Congratulations to Rosie Wiedenmayer, owner of The Paper Lady in Denver, Colorado! She and her staff are the September 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 Rosie (in white blouse, with colleague Brooke) a few questions about her business, and about life in Denver.
How long have you been in business? I've owned The Paper Lady for about six years. I bought it from the original "Paper Lady", Joan Manchester, who started the store in 1984 and kept it going for 22 years before handing it off to me.
How long have you been a William Arthur dealer? Joan had the William Arthur line as one of her first, so I inherited it from her and have had it ever since. It’s been with The Paper Lady a long time.
What do you most enjoy about owning a stationery store? I love the connections I make with customers. I’ve met some of my closest friends though my business. Working on milestones of all kinds is so rewarding, from weddings and birth announcements to even the impromptu dinner party, it's all about relationships, cultivating and keeping them. I love the thoughtfulness that goes into entertaining and correspondence. There are so many details to this industry that really allow you to get to know your customers and create a rich history with them.
How many staff members do you have? Has your team already decided where you’ll dine with your “Lunch Orders” prize? We have two full-time and three part-time staff members. We haven’t picked where we’ll dine yet; we’ve thrown around a few ideas, and are hoping to try a new spot. We have a couple of ideas lurking about...
How do you like working with the POS? We welcome all feedback. The POS is okay. When you find the item you're looking for it's great, and works quite well. However, when items like fonts, monograms and motifs aren't listed, it can make it more complicated to enter an order. I do like being able to view the actual product (proof) right then and there, when the stars align on the system. Overall we like it; there are just a few kinks to be ironed out.
Do you see any particular trends happening with your Vera Wang or William Arthur orders? The trends in stationery seem to follow the fashion trends, especially when it comes to colors, with hot colors in the clothing world permeating into the paper world. I also find more people wanting something "fun, fresh, and new". Many of the designs in the William Arthur’s Stationery Volumes I and II albums are terrific for meeting these demands. Of course, we’ll always have customers who want the classic ecru card or note with a more traditional color like navy. It’s great because we get to work with a mix of tastes, and we can usually fulfill them all.
If someone were to visit Denver, where would you suggest they go? I love the block I work on in Wash Park. It’s quite historic and has seen a lot of change, a great old neighborhood with lots of independent shops and restaurants, and a few old Denver staples. Being close to the park itself is also a bonus. I enjoy the Denver Botanic Gardens and the Denver Art Museum as well. And who doesn’t love a visit to Mile-High Stadium?
Denver has some great little pocket neighborhoods that each have their own character, peppered with hidden gem boutique restaurants and shops, all so fun to explore. In and around Larimer Street downtown is a good dose of urban when you need it. Being an independent, I’m all about the locals. Shop local and keep the brick and mortars alive!
Photo credits: Rosie Weidenmayer, Ken Papeleo, familyvacationcritic.com