April 21, 2010 • Sarah Schwartz
Introducing the Editorial Advisory Board
Six who toil in the paper trenches to advise and offer insights
Like many of the publications in the Great American Publishing family, Stationery Trends has opted to institute an Editorial Advisory Board — six wise and charitable souls who will allow this editor to pick their brains from time to time. Additionally, they will keep our staff clued in to shifts and changing attitudes in this ever-evolving and increasingly tricky marketplace.
Five are retailers and one, the proprietor of what many consider the Atlanta stationery showroom. You can be sure that all, however, have great insights to share, as evidenced by their diverse bios:
Chandra Greer graduated from high school a National Merit Scholar finalist, going on to earn a business degree at The University of Illinois. After a three-year stint with a major oil corporation, she earned an M.B.A. at The University of Chicago, then spent seven years at Leo Burnett Advertising until ultimately, her inner voice told her to shuck it all in order to create a world celebrating beauty, wit and civility.
Chandra’s stationery company, GREER, with bricks and mortar, e-commerce and wholesale divisions, has been featured in several major publications and her transition from ad executive to stationery store owner was profiled in O Magazine. She lives in Chicago with her husband, Dr. Steven Moravec, and daughters Maya and Eva.
Special interests: “I’m interested in the societal impact of stationery. How it reflects civility, good manners, thoughtfulness, appreciation, how it serves as a permanent record of personal interaction, something not as likely with digital communication, and the positive impact it generally has on society.”
An Atlanta native, Pat Lowenburg graduated from Georgia State University with a marketing degree. Putting her “gift of gab” skills to use, she began conducting focus seminars for a marketing firm. She started to rep in 1980, and was introduced to the gift industry two years later. She began a life as a sales rep traveling the state of Georgia. Her claim to fame was “stinkey stickers” and decorated shoelaces. In 1987, Pat started her own manufacturer’s rep organization covering the Southeastern U.S. Paper became her passion and she soon acquired the title of “The Paper Queen.” She is a one-stop shop for imprintables, papers and related gift items.
Special interests: “With my knowledge and background I have aided in the development of many companies that were pioneers, and today have become industry leaders. In 1997 I opened ‘JPS The Signature Collection’ showroom, and one year later expanded to the 4,000-sqare-foot space I have today.”
Along with his wife Sheila, Richard May owns Therese Saint Clair, a leading stationery store in Greenwich, Conn. In October 2008 they launched the StationersGuild.org, a Web site to help online buyers find qualified stationers in their neighborhood for custom invitations and personalized stationery. Rick is a former international banker and financial specialist and has lived in Italy, Greece, Spain, Brazil, Argentina and the UK.
Special interests: “These include: trends in custom invitations and announcements;personalized business and social stationery; advantages of shopping with an experienced stationer; and how the Internet is reshaping the industry.”
Gayle O’Donnell has been working in the wedding industry since 1992, first as a full-service wedding consultant/planner, and since 2000 as the owner of All About Weddings in the Seattle area. Her business provides top-quality invitations and stationery, wedding and bridal accessories, favors and gifts to brides in the Pacific Northwest. She is a graduate of Oregon State University, as well as a designated Master Wedding Vendor through the Association of Bridal Consultants, and also belongs to ISES (International Special Events Society). She lives in Renton, Wash., with her husband Jim, and their cat, Buddy.
Special interests: “Custom and imprintable wedding invitations are my obsession.”
Lisa Traylor founded Traylor Papers in 2001 and has grown what started as a home-based invitations business into a prominent national retailer of invitations, stationery and gifts. She was a nationwide Make Mine a $Million Business contest finalist in 2006. Formerly a strategic management consultant in the non-profit sector, Lisa earned her M.B.A. from Southern Methodist University and B.A. in Public Relations from the University of Southern California. She is an avid, competitive tennis player and balances work, community volunteering and family life with her husband and three daughters in Laguna Hills, Calif.
Special interests: “One thing I love about stationery is that it’s an easy accessory to be ‘in fashion.’ For some, wearing the latest clothes is often simply too bold for our personalities, not to mention too expensive for our budget. But we can make a terrific statement and a memorable impression on others by writing notes on great paper. I often ask people: ‘What’s in your stationery wardrobe?’ and suggest they have personalized notes on hand in varying styles suitable for sending to their best friend, client, relative, teacher, favorite celebrity and the Governor or President — yes, really … what if you met him tomorrow?”
A lone star state native, Barbara Wicker has owned The Station House in Hurst, Texas, for 20 years after retiring from a large IT company in Dallas. She has one daughter, Laurie (who also has a stationery store, By Request, in Upper Arlington, Ohio), two stepsons, Jarrell and Gary, and two grandsons, Kelsey and Brice. She is very active with the Colleyville, Texas, Area Chamber of Commerce as a board member, ambassador and volunteer on various event committees.
Special interests: “I’ve had a love affair with stationery since I was a young girl when I sold personalized Christmas cards door-to-door to friends and neighbors. While shopping for my daughter’s wedding invitations I knew this was the business I wanted to be in.”