The Write Touch, the art of civilized communication.

The Write Touch is eager to share their love of paper. Their incredible shop in the San Marco section of Jacksonville, Florida, is a paper gourmet’s dream. The shelves are full of refined and whimsical boxed notes and offer an eclectic mix of stationery, custom invitations, leather goods, gifts and accessories. For more than thirty years, the store has been the consummate resource for the art of civilized communication.

In 2007, when customer, Carolyn Hawthorne learned the shop was for sale, she was instantly smitten.

After extensive renovations, Carolyn reopened the store with Tucker, her now fourteen-year-old Golden Retriever, by her side. In 2011, Golden puppy Nicholas joined the family. The boys have been featured in the majority of advertising campaigns for the shop and are dear friends of many customers.  You will find them lounging near the front door waiting for a friendly pat hello.

With career experience in journalism, specialty retail and fine art, Carolyn came to The Write Touch with an eye for quality and design. Carefully curating her collection of goods, she buys from artisans around the globe as well as pieces made in the USA.

Carolyn and her staff, including delightful and talented manager, Rebekah (who actually made a full size bridal gown in their front window from wedding invitations!) both love the quality and designs of Rossi. They offer custom printing and monogramming on any paper purchased in the store. Once the selection has been made and the desired information shared, they will promptly provide proofs featuring a variety of typestyle and ink options. 

The Write Touch, 904-398-2009

1967 San Marco Boulevard, Jacksonville, Florida 32207 

www.thewritetouch.com

Celebrating the written word: Jules Besch, the charm of Wellfleet

It’s autumn in the US…..a time of apple cider and big orange pumpkins. Nowhere is there a lovelier place to be this time of year than Cape Cod. Warm dry days and sweater-cool nights. This is the place one dreams of when it’s Indian summer.

In Wellfleet, a small coastal town about halfway down “the Cape” and about 100 miles south of Boston, is Jules Besch Stationers. This is certainly not the ubiquitous stationery shop: The New York Times travel section says about Jules Besch, this wonderful shop “brings back the art of elegance and extreme good taste with an extraordinary collection of cards, fine stationery, journals, papers, and pens. Proprietor Michael Tuck’s warm and welcoming nature is as beautiful as his products. “

And that bring us to Michael……Michael owns, stocks, and runs this treasure, and has done so for the past 18 years. In this day of Twitter and recession, that is a miracle in itself. “The right people have found me,” he says to explain such longevity; quite the humble and kind man. Indeed they have, as the shop enjoys a dedicated customer base. This out-of-the-way shop, charmingly housed in a beautifully preserved Victorian,is graced by rich mahogany woodwork and high ceilings. Rarely does one find such a superb gallery stocked with beautiful writing paper, unique and classic cards, tasteful bookplates as well as inkwells and bookends from an era of elegance. Not to mention a gorgeous artistic display of writing journals….

 

Shops like this are more prevalent in Europe. ”I love the challenge of keeping up with European import choices,” he chortles. One such favorite is of course Rossi 1931. He stocks  a great deal of the products: Rolled wrap, notebooks, both soft and hard cover, writing paper, boxed notes, file folders and boxed classical Italian paper. “Rossi is just a lovely company,” he softly states. “The pricing is phenomenal, the gift wrap with the highlighted gilding is so remarkable, including the holiday paper. I love the fact that the boxed notes are in 12’s.” But his top seller in the line? “File folders. Oh my, I can’t keep them in stock. They fly out.”   

decorative file holders Rossi

He knows his products, has an impeccable sense of color and style, offers full calligraphy services and one would be hard pressed to think of any store that rivals the elegance of Jules Besch Stationer. “Oh this little slice of heaven is a writer’s delight.”

 

Michael Tuck

JULES BESCH STATIONERS

15 Bank St.

02667 WELLFLETT, MA

Phone (508) 349 1231

May the force be with you. (The sales force, that is.)

The expression, “it takes a village “, not only applies to raising children, but getting a product such as Rossi Fine Papers into the hands of the consumer, as well. This village happens to be scattered from Italy across continents, but nonetheless, not unlike a close knit community. Rossi sales representatives are an integral part of getting those gorgeous products from their printing dept to the retailer and ultimately to the consumer.

WELOVE

What a lot of people don’t know is how it’s done!

Step one, is that Rossi management hires a “rep” or representative in a certain geographical region to show their products to appropriate local retailers. That representative will be the eyes, ears and mouth (and big fans!) of the company…and often for the retailer. They show the Rossi product line to new customers or “prospects” and offer promotions, share upcoming events, and introduce new designs and product to established customers. They sit with the store’s buyer and show the portfolios (or catalogues) and product. In turn, this is where the retailer gets to see, touch and discover the quality of the products, something they could never do, unless they are traveling within the Florence area or to a trade show.

A good sales rep will share what the best sellers in the line are; suggest colors or schemes/themes based on the look and ambiance of the store and its type of customer base: is it an upscale neighborhood where locals entertain a lot? Is it a destination store for parties or wedding invitations ? Do customers run in to grab a quick gift or a greeting card? A sales rep is really the consultant for the retailer and the ambassador for the manufacturer. They truly wear 2 hats. In turn, they take any requests, concerns or ideas for new designs, new colors, trends, back to Rossi or other manufactures.   They will keep the retailers informed of certain trends they have seen in the marketplace (that perhaps the store owner has not been introduced to, as yet).

They write orders in the store, process them in their office or showroom, and forward them to Rossi, whose order fulfillment team takes it from there.

Without these “nomads” who generally work long hours and drive many miles, it would be a much more difficult task to get fine paper and products like Rossi’s into the hands of consumers to be enjoyed and shared.  In the end, the rewards in representing the fine products of Rossi and others are truly worth it. It really does take a village!

US warehouse Rossi 1931

Interested in becoming a Rossi rep?

We are looking for independent reps with experience in stationery/gifts in the following areas : NJ, GA, FL and in Canada the Toronto area. 

 

Featured Retailer: 56 Rosso

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Florence is one of the most magical cities in the world. The city is ripe with grand museums and architecture, exquisite art treasures and world-class eateries and shops.

The streets in Florence also stand out as places to browse and window-shop — what’s more, the store windows are nothing short of art installations — prepare to be wowed.  Over one million people annually invade the streets and squares, in every season, making it come alive.

One boutique in particular will catch your eye and that’s the stylish 56 Rosso.  Located in central Via Ricasoli and only a block away from Florence’s most famous resident, the statue of David by Michelangelo, 56 Rosso is a concept store stocked with the most famous brands in Italian design.02[1]

56 Rosso opened in mid-December 2010.  Co-owner Inge Cavalletti said:  “We opened with Rossi1931 as our only paper printer because of their exceptional designs and ability to blend the past with the future.  We felt that the traditional quality of the Florentine papers had to be displayed inside a more contemporary concept together with other designers.”  She added: “We believe in the Rossi brand and are happy to feature their products. We try to select a cross-section of their new designs that reflect their good taste.”

The idea of a concept store might be new to the US but not to Italy.  Ms. Cavalletti said, “The main difference between our Italian concept store and its US counterpart for me would be the designers themselves and our concept to have products of Italian design.  We have clearly chosen only one brand from each category of product.”

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As with any retailer, sourcing unique products is challenging, but 56 Rosso has managed to find top Italian brands.  Ms. Cavalletti says, “We selected Fabbrica Pelleteria Milano for its high quality and design for our suitcases and briefcases; we have one artist for our jewelry, Vittorio Guidi, who works out of his Milanese atelier in the trendy Brera in Milan. We also have the Vabene watches and sunglasses designed by Georgio Grimoldi .The bags of Bonfanti are made especially for us with the Tricolore italiano, the traditional red and green colors of the Italian flag.  We are always scouting for new and fun Italian products.

This week our new entry is the Tecno Chic sunglasses, which are very special and made entirely in Italy of a very light material that can float on water.  Great for the beach!”

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Ms. Cavalletti continued: “Rossi 1931 just came out with a new line of products for their beautiful stationery in cylinder boxes of the Classica Italiana collection. I believe the heart collection and their new Florentine designs will do well. In the past our best sellers were their “Moda ” collection with their handbags and their shoes,  traditional Pinocchio and “Musica.”  Also of course since we are in Florence, the traditional Florentine stationery sells very well.”

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Featured Retailer: Hollander’s

Some 1500 varieties of papers sourced from around the globe are inventoried at Hollander’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. That pretty much makes it the United Nations of decorative papers.  

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Hollander’s is the kind of store you could spend hours in, getting lost among the aisles of art supplies, stationery, gifts, and most astoundingly, racks and racks of papers from every corner of the globe: Italy, India, Philippines, Japan, France, Egypt, Thailand, Korea, Nepal, Portugal, the US, and more.

There are Unryu papers, Florentine marbles, Chiyogami, Italian woodblocks, embossed and flocked papers, metallic sheets, corkskin and tissues and laces made from hemp, rayon, and kozo. Hollander’s has made decorative papers and bookbinding supplies the focus of their business, and over the years, they have built one of the largest collections of both in the country.