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In Memoriam: Mrs. John L. Strong

by habituallychic

05 . 21 . 09

I first heard the rumor that the luxury stationery firm of Mrs. John L. Strong was closing from Meg of Pigtown Design and today the rumor was confirmed by An Aesthete’s Lament. I bought a beautiful desk calendar and a few note pads for my bachelor pad project and I always thought they were a nice finishing touch. I guess he’s going to have to use the easel for something else after the year over. I was hoping to pick up a few things for myself before they closed the doors but I was too late. The entire shop has already been removed from Barneys. If anyone hears of a final sale online, please let me know. I love sending handwritten notes but apparently I might be the only person left who does. Stupid technology!

Comments Closed

  1. Anonymous May 21, 2009 | 8:57 pm

    Heather – this is said with kindness and I don’t expect it to be published – please proof read your work. You’re getting sloppy – missing words etc. It’s hard to take a blogger/writer/professional/adult seriously when that happens.

  2. Habitually Chic May 21, 2009 | 9:05 pm

    Anonymous – I know that you meant well but it’s comments like yours that sometimes make me want to quit blogging all together. If you had read one of my earlier posts, you would know that I am juggling a new business in addition to blogging from which I make no money at the moment. I try my best to proof read my posts and check my spelling but occasionally mistakes slip by me. I’m not perfect. It’s too bad that you aren’t more forgiving of those of us who blog for free for your pleasure.

  3. Kate May 21, 2009 | 9:25 pm

    Heather – Don’t listen to Anonymous. I love your blog and am constantly drawing inspiration from your posts. Keep doing exactly what you’re doing!! P.S. I am heartbroken about Mrs. John L. Strong too…

  4. An Aesthete's Lament May 21, 2009 | 9:45 pm

    Dear Heather, Your blog is about ideas, not penmanship (virtual or otherwise). One can always go back and correct misspellings, et cetera.

  5. A Stylish Presence May 21, 2009 | 10:39 pm

    This is so heartbreaking! And, like you, I have heard no mention of a final sale. Please let us know if you do find anything out.

  6. Paulette May 21, 2009 | 10:40 pm

    Your blog has grown over the years because of your constant concise postings, your understanding of all things Chic, and your inclusive view.
    Rock on Sister!

  7. s. May 21, 2009 | 11:10 pm

    I agree that poor spelling and grammar can negatively impact a blog. But your mistakes are few and it’s clear from your blog that you are bright, thoughtful and not at all a slob. So I take the rare slip as just that: nothing more!

  8. A Gift Wrapped Life May 21, 2009 | 11:17 pm

    I go back and correct mistakes alot! Sometimes I forget to use spellcheck too! I think most readers understand that they are enjoying free entertainment and inspiration and forgive us our haste and timelines. Maybe some think we get paid by some unknown blogger payroll-LOL! You are doing a great job! And you have the followers to prove it.

  9. s. May 21, 2009 | 11:24 pm

    I fear that Dempsey and Carroll will be next. After dear George Ward died, it was bought for a song by a pushy Harvard MBA and now sells cards engraved with neon peace signs *shudder*. I feel as though my beloved stationer has already disappeared; it needs only an obituary to become official.

  10. Cheryl May 21, 2009 | 11:57 pm

    I just started following your blog and absolutely love your writing and your photos. I dream of having a chic apartment one day and your blog is giving me lots of inspiration. Thanks!

  11. maison21 May 22, 2009 | 2:07 am

    i f*ckin hate grammar nazis- they need to work on taking their own selves less seriously, not worry about how the world perceives you.

    i’ll take an interesting blog with a mistake or two, over a boring, yet grammatically correct post any day.

    thanks for the free entertainment, heather- please continue to post it however you feel, even in pig latin.

  12. Miss Absinthe May 22, 2009 | 2:38 am

    I remember falling in love with this stationery years ago and now I’m glad I kept a few pieces for keeps. ps. Don’t give any thoughts to those trying to harsh our glamour buzz, your blog is perfect.

  13. chichunters May 22, 2009 | 10:16 am

    this is really sad news. rushing to the store on Madison later to see if I can get some stationery.

  14. Lexie May 22, 2009 | 12:08 pm

    I just found your blog and think it is awesome! I too love sending handwritten notes on pretty stationary. It means so much more than getting yet another email in your inbox.

  15. Cole Design May 22, 2009 | 12:40 pm

    Dare I leave a comment.My whole life I have struggled with spelling and I think I am much more creative for it. So please leave the gifted alone. Your blog is the best!I can not believe how sad that this lovely writing paper will no longer be.

  16. Paul May 22, 2009 | 12:47 pm

    it’s so typical that a demeaning remark said in a “kind voice” is left by an anonymous writer! your blog is awesome!

  17. Dobbygirl May 22, 2009 | 12:51 pm

    So sad, I love a handwritten note too :o(

  18. Linda/"Mom" May 22, 2009 | 2:20 pm

    ***** SHAME ON YOU, “ANONYMOUS”, for a HUGE N*U*M*B*E*R of reasons! (Geez!)~~~

    Like most, I’ll take a GR888, INFORMATIVE, DELIGHTFUL, HEARTFELT and/or just PLAIN OL’ F*U*N BLOG waaaay over the SEEMINGLY “PERFECT-but-BORING” one… ANYday! (“HAMRUMPF”!!!)~~~

    And Heather, I, too, am one of the “dying breed” (at least around HERE in the Tucson area!) who not only SENDS personal thank you notes, but actually ENJOYS WRITING THEM (by HAND, NOT E-MAIL!). And it’s DONE usually when I get home & the memory of a lovely evening, or kindess done, is still FRESH in my mind. That’s called being “civilized” in MY eyes~~~ or at LEAST just a “common courtesy”!

    If I had your address I would write you Heather, to THANK YOU for a terriffic blog (that, “ANONYMOUS”, is done “FOR FREE”, BTW!)~~~

    Warmly, supportively & w/ thanks again,

    Linda in AZ *

  19. Stephanie May 22, 2009 | 4:01 pm

    Hi, I’m Smythson’s Site Editor. It is a real shame to see the closure of another luxury personalized stationery brand. If you’re searching for an alternative for your ready-to-write or bespoke stationery, you can visit our New York store or go to http://www.smythson.com

  20. mary May 22, 2009 | 4:10 pm

    Spelling? Grammar? Sounds like when I was back in prep school!! Which was boring and perfectionistic and which also smashed any hope of creativity. I love the odd note–it captures our attention and makes us stand up and listen.
    I have a love/hate relationship with computers. I love a handwritten note, but I also love the spontanaeity (sp?) of computers and the ability to communicate instantaneously without concern for envelopes, stamps, etc.
    Your blogs are amazing!

  21. chocoslovakian May 22, 2009 | 6:35 pm

    I agree wholeheartedly with Maison 21. Your blog is lovely, informative, well-edited, you have a great eye and your topics are always carefully chosen and interesting. There. I hope these compliments have erased any sad feelings that crabby e-mail could have caused.

    Oh, and to Anon 4:57, the word is proofread. One word, not two. Let he who is without grammatical sin cast the first stone, you know? 🙂

  22. The Countess of Nassau County May 22, 2009 | 7:45 pm

    You know what Heather, I read the Anonymous comment and I think it was a simple heads up from a FAN. Don’t take it personally, I don’t think they meant to offend you…and if the number of readers jumping to your defense is any indication you are clearly doing something right.

  23. Habitually Chic May 22, 2009 | 7:54 pm

    Thanks for all the lovely comments of support. I do appreciate when my readers alert me to a mistake like the one who let me know that I spelled the country of Colombia with a u like Columbia University which I will never do again. It was the second part of the comment that bothered me. They could have mentioned the mistake without insulting me which is what they did. I have no patence for rude people.

    I also forgot to mention that my friend Harry Heissmann’s partner worked for Mrs. John L. Strong and he lost his job this week. So in addition to the loss of stationery from this 80 year old wonderful company, many people are now out of work which is going to be tough for them. It’s sad on all accounts. But their products were VERY expensive so it’s too bad that they couldn’t have figured out a way reduce the prices or come out with a less expensive line. I hope someone buys the company and can revive it at a later date.

  24. fric and frac May 22, 2009 | 8:57 pm

    Wow, I am really surprised to hear this news. I thought this company was an institution! So sorry to hear your friend lost his job.

  25. French furniture May 22, 2009 | 11:02 pm

    It’s a real pity to see them go!

  26. CB May 23, 2009 | 2:41 am

    Oh, this is sad. I loved their “owl” notecards and their bone folder and calling cards made such great gifts. So glad I ordered an extra box of the cards and some bookmarks a month or two ago. Still, very sad.

  27. CB May 23, 2009 | 2:43 am

    Oh, and don’t sweat the small stuff, like the inevitable typo. Have a good weekend!

  28. anne duncan May 23, 2009 | 5:52 am

    hi heather,

    first time commenter, and i’m sure you won’t publish this so i’ll just go ahead and say what i think after reading the ‘anon’ comment, and your response. i think you are taking that comment way to seriously. she/he wasn’t trying to insult you, actually it appeared to be just the opposite, constructive criticism. i know a lot of people can’t take criticism in any form, and maybe you are one of those people. your comment that you don’t have any patience for rude people should extend to yourself. your blog used to be very fun to read, full of your personality, and now it reads like a text book, or worse yet, a ‘who’s who’ of who you’re trying to network with each week. you have become a shameless promoter of those you want to be in the ‘in’ crowd with, all the while this blog has no personality to it at all anymore.

    and for the record, it IS hard to take someone seriously, who obviously takes THEMSELVES so seriously, when they consistently misspell words and have bad grammar. that is a fact of life.

  29. Blushing hostess May 23, 2009 | 9:59 am

    Heather – Anon comments are the work of cowards. Generally cowards who do not turn out quality blogs with a thoughtful perspective. They miss the whole point. I mean really, do you think there is a staff of editiors sitting somewhere – these blogs are often exhausted one person shows…

    Alright, enough of that stupidity. Try Best and Co. for left overs.

  30. pve design May 23, 2009 | 10:56 am

    When I was much younger, I ordered some luxe notes for the Mrs. John L. Strong. I think if I were to send one now, someone may get the wrong message. Times seem to dictate for artists and designers, I think e-mail is now fine, and perhaps Cranes is just hard to beat for classic, timeless paper at a more recession fit income. Sad to hear – about this, wish they would have had a secondary line, like a Bridge line. Love you mistakes and all. I love when my readers point out my ways… I am utterly dumb-founded that there was an error!

  31. Pamela Terry and Edward May 23, 2009 | 7:53 pm

    The passing of an era. Heartbreaking.

  32. Sanity Fair May 24, 2009 | 4:17 am

    I discovered this early this week – but they’d shut everything down. Not even a sale! So sad.

  33. Dee Dee Hannah May 25, 2009 | 1:07 pm

    That is so disappointing…there is no replacement for handwritten notes.

    Sure e-mails get the job done but taking the time to write out a simple sentiment and post it has to mean more than typing something out on your blackberry.

  34. Anonymous May 26, 2009 | 12:09 am

    Heather, I whole-heartedly agree – I understand why you were upset when that ridiculous comment was left. It just frustrates me to no end when people use the internet in order to put others down. Keep doing what you do – I, along with so many others, look forward to your unique and interesting perspective. “Down with negativity!!”

  35. chloe May 26, 2009 | 8:15 pm

    WHOA. these people are CRAY-ZEE. what is up with all the hostility??? not necessary at all.

    props to you for taking the time to write your blog.

  36. Richie Designs May 29, 2009 | 2:18 am

    you and your readers may be interested in my new project with my letterpress work with personalized note cards.

    I’m working on my first project after a client asked for them. In an effort to help her save money I asked my other readers if anyone would be interested in ordering so that everyone could share the savings of a ganged up run.

    I’m in the middle of printing now but I posted an image today of one of the finished pieces. A moss green and gray paisley with matching moss green envelope.

    I’ll be doing another set later this summer if you’re interested I can send you info for you and your readers.

    The paisley will also be available again in different color schemes, again if I have a ganged run of 3-5 people.

    two color letterpress…I wish my photos did them justice. They’re really lovelier than I had expected!

  37. CARY May 31, 2009 | 2:59 am

    I agree that no one sends handwritten notes … when I was a youth in the ’70s working at Neiman’s I got hooked on their stationery department and sent out all kinds of stuff, and it was “out there” behavior even then! The last time I sent out thank you notes after an event people were stunned at my supposed over-the-top thoughtfulness, like they had never received a note before. Sad!

  38. Alison June 1, 2009 | 4:33 am

    I was going to slam Anon for “proof read” but Chocoslovakian beat me to it. Where I was raised (downtown Manhattan), we have a way of dealing with people like Anon, which is to say *ahem* WHO TF ASKED YA?!?!? Congrats on the new venture. I KNOW (not hope) it will be a smashing success. Chocoslovakian, I would like to buy you & Heather a glass of champagne.

  39. barbara June 2, 2009 | 11:41 pm

    As an English teacher, I have my students blog regularly and teach them to draft their posts in MS Word first, then spell and grammar check and only then copy and paste to the blog itself for publication. This serves as an extra pair of eyes. It is difficult to catch your own errors! (I hope this helps :))
    Love your blog!

  40. Anonymous August 15, 2009 | 2:26 am

    Can anyone recommend a stationer that is in the same category as Mrs. JLS? I’m looking to do about 25 wedding invitations. (Please, no start-ups.)

  41. Habitually Chic August 16, 2009 | 12:51 am

    Other comparable stationers include Dempsey & Carroll, Smythson, Crane’s, Tiffany & Co, and Cartier. In New York, you can try Kate’s Paperie. They carry a multitude of brands. There are a lot of lovely small letterpress companies out of Brooklyn as well. Hope this helps!

  42. Stephanie October 1, 2009 | 5:51 pm

    Holy cow! I just went on line to see if I could re-order another box of the dragon stationary from Mrs. John L. Strong and happened to see your blog. I’m so disappointed to learn of the store’s closure at Barney’s. Has anyone found another stationer to make the dragon note cards?