Wonderful news! For all of you who thought that Mrs. John L. Strong–the bespoke stationer beloved by the likes of Anna Wintour, Oprah Winfrey, and TomKat–has not gone under as reported last year by the NY Times. It’s been totally under the radar… I just realized this when I literally walked by the Madison shop and sadly looked up at the 5th floor… but then I saw that there was still signage so I decided to venture up!
As it turns out, a wealthy woman with a deep love of stationery bought the brand out of bankruptcy and is reviving it. And her packaging, which after all is half the value-add of anything high-end, is alive and well.
I did not do anything custom as that was quite out of my budget (over $20 per card), but I think in light of the new economy the new Mrs. JLS will be doing more ‘ready to write.’
Here are the cards I bought while researching Minted’s competition… I couldn’t help myself. And I thought they were very festive for fall… if you receive one of these notes you are in my VIP circle! I am rationing them.
I will mention that some HK friends of ours dropped us a JLS thank you note… I, of course, noticed right away! The lined envelopes are a dead giveaway and that “strong vanilla” colored paper.
While I was at JLS, I did indulge in a very fancy souvenir ruler. I love that it has both US and UK measurements… everything here is in centimeters which can be quite trying! She was also selling bone folders, just below. Now, I bought mine (displayed below) for pennies compared to what she was selling hers for… but hers may actually have been real bone. I didn’t ask that question!
So even if we can’t all swing JLS prices and may need to consider places like Minted for more affordable personalized stationery, we can all take a lesson from her bone folder patronage. It is seriously the most wonderful gadget any paper lover could ever have! So what, you ask, do you do with this tongue depressor shaped object? You use the tip to trace a line along a ruler or straight edge… this indentation results in the most perfect fold, even with very thick paper. I used this method recently to make the place cards for a friend’s engagement party.
But they are also immensely helpful with origami (and crane making). Or for DIY crafts, like say making your own gift tag enclosures out of scraps. If you’re a bride-to-be… the bone folder could become your best friend when faced with epic projects, like programs for example. It’s also helpful when your stationery doesn’t come pre-folded and needs a little help in making sure the corners align just so-so. Or! If you’re a letter writer, the bone/ruler combo can help make sure you fold the pages in a compact fashion to fit beautifully into an envelope. It’s a must have tool I tell you! Stocking stuffer? I think yes!!!
Finally, the JLS shoppe will remain as it has for decades until the New Year when they will be remodeling and updating… so do stop by if you’re in the area. There is a very impressive solid dining table where you’re invited to sit while working out the details of your family crest! I really do hope they keep that table–a lot of famous people have sat there after all.