Hi, Grace here.
I hope you all had a lovely weekend! Ours was pretty laid back.
My Mark came down with Flu type A on Friday, so I’ve been playing nurse for a few days. Poor guy. I kept making fun of him for wearing one of those masks in the waiting room. And then, once inside, the doctor thrust a handful of them in my direction and told me to wear masks around him. I had to laugh.
Last week, Mark sent me an article from work. He knows I love Papyrus. Our American friends (or anyone who has ever visited NYC) will know what Papyrus is straight away. I don’t think it ever made it to England. But it’s a lovely card and gift store. With mostly handmade cards, high quality gift wrapping items and general loveliness.
HUNDREDS of stores all over America. We have had around 14 just in Manhattan alone. I could spend hours in there, looking carefully through all the wonderful handmade cards. Many a friend of mine has received a card or keepsake gift from Papyrus. And other than our lovely (and impressive) Clarity-level of home made cards, there was nothing else like it really. On a big scale. I would often buy cards I didn’t even need, just to have them ready for the right person. They were that special.
It sounds like they will still stock some cards in other big stores, but it’s not the same is it? The stores were a real treat to be in. For me, it was like the Harrods or Fortnum Mason of card stores, and how different would it be if you could only buy those biscuit tins in Sainsbury’s because Harrods wasn’t actually there anymore?!
My Mum also LOVED the store. Every time she’s ever visited, without warning, she has suddenly disappeared from beside me, and dived head first into the nearest one. She’s always excitedly talked about having her own version one day.
The cards were on the pricier end, but then crafters understand that that is the case because someone made each by hand, and with love. In a world that is quickly becoming about the internet, and how quickly we can get something done, aren’t you glad that you’re one of the few that spends TIME making your cards?
So I’m a bit gutted about the stores closing their doors. That was someones dream at one stage. I’m sure we’ve all witnessed a favorite shop closing down. There’s been a few just recently that I felt some sadness about; Jamie Olivers UK restaurant empire was one. Gutted I never got to one! And I had absolutely no idea until I was outside a boarded up restaurant in London over Christmas!
Here’s are two pretty eye opening articles on the many UK & US stores closing down at the moment (I had no clue about most of these!):
With all this going on, Clarity is not affected. In fact, as you know we’re expanding. I believe one of the tricks to this, is to not expand too quickly. If you know my Mum, you’ll know that for the first 10+ years of running the business, she did so from porta-cabins in our back garden, and putting her kids to work for money they were getting anyway! Never expanding quicker than she (or the company) was ready for. Never choosing a fancy office, over the one she could actually afford. And 25+ years in, business is still going strong. [Not to say that any of these businesses did it the wrong way, it’s just our way]
Our continued success is really thanks to you! Thanks to your custom, your loyalty, your enthusiasm, hunger for more & constant support, Clarity is quite healthy.
And for that, we are forever grateful.
So, here’s to the brilliant businesses and storefronts that we’ve lost over the years! What were your favorites that you’ve loved and lost?
Lotsa Love, Grace xoxo
Clarity – The Home of Art, Craft and Well-being.