Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Contest Winner | Poeme

Congratulations to Kristen Folzenlogen and Philip James, owners of Poeme in Cincinnati, Ohio! They are the July winners of our "Lunch Orders" contest. Each month we reward retailers who ship the most orders via our Personalized Ordering System (POS) with $150 to take their staff to lunch. We asked Kristen and Phil a few questions about their business, and about life in Cincinnati.

How long have you been in business? “Poeme was our favorite stationery store when we moved here from Chicago in 2004. We never set out to own a stationery boutique—we were just two graphic designers who moved to Cincinnati to work on a variety of corporate and social projects. In 2007 the owner offered to sell us the store, so we jumped at the chance to expand our design business.”

How long have you been a William Arthur Dealer?
“We have carried the William Arthur and Vera Wang lines for the past two years, and find them to be a huge compliment to the other designers and services we offer.”

What do you most enjoy about owning a stationery store?
“Having the boutique has opened a whole new set of opportunities for us as designers. We really enjoy carrying other designers’ work, learning about retail and making it all gel.”

How many staff members do you have? Has your team already decided what kind of lunch you'll get with your “lunch orders” reward?
“Besides myself and Phil, we have a full-time designer completely focused on weddings. We employ part-time help for our custom designs. We’re so busy right now we’ve had no time to think about when and how we’ll treat our staff to lunch!”

How are you finding the Personalized Ordering System (POS) to work with? We welcome all feedback. 
“The POS comes in handy the most when we are uploading our own artwork, which we do quite a bit. This process has sped up the proofing process and we like building that extra turnaround time into our timelines! The POS does have its challenges, being a new system. It can be a bit slow, and there are times when we search for a specific product number from the album it may not be readily available.”

Do you see any particular trends happening with your Vera Wang or William Arthur orders?

“Since carrying the William Arthur and Vera Wang lines, we find we’re helping more brides with a classic and traditional sensibility. As designers, we enjoy working with brides to do custom work that tends toward the unconventional; these lines help us serve brides who lean towards elegant, timeless designs. We’re not sure if things are trending more traditional, or if just carrying these lines has brought us that business, but having William Arthur and Vera Wang offerings has helped us reach a larger demographic.”

If someone were to visit Cincinnati, where would you suggest they go?
“We are falling in love with our city all over again! There have been vast changes to downtown Cincinnati recently that have brought a wide variety of new restaurants and small businesses to the area. When we entertain guests we always spend half a day visiting Hyde Park Square (where Poeme is located, as well as many clothing boutiques, jewelry stores, delis, and restaurants).

Then we suggest an afternoon at the brand new Washington Park downtown, followed by dinner and drinks on Vine Street at one of the 10+ new restaurants (all small, locally-owned businesses). As designers, we highly recommend any of our museums: The Contemporary Arts Museum, The Art Museum of Cincinnati, or The Taft Museum of Art. And finally our theater scene is very active; we have numerous local companies including The Ensemble Theater of Cincinnati, Cincinnati Shakespeare Company, The Know Theater, and Playhouse in the Park.

Visit us in Cincinnati—you will not be disappointed!” 

Congratulations, Kristen and Phil. We're glad you're so busy, but be sure to stop and treat your staff to lunch on us!

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