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.


Print

Midwest Mondays: Local Printer

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Tucked away in the heart of downtown Zeeland, a quaint, hometown-USA community, you will find our local printer. Zeeland Print has been operating out of this community for generations, with the family passing down the trade to the next son, daughter or grandson. When you walk in, you’re hit with the smell of ink and the whirring sounds of printers spitting out jobs. With antique letterpresses, authentic German 4-color presses, top-of-the-line digital printers, folding and binding machines, di-cutters and everything in between. They continue to grow and diversify, seeking out jobs that most larger companies refuse as they can provide a wide range of offerings to smaller businesses. They are the kind of place that makes you feel like history is alive, that you’ve stepped into a simpler time when the skilled trades thrived and everyone in town knew your name.

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That’s why, despite it being a bit of a drive outside of Grand Rapids, we keep coming here. They have a family atmosphere, always listening to the intricacies of the products we hope to create, and then are deeply dedicated to exceptional results. Face to face interaction and phone calls reign supreme.

Our team had the privilege of going on an after hours field trip to meet the owner, Brian Van Hoven, learn about his grandfather’s (known as Abe the Printer) beginnings in 1919, and just how they’ve manage to adapt their business over 96 years. We were in awe of the complexities of this work. Brian answered our array of questions with a smile and we left more intrigued than ever about this segment of the industry. Again, it was like visiting family.

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What happens if these tradesman don’t teach the next generation or there is lack of interest to learn? We are always proud of the stationery industry for keeping the art of the hand-written note and snail mail alive. Is this not another huge part of our burden… to elevate the status of the printing trade and reveal its relevance? I for one and am excited at the countless men and women who are buying and restoring old presses, getting their hands dirty with ink, creating designs, using local printers and keeping this trade alive! (major props to the many stationers out there that both design and print their products)

Also, if you happen to visit our marvelous printer, cross the street and stop into the TripelRoot for some local beer, flatbreads, and the best spent grain chocolate chip cookies you’ve ever tasted (seriously, we ordered like 6 rounds after our tour, and then a few more to take home!).

Print

summer recap

Per usual, summertime in the wedding biz seems to just fly by…
We’ve been so busy with weddings, wholesale orders from NSS & album assembly that we’ve barely noticed this lovely Michigan weather! Here’s a look at the last few months…

Booth setup at NSS in May…
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Everyone loved the marquee, and it now resides in our store,
lighting up the gift wrapping area.

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Here’s a peak of some of the AMAZING weddings and events we’ve been working on this year. I cannot get over the wonderful brides & wedding planners I’ve been working with… such lovely events they are planning!

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Oh, and I did get some outdoor time with my two favorite people…
Screen Shot 2013-07-30 at 12.03.41 PMHappy {end of} Summer!

Watercoolers, Meetings & Going Away Parties

Starting in Aug, 2008, I worked out of my home for 3 years and 3 weeks. When I opened this little retail shop in MoDiv (a new incubator space in downtown Grand Rapids, housing 12 businesses in one “mini mall”), I didn’t know what to expect. I wasn’t sure how it would work, being so close to other small businesses.

After only 9 weeks there’s one aspect of the space that I definitely didn’t anticpate. A strong sense of family is starting to form with my neighboring vendors. Being so close to each other, it’s easy to know what’s going on with my neighbors, and we’ve already created a sense of support. I haven’t felt such camaraderie since working at the publishing company and I honestly forgot how nice it was.

Since we’ve opened up shop, we’ve already shared many “water cooler” moments (often at the Kitchen Sinc brownie cooler), venting and getting to know each other’s silly nuances. We’re often helping each other watch stores and grab lunches. Just yesterday we had a little “going away” party for one of Vue Design’s interns. I have only known this (awesome) Calvin student for 7 weeks, and I was almost in tears having to say goodbye.

I’m quite amazed and thankful knowing that even as a (very) small business owner, I still have such awesome people around to greet me in the mornings. I’m sure it’s an experience unique to a place like MoDiv.

Welcome!

Welcome to our new blog. 2011 has been a busy year for 6.25 Paper (formerly Syd Design). Along with a new business name, new retail shop downtown Grand Rapids, MI, and new online shop, we are excited to share our new blog!

Look forward to 6.25 Paper info along with lovely wedding posts and lots of inspirational projects & features.

As we build up this blog, feel free to check out my previous blog from Syd Design, it showcases an array of previous weddings and inspiration!