The write stuff
Sarah Meyer Walsh and Erin Miller are modern businesswomen with a passion for the classic details of old-school letterpress printing. In their Virginia-based studio, they create unique and fine paper goods.
The company: Haute Papier Collections, based in Arlington, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year.
The owners/designers: Meyer Walsh grew up near Buffalo, N.Y. Miller is from Durham, N.C. They met at American University and worked in management for a D.C.-based restaurant group before starting Haute Papier.
What’s popular: Personalized letterpress note and enclosure cards (starting at $65 for 25); personalized stationery (starting at $75 for 50); and personalized letterpress gift tags (starting at $58 for 25).
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Other favorites: Rose and yellow gold-handled scissors ($20). Also any design from the Silk Stationery Collection, which features letterpress stationery housed in a handmade Thai silk box (starting at $100).
Fun requests: Printing a newborn’s actual footprint on a sweet baby announcement. Also designing holiday gift wrap for the White House, using Bo & Sunny, the Obamas’ dogs, as inspiration.
Claim to fame: Letterpress coasters with different themes and sayings were chosen as one of Oprah’s favorite things in 2015. A box of 100 letterpress coasters (with 25 of four different designs) is $25. The company offers more than 40 boxed sets to suit any occasion.
What’s new: Personalized Desk Pads ($80) that come with 52 sheets for a year of list making and desk organization.
Where to buy: www.hautepapier.com. Also at many Atlanta gift and paper shops (see website).
For wee ones
Wee Gallery in Florida knows that babies are stimulated by bold black-and-white images. That is why the small family company designed a line of high-contrast cards and other gifts with whimsical animal images.
The company: Wee Gallery started in March 2003 in Santa Barbara, Calif. Since 2004, it has been based in St. Petersburg.
The designers and founders: Surya Sajnani is the illustrator, designer and co-founder of Wee Gallery with her husband, David Pinto. The couple started the company after their son was born.
What’s popular: Art Cards for Baby ($12.95 for a box of six); temporary tattoos ($7.95 for 12; often used as birthday favors); greeting cards ($4.95); and the activity books ($4.95).
Fun (or unusual) request: Adult-size blankets that are as soft as the baby ones.
Claim to fame: Art Cards for Baby are sold at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco.
What’s next: A textile line, which will include organic muslin swaddles, canvas growth charts and stuffed animals.
Make it personal
Tennessee artist Lexie Armstrong enjoys painting individual place cards for guests at her dinner parties. But two years ago, she started selling her whimsical and sophisticated place cards for others to enjoy.
The artist: She grew up in Grosse Pointe, Mich., and graduated from Dartmouth College. She received an MFA at American University and studied art history in London. She lives with her family on a horse farm in Franklin, where she paints as well as raises her three boys, chickens and horses and works in her organic garden.
The goods: Sets of 12 printed place cards ($50) based on her original watercolors. Also, gift tags (six for $25) and note cards (10 for $55). (On the more serious side, Armstrong’s work ranges from her “ceiling” series, oversized oils abstracted from Baroque ceiling frescoes, to landscapes and animals.)
What’s popular: Turkey place cards, especially for Thanksgiving; fox and hound place cards; trout note cards; butterfly gift tags.
Other favorites: Custom animal portraits ($250-$1,250).
Claim to fame: Place cards appeared in House Beautiful magazine this year. Also creating artwork for many high-end charity events in Nashville, Tenn., such as the Antiques and Garden Show, the Swan Ball and Sunday in the Park.
What’s next: Custom artwork for invitations and “watercolor maps.”
Where to buy: Lexiearmstrong.com