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NYC / NSS Here We Come!

This weekend Kristen and I head to New York for the National Stationery Show.  It’s nirvana for paper lovers and creators.  I’ll feel like a kid on Christmas morning waking up in NYC Sunday morning heading to Javitz to see what goodies await.  It’s happiness for the eyes … lots of ooo’s and ahhhh’s and a few “what were they thinking?” (well maybe more than a few).
 2016 NSS Mailers
While we are there it’s our hope to find one or two spanking new greeting card lines that makes us smile or even better laugh out loud.  I also love lines that touch on sentiments that are difficult to express.  Finding those lines isn’t easy.  Our senses are in overdrive and our feet remind us that they aren’t having any fun.  We will persevere.
Another item on our punch list:  find an incredible custom invitation line that’s on trend, fresh fonts, innovative use of paper and priced ‘just right’.  I’ll be excited to share that line with you when I find it!  And we always keep an open eye for a few new gift lines or an existing line with a great new items or categories.
I also want to know the answer to this question from you.
Fill in the blank:  I wish Write Impressions would sell ________________ or carry this line _______________________. Drop us your suggestions at:
Besides buying lots of paper and gifts, we’ll also be attending educational seminars learning about the direction of color/design palettes and new market trends.  The editorial director of Martha Stewart Weddings will headline a discussion about wedding design trends and how that translates into paper – one seminar that we will be sure to take lots of notes!
I am so excited!  It won’t be long before all our pink + yellow purchase orders get delivered and I get that Christmas morning feeling all over again.
- Lori


     Part of being human means that we face daily challenges – some big, some small  – and we face them at home, at work, in the gym and in our hearts.  Life is full of them.
     Some days in retail feel like a marathon.  It’s all we can do is to make it to the end of the day with our minds still intact and our egos unaffected.  Spring means baby showers, bridal showers, weddings, First Communions, retirement parties and graduation celebrations which keeps my team multi-tasking and setting priorities each and everyday.
     But this blog isn’t about that … yet.
     During the first week in January I received a text from a girlfriend, “Do you want to bike 40 miles through all 5 boroughs in New York in the Spring?”  I laughed.  I thought about my resolutions I had just set for myself just a few days prior.  One of them was “do something that scares you”.  Another was “challenge yourself physically”.  And one I always revisit, “work on yourself emotionally, be more authentic and more vulnerable”.  So before I hit my “are you kidding?” reply, I paused.  Then said, “Let’s do it.”
     As the weeks zipped by I realized that although I was still going to my Orange Theory workout classes, I wasn’t making it to weekly spin classes like I had planned.  Maybe my legs + knees would not hold up through 40 miles of NYC pavement.  I forged ahead and bought some proper biking shorts (best decision I made) and headed to the Big Apple on Friday, April 29th with excitement, hesitation and a good dose of fear, “Can I do this?”
     We were a group of 4 “slow rollers” joining 32,000 other participants in New York’s Five Boro 40 Mile Bike Tour (the largest charitable bike ride in the U.S.).  So while we were enjoying our weekend in the city shopping, dining and catching a Broadway show, Sunday’s weather forecast was looming.  Chance of rain 100%.  Wind 10 – 15 mph.  High:  mid 40’s.
     Our start time was 7:30 a.m. which meant getting to our wave at 6:45 a.m.  We donned our lovely and fashionable ponchos (that we purchased 2 days prior at the bike expo) and waited for the start.  My head filled with self-doubt, fear and dread.  What was I thinking?  This wasn’t what I signed up to do.  Didn’t the weather forecaster in the morning say “Stay Inside”.  And before I could run, rather bike, in the opposite direction of the starting gun, we were off.
     The rain was light for the first hour and we were protected by the buildings against the formidable wind.  Soon we were biking through Central Park and I was so happy.  The park was in bloom and the smell of spring was definitely in the air.  The rain wasn’t going to stop me now.  We crossed the bridge into the Bronx and I thought “I got this”.  We were at approximately mile 10 and I was doing okay.  We finally stopped in Brooklyn at the 19 mile mark for water, protein and rest.  I was officially miserable.  The rain was driving onto my eyeglasses, I couldn’t feel my toes, I was cold and then the saddest realization came upon me.  There was no escape.  I had to finish this.  There was no where to go but home and home was 20 miles of bike riding no matter what.
     Biking through Brooklyn was pleasant enough and I tried to soak in the few bright spots that made me laugh or smile.  All our route planning for fun stops and photo ops fell quickly to the wayside as our only objective now became “FINISH” and get warm.
     Then in Queens at approximately mile 30 came the foothills of the Verrazano-Narrow Bridge – the longest suspension bridge in the U.S. – with what seems is an endless ascent and a sharp descent.  This climb, ride and yes walk, checked off all those New Years Resolutions set just 4 months prior.  The rain had intensified as did the wind.  We had just biked over 5 miles on a closed freeway (a nasty wind tunnel with the driving rain + wind AT your face).  I lost my girlfriend at some point during the ascent, and with her went my water bottle/hydration as well.  I had to do these last 8 – 9 grueling miles alone.
     The next hour (pure guess) my mind was racing.  I was near tears at some points, I was angry and I was scared.  I knew that only ME and my body could get me to the finish line on Staten Island.  “You can’t quit now, you are stronger than you know” said my inner voice.  “This is life.  It sometimes brings everything your way: rain, wind and cold and you have to deal with it.  It doesn’t help you to remind yourself that you’re thirsty and you can’t feel your fingers or your toes, just keep moving forward.  Just do it.  Stop Complaining.”  My inner voices grew stronger.
     This wasn’t a physical challenge anymore.  It was a mental challenge.  And it dawned on me, it’s   only our mental attitude anyone has control of each and everyday to face our daily challenges.  Yes, I will cry when my feelings are hurt or my roof leaks or my store’s basement floods (again).  But it’s not going to break me as a person.   I am enough.  I have a lifetime of tools at my disposal that can get me through to the other side of this bridge.  It’s not always going to be pretty.  And it’s not a straight line.  But I can get there with my head held high and my spirits intact.  When I started to descend the Verrazano-Narrows bridge and could see the finish festival just minutes away, I reminded myself, “focus”.  It’s not over until it’s over.  Keep on moving.
     I crossed that finish line with my head facing the clouds.  Tears of joy and relief washed over me.  I was never so proud of myself for getting through a challenge when it seemed that all the odds were against me.  It’s always during the struggle that we learn the most about ourselves and our inner tenacity to get through to the other side of the bridge.
     P.S.  I want to give a HUGE shout out to my teammates without which I would not have even been there to attempt to take on this challenge, and I certainly would not have finished without their patient, kind, un-judging support.  Eric was our team leader, our hero, a.k.a. mom to all of us novices.  He drove a truck to New York with bikes (I ended up renting mine in NYC), he organized dinner reservations, got our bikes ready, packed bike repair kits (oh the irony), took his truck to Staten Island on Saturday so we wouldn’t have to wait to get home, etc. etc.  Thanks to Greg for his laugh, sense of humor and keeping our leader HAPPY.  And my personal gratitude for Tracey who invited me, took me under her wings in SoHo and showed me the best of times in NYC.  We packed a lot of stuff in two days while laughing and giggling along the way.
- Lori
#NYFiveBoro #BikeNYC #TerryBicycles #OrangeTheoryFitness  #cleverhood

Staff Picks: Holiday Favorites

Our favorites for the holidays and why they are the best!

Paige's Pick: Papyrus Woodland Animal Roll Wrap and red twine // “Because, CHRISTMAS!”

Paige’s Pick: Papyrus Woodland Animal Roll Wrap and red +white twine // “Because, CHRISTMAS!”


#heartstrings #royaloak #gift #jewelry #monogram #necklace

Lori’s Pick: “Monogram necklaces from Heartstrings. I love mine, I always get compliments.”


#royaloak #pineconecandle #aspenbay #cinnamonbeignet #cinnamon #candle #

Shelle’s Pick: Aspen Bay Candles’ Pineapple Pinecone Candle in Cinnamon Beignet Scent // “A beautiful gift in a beautiful package. Perfection!”


#royaloak, #pictureframe #jdevlin #stainedglass #keepsake #family #heirloom

Sandi’s Pick: “Everything J. Devlin! Each and every frame is my favorite. The glass boxes and trays are amazing. – One of each, please!”

#royaloak #gift #tea #teaforte #steeping #steeper #travelmug #nature #

Shannon’s Pick: White Cinnamon Sage tea from Tea Forte with ‘Birch’ Steeping Cup // “Perfect to keep you warm all season long.”

#royaloak #adultcoloringbooks #coloredpencils #enchantedforest #johannabasford #writeimpressions

Bev’s Pick: Enchanted Forest Coloring Book with colored pencils. // “Provides endless hours of relaxation and a chance to fulfill your inner artist (even if you can’t draw).”


#royaloak #gift #parents #kidsareweird #jefferybrown #book #newparents

Rifath’s Pick: “Kids are Weird and Other Observations from Childhood’ by Jeffrey Brown // The perfect gift for new parents. They will love the hilarious quotes inside.”


#riflepaperco #papersource #calendar #royaloak #folk #appointmentcalendar #planner

Dawn’s Pick: Rifle Paper Co. and Paper Source 2016 Calendars //  “A new, beautiful piece of artwork to enjoy each month!”


#bookends #royaloak #whale #mobydick #pewter #resin #silver

Nancy’s Pick: Whale Tale bookends // “It’s a whale!” (Whales are Nancy’s Favorite)


#royaloakjewelry #royaloak #silver #gold #geometric #ynecklace #necklace

Kristen’s Pick: Dogeared ‘Y’ Necklaces. // “I would love to get this as a gift! Gorgeous necklace in beautifully designed packaging.”

Say nice things…


I’m not entirely sure when the, “Say nice things about Detroit” campaign started, but it certainly did start a grass roots movement. Slowly and surely, more and more artists, writers and talking heads have starting saying nice things … not only about Detroit, but about Michigan, too.

12063780_10206338374676060_8339114879160320193_n-1On my most recent Slow Roll Detroit excursions, I’ve been thinking about something one of my fitness trainers used to say, “Lori, you’ve got to start somewhere.” When I’m in the city, it is clear to me that Detroit has successfully “started”. Slow Roll Detroit is exploding with members (5,000+ riders some weeks) and the city has been invigorated with hot new restaurants like, Gold Cash Gold, Wright & Company and even Selden Standard. Belle Isle and it’s fabulous little aquarium is even getting a nice little make-over!


I’m not surprised how contagious Detroit pride is. Michiganders are hardworking, optimistic and of course, love a good story. Everywhere I look, I see Detroiters cheering on the recovery of the city, in good times and in bad, just like they’ve always cheered on the Tigers, Wings, Spartans, Coach Harbaugh’s Wolverines and yes, even the Lions. We will stop at nothing to see Detroit thrive!

At Write Impressions, we cheer on Detroit with our “Made in Michigan” section. The enthusiasm of our wonderful customers has allowed us to expand our selection and support even more local artists who are “Saying nice things about Detroit”. We hope their wares will encourage more people do the same.

A few of my current favorites:


Tea Towel – Only available at Write Impressions


Michigan Made — Plaque and Wall Hanger









Ball Cap, Notebooks, Hexbolt Michigan Sculpture

Ball Cap, Notebooks, Hexbolt Michigan Sculpture

"Made in Michigan" onesie -- A Write Impressions Original --

“Made in Michigan” Baby Onesie — A Write Impressions Original –









Michigan & Detroit “I Love You” Tote Bags











Cheers to Detroit’s happy ending!




It’s All in the Details…

As we approach the Autumn event season, soon-to-be-newlyweds and party throwers of all types have been pouring in with questions regarding these last minute event details:

  • Seating Charts
  • Programs
  • Place Cards
  • Table Numbers or Names
  • Welcome Letters
  • Party Favor Tags
  • Personalized Napkins and Guest Towels
  • Thank You Notes


These seemingly small details have a tendency of catching people by surprise, so it is best to start thinking about them as soon as possible. The more time you give yourself, the wider variety of choices will be at your disposable.


A month before your wedding or party is a great time to order all of these “last minute” details.

3 to 4 Weeks in Advance

Seating Chart, Wedding, Event, Write Impressions, Royal Oak, MI

Seating Chart: A master diagram of guest’s names and table numbers, displayed at the reception venue entrance.

Formal, rustic, whimsical… your seating chart design is a good opportunity to pull your visual theme through to the reception, is often designed to compliment your invitation, programs and other printed materials for a cohesive look.

Wedding/ Event Programs: often left to the very last second and needs the most attention!

Wedding Program, Event Program, Write Impressiosn, Royal Oak, MIPrograms often require large amounts of detailed information, so start gathering the event/ceremony details NOW! Include: music, events, order of the ceremony, bible verses, spelling of the wedding party member’s names, a note from the bride + groom, etc.

2 – 3 Weeks in Advance

Place Cards: Individual three-dimensional cards, used in place of or in addition to a seating chart. Often printed with guest’s name, table number and meal choice.

  • Place Cards, Write Impressions, Royal Oak, MITradition: Choose from our wide selection of colored, textured and metallic cardstocks, email us your guest list and BOOM … your guests will know where to sit to enjoy your special day. We will match your type-styles, thematic graphics, meal choice icons and ink colors to support your wedding vision.


  • Trend: An upcoming trend we are seeing is printing the place card information on a hang tag to be attached to a decorative/ themed object (a rock, easel, carabiner, vintage keys, seashells, pine cones, etc.)


Welcome Letter, Wedding, Wirte Impressiosn, Royal Oak, MI

Table Numbers or Names: whether it’s a special place, song, quote or number – we can print your table number to coordinate with your table setting.

Welcome Letters: A great addition to a hotel welcome bag or an itinerary for a multi-day event, Welcome letters are often used to inform out-of town (and local) guests about events and attractions near the time and location of your event.


Write Impressions, Favor Tag, Royal Oak, MI


Favor Tags: Names, event dates, photo or thank you message printed on hang tags that are attached to the party favors that your guests will take home at the end of the event.



Screen shot 2015-07-09 at 10.55.06 AM



Personalized Napkins and Guest Towels: Napkins printed or foil stamped with your names, monogram, event date, a favorite quote, graphic or photograph.

  • Tradition: Personalized cocktail napkins are a nice personal touch to the Bar and Dessert Table at the reception.


  • Trend: Don’t forget the restroom! We are seeing lots of our clients add personalized paper guest towels in the restrooms at the reception venue.




Months Ahead – After EventThank YOu Note, Wedding, Event, Write Impressions, Royal Oak, MI


Thank You Notes: a folded or flat card, often personalized with the name(s) of the guests of honor, a couple’s married monogram, related graphics, etc.

  • Tradition: The most important item on this list. Send your sincerest thanks to your guests by taking the time to hand write a snail mail thank you note.


  • Trend: Make your thank you note a keepsake by having us print a picture of you at your event.


Thank you notes can be ordered at the same time as your event invitations (so you have them in time for your showers) or well after your event if you are adding photos or details from the event.


Event details don’t need to be matchy-matchy, but a cohesive vision helps your event make a bigger statement. Need some guidance? Our in house design team is full of experts that would LOVE to help.

Seriously… they love this stuff.



#writeimpressions #weddings #placecards #wedding programs #personalizednapkins #eventdetails #barmitzvah #batmitzvah #party

Dad, Tigers and French Fries

It sometimes seems as though Father’s Day is not as revered as Mother’s Day. The talking heads on TV give much more airtime to gift ideas for mom, specials on the mother-child bond and feature fantasy giveaways to celebrate extra special moms. Thankfully, gender roles have shifted to allow our dads to be more present in our everyday lives, making them more important and significant forces. It’s time that we honestly and unapologetically let them know what they mean to us.

To say my dad is opinionated is an understatement. There’s no need to ask for his opinion because chances are he has already told me before I have the chance to ask. He’s loud, fun, spontaneous, loving and smart.

When I was a child, he would surprise us with Detroit Tiger tickets. When he would come home from work earlier than usual, tickets peeking out of his shirt pocket, we would run to our rooms and get ready to cheer on Willy Horton, Al Kaline, Gates Brown and Jim Price. Dad always bought a program and a “Tiger” pencil and taught me how to keep score. I think more than anything, he taught me scorekeeping to keep me focused and engaged in the game. My dad traditionally left the game after the 7th inning (Tigers winning or losing didn’t seem to matter compared to his impatience) and we would head over to Lafayette Coney Island for hot dogs and french fries. Yum!

To this day, I am a Tiger fan. I love going to the games, I love the crowd, the cheers … and now I get to enjoy cold beer on a warm summer night. All in part, I believe, because my dad took me when I was a kid and shared his passion for the sport with my family.
Screen shot 2015-06-19 at 1.39.39 PM
Of course we don’t need a holiday to tell our dads that we love them, but since one exists, let’s take the opportunity to honor the men that taught us how to ride a bicycle, gave us the confidence to jump off the diving board, held our hand on the Blue Streak roller coaster and tucked us in every night.

Write Impressions has a wonderful selection of gifts and Father’s Day greeting cards – from humorous, sentimental, sporty, loving … and some blank so you can use your own words to tell your dad how you feel.

Dads. Remember them on Sunday, June 21st.

Barrels, Bargains and Freebees

Obstacles are a part of life. Supposedly, there are great lessons to learn during these bumps in our road. As adults we learn to accept bumps as part of our human experience.


Lately, I’ve been ruminating about a big orange barrel-shaped obstacle in front of Write Impressions for a while now… construction barrels that will be planted on Washington Avenue for the better part of the summer.

In our 25 years in Downtown Royal Oak, this is the first time that traffic has been disrupted on Washington Avenue. One lane is open in each direction, but all the metered parking is unusable. Thankfully, there is plenty of metered parking on the blocks surrounding our building (behind the store has some great spots that are hidden gems) and the parking decks are FREE for two hours from 10 to 5 everyday. The anticipation of the obstacle is worse than the reality.

The renewal of our street has inspired me to make some fresh new changes – to provide a silver lining for this cloud of construction – – – for YOU – – – our customers. We are cleaning house! We have started drastically discounting merchandise that, for whatever reason, isn’t moving as quickly as we anticipated. Throughout the next few months, we will be grabbing items from every department to include in our new SALE WALL. Discounts range from 30 – 60% off, with most items marked down at by at least 40%.

First up on the SALE WALL… boxed invitations and imprintables! Items from ALL occasions are on SALE … from baby shower to kids birthday invitations, grad parties and bridal showers. Print at home or we can print for you. We are liquidating about 40% of our current invitation inventory to make room for great new products. Now is the perfect time to stock up for your future events and throw a party!


We (and many other downtown businesses) have chosen to “Embrace the Barrels.” Most merchants and restaurants on Washington Avenue are giving out freebee gifts throughout the duration of the construction. Check out the “Embrace the Barrels” give-away schedule here: Tuesday, June 23rd, we are giving away Paddywax travel candles to our first 100 customers. Don’t miss out!


Jewelry – Atlanta Gift Show 2015

Hello friends,

After every holiday season, we re-group as a store. We take inventory on what lines and products were loved and which ones ended up on our clearance shelves. We then eagerly anticipate our trips to the gift markets, where we have the opportunity to update our inventory.

This year was no exception. I discovered so many new lines at the 2015 Atlanta Gift Market that my excitement cannot be contained in just one blog!! Every department from baby and kids to stationery, journals, gifts, candles and frames, has gained a fresh infusion of new products, patterns and fun!

Today, I would like to share with you how proud I am of our current jewelry selection. We will continue to represent Heartstrings (custom monogram necklaces), B.U., Dogeared, Sharon Dixon, Treisi, Robin Goodfellow and Kathy Bransfield… all goodies that continually add new pieces to their lines.

Drum-roll, please… It is now my great pleasure to introduce Write Impressions’ new jewelry lines for 2015!

For the Trendsetter: Ginger Snaps
An affordable new interchangeable jewelry line that allows you to mix and match from a selection of fashion “snaps” to create your own look. The line includes statement necklaces, bracelets and rings that come in a variety of metals, gems and fibers. Use the same base pieces and simply change out the snaps to transform your look from “day” to “night” – in a snap!

Ginger Snaps

For the Humanitarian: Chavez for Charity
Each of these gorgeous beaded bracelets supports one of over 20 important causes by donating 25% of gross profit to the corresponding charity of each bracelet sold. Chavez for Charity bracelets come in a rainbow of colors and causes for every sensibility.

Chavez for Charity

Chavez for Charity

For the Crafter: The Bead Bottle
An excellent gift or fun treat for yourself, each adorable bottle gives you the option to create necklaces or bracelets (or one of each) and contains a variety of semi-precious stones, metal charms, and glass beads with leather cording and lobster closures. Story cards with simple instructions are provided with each purchase. Many color themes and charms to chose from!

The Bead Bottle

The Bead Bottle

For the Michigander and the Mom: The Vintage Pearl
The “Love My State” Michigan Necklace is perfect for the Michigander who wants to show off their state pride! The charm is in the shape of Michigan’s lower peninsula with a hand-stamped heart and is strung on a sterling silver chain with a freshwater pearl.

Vintage Pearl Michigan State Shape Heart necklace, Royal Oak, Write Impressions

Michigan “Love My State” Necklace – The Vintage Pearl

The “Peas in a Pod” necklace for Moms – Elegant, hand-sculpted pea pod charms made from fine pewter and filled with freshwater pearl “peas”- one to represent each of the wearer’s children. So cute for Mother’s Day! Available in 1, 2, 3 or 4 “pea” versions.

"Peas in a Pod" Necklace, The Vintage Pearl, Mother's Day, Royal Oak, Write Impressions

“Peas in a Pod” necklace for Moms.

For the Reader: Peeper’s Readers
Our Peeper’s reading glasses have an entirely new display that makes it easy to quickly see all the entirely new line. As someone who wears glasses, I know that eyewear can be especially difficult to choose because they visually represent your personality. Peepers Readers has exceeded my expectations by staying on top of trends while staying affordable – and they all come with an adorable suede sleeve!

Peepers Reading Glasses, Trendy, Royal Oak, Readers,

Peepers Readers

Next time you’re in Downtown Royal Oak, stop by for a visit and see us. We’d be glad to show you what’s new in our Jewelry Department. New items are arriving daily!




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