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The pleasure of your company

by | Jan 24, 2018 | Bottom Left Box, News

Elisabeth Connolly in her new shop, Elisabeth Rose Social Stationery (Bill Giduz photo)

It may seem old fashioned — or even nuts — to open a stationery store in the age of Snapchat and text messages, but that is just what Elisabeth Rose Connolly decided to do. Once she set her mind to the big picture of a storefront business, she zeroed in on Davidson and waited two years before landing the spot for her shop —  Elisabeth Rose Social Stationery — between Ben & Jerry’s and Pickled Peach, just off Main Street.

The light-filled, airy shop features a wide range of stationery inventory as well as an antique letterpress, an intriguing contraption that is still functional — although not so efficient these days.

A vintage letterpress in Elisabeth Connolly’s new shop, Elisabeth Rose Social Stationery (Bill Giduz photo)

“This place is really my dream come true,” Elisabeth says, sitting at a tall table in an open work space, her four-year-old daughter playing in a makeshift fort in the corner. About a half-dozen customers are browsing through paper goods arranged among soaps and candles on the shelves.

Named for her two grandmothers, Ruby Elizabeth and Barbara Rose, Elisabeth grew up in Charlotte. Her mom homeschooled the children through high school, teaching them reading, writing, and ’rithmatic, but also the disappearing art of correspondence. On paper. Sent through the mail with a stamp! Mom assigned each child a relative, so Elisabeth wrote to Great Aunt Cindy once a week. It goes without saying that thank-you notes were de rigeur after every birthday.

As a fine arts major at UNCC, Elisabeth concentrated on photography. “I used a wide range of film cameras, from 35mm to large format. Some antique. I loved working in the darkroom with my hands, creating artistic images using various techniques,” she says.

Post-graduation practicality led her into wedding photography, and she was taken with the broad visual scope of such events. She saw that the tone of an occasion begins with the initial impression — like an invitation. Click.

Elisabeth says that invitations form the heart of her business. “I love the etiquette behind special occasions,” she laughed. “Emily Post is always at my side.

“We work with the family first, so our calligraphers and painters can customize a stationery suite to fit the event,” be it a party, wedding, corporate kick-off, or opening — from the save-the-date through a new couple’s thank-you notes. “No two are the same.”

Elisabeth works all along the scale, but most of the events she brands have a number of stages. “A client should be in touch at least four to six months before a wedding, for example, a year if possible,” she says.

Elisabeth and her family live in Huntersville now, with plans to move to Davidson very soon.

“We are so excited to be part of this community,” she says, and shares some plans for calligraphy and watercolor classes, as well as summer sessions for children to learn about writing letters and thank-you notes.

Sent with a stamp, through the mail.

Meg Kimmel

A professional communicator with a long career in higher education, Meg now consults and volunteers in areas where words and images work together to tell a story. She's a proud member of Davidson's Class of 1977 and lives nearby with her husband, Don, Davidson professor emeritus of biology, with whom she shares a family grown by kinship and choice.

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