in 2012):
1. I loved meeting all the MoDiv folks. It was so nice to come in a feel like part of a family. I also met Zoie at MoDiv. Coolest memory: when Kate Pierson from the B52s came in.
2. Me trying to wrap anything and make it look nice. Lol!
3. The family and the laughs.

Bold Onesies for Little Adventurers

one_adventurelrOne thing we love most about having both a stationery line and a retail store is the way our space invites interactions with other artists that may otherwise be missed. This is true of our latest line of wearables, a collection of onesies with bold, empowering statements for your bitty adventurer.

calendar_3upOlivia of Voyage Lettering reached out last year and we started collaborating with her immediately. We started with a fun, motivating 2017 wall calendar we call HER Calendar. From there we have created cards, wall prints and now onesies.

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Like our other products, we wanted to have these onesies printed locally and happened to connect with Treetops Collective just at the right time. They are a new West Michigan organization passionate about connecting local designers and businesses to refugee women who are in need work — to create cross-cultural friendship, community development and meaningful jobs for this skilled, eager workforce. They were instrumental in connecting us with Love Works, a social enterprise started by retired teacher, Sally VanEck, who is dedicating her time to teaching screen-printing and other creative vocations to refugee women.

One such woman, Mang Pha, a 20 year old woman from Myanmar, formerly known as Burma, worked on our project with Sally. Because living in Burma was next to impossible due to dangerous conditions associated with oppression and corruption, Mang’s parents decided to immigrate to the USA. From the moment Mang arrived, she along with her siblings, have worked diligently to help their family forge a new life. It hasn’t been easy. This spring Mang will graduate from Potter’s House High School and hopes to attend college. She is a person who loves and appreciates her very close family as well as learning about her world. Mang has learned to sew and screen print. She is eager to learn so much more and collaborations like this make that possible.

Additionally, LoveWorks values being good stewards of this earth and sources their materials responsibly and uses water-based ink to keep our beautiful Great Lakes clean for generations to come.

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We couldn’t be prouder of what this line represents, and are grateful to be a part of such purposeful collaborations. We hope you and your littlest global citizen enjoy and share in this important story with us!

The onesies as well as other products from Olivia’s collection are available in our retail store in downtown Grand Rapids, online and for wholesale inquiries, please email us at hello@625paper.com

Side Note for GR Peeps: Shop these onesies and other wearables from the Treetops Collective at the Eastown Street Fair this weekend, Saturday, September 10 9am-8pm.

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Spotlight: Pressed – Fayetteville, NC

Pressed-5345We are going to start highlighting boutique stationery shops around the country that bring beautifully designed goods to their community and we think our first store spotlight deserves some major kudos for their fun environment, fast growth and some major hustle!

PRESSED is on a mission to create brands and images that carry lasting meaning and value and we absolutely LOVE that about them. The owner, Ashley Thompson ended up in North Carolina as a military spouse. When her husband was deployed overseas in 2011, she used it as an opportunity to engage her creative spirit and passion for design by founding PRESSED — a design agency. Pressed has a strong focus on building brands that stand for something and works to connect these unique, purpose-driven businesses with people in the marketplace who are motivated by their stories and mission. Their goal is to connect entrepreneurs with people who live the lifestyle that the brand embodies.

Wanting to go a step further to inspire her community through exposure to design, she opened PRESSED – A Creative Space just last year in historic downtown Fayetteville. It is a mix of uniquely curated and crafted stationery and gift items and also functions as a space to host events and creative workshops. They (like us!) believe in the power of creating time and room for creativity, to empower their community by exploring a new skill, and simply the beauty of hanging out with friends in an inspiring space!

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I had the opportunity to ask Ashley a few questions regarding her shop…

You have a background of graphic design which your studio still focuses on, so how did you end up opening your brick and mortar shop?
I started out in design and creating my retail store was really a passion project for me. I always was a fine of stationery, beautiful items, artisan made items, inspiring brands. I love it all! I saw the opportunity to turn this dream into a reality and jumped on it.

View More: http://klpstudios.pass.us/pressed-316

How do you choose who to carry when there are so many makers these days?
I choose makers a few ways. I like to find things that are really unique, so my customers get to see things they won’t see anywhere else. I also like brands and companies that have a story behind it. I talk to a lot of the makers I have at the store, and if they have a great story behind what they do, I am much more likely to want to have them in the store, because I get to tell their story to even more people. I also go to handmade markets, art shows, and other unique shops because I am always on the lookout for the next thing that grabs my attention.

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What has been your favorite creative workshop you hosted?
I love our Calligraphy workshop! There are so many things you can do with calligraphy and it is a great skill to have!

What has been the biggest blessing and challenge of opening up a retail location?
The biggest blessing has been the overwhelming positive feedback I have gotten. I have gotten emails from customers I never knew before, telling me how much they love my store. For them to take the time out of their day to write me, just to tell me how much they like the shop is so humbling. The first email I got like that is actually printed and hanging in my office. It is really what keeps me going!

The biggest challenge has been the hours. I have been working from 9 in the morning until midnight for about 7 days a week since we opened. I spend a lot of time in my store because I love it, but there have been a lot of really long days keeping up with how quickly our store is growing. It is a lot different from working from home, like I used to do. I actually have to put some pants on and go into work!

View More: http://klpstudios.pass.us/pressed

You awesomely host our product, how do you feel your customers respond to it?
Our 6.25 Paper section is where all the fun happens! Whenever I hear people laughing out loud I know they are looking through all the 6.25 Paper cards. It brings a smile to everyone’s face and is just a fun part of the store to be in! That is what drew it to me so much, it is funny in a way that it says what everyone is thinking but doesn’t always say out loud …. or in a card!

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Friday Favorites: Father’s Day

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Abbey: I love superheros and a good story. This card is made by Mary at Bruno Press – she hand-carves linoleum blocks then hand-prints her cards. Her shop was passed on to her by her father (who was a designer) after passed away suddenly in 2003, which makes this card extra special and meaningful.

IMG_9381Kerianne: This card from Hazelmade reminds me of my grandpa and all of the time we spent together doing what he loved the most; fishing. Giving this card to my dad for Father’s Day would probably trigger the same memory for him.

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Tarah: Simple and sweet which leaves room for me to create my own more lengthy sentiment inside. The colors are muted green and gold, which since my dad is a die-hard Green Bay Packer Fan, these colors run through his blood, but the muted palette makes it a little more classy than the cheesehead version. (from Moglea)
Kerianne: I never buy a card that says “Father’s Day”…because I never call my dad “father.” This card is sweet, simple, and lovely.
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Susan: I called my dad Pops quite a bit and so this just resonates with me. He was my first boyfriend, if you will, so I do think of him as #1. Both parents competed for #1 depending on what I could get away with, which was not much. (From Offensive + Delightful)
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Jaimé: I love how simple this is and of course it’s one of my favorite brands, Moglea. My dad is pretty sentimental, and I like how this card simply states a such a sweet sentiment.
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Abbey: I also love these new 6 pack cards we recently got in! The front flap opens up and you can write a note underneath then fill with your dad’s favorite local craft beers!

Reason’s to Write from Susan!

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With one week left this month, its time to get those final cards out for the 30 letters in 30 days April challenge! Here are a few quick ideas from one of our staff, Susan…

  1. Encouragement card to a mom to say what a good job she is doing with her children like this adorable one above from Good Paper.
  2. Note for anniversary of bereavement once a month for a year, to show acknowledgement that they are continuously supported long after the loss, but while the pain still persists.
  3. Send a list of good books I have recently (or not) read.
  4. Note of thanks/applause for thankless job.
  5. Note to compare thoughts on continuing story line on PBS shows or a popular series (A GOT note is apropos this week!)

 

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