On Monday morning, September 19th, I received an email from an Encore dealer telling me that Encore was closed during regular business hours and asked if I knew what was going on? I tried calling and also went to their website, www.weddinginvitations.com, and saw it was taken down. This confirmed in my mind that something was drastically wrong. I tried calling one of the owners and emailing him.

Finally, late yesterday, an owner called me and verified the company was closed. He told me they were shipping all orders they could through the end of the business day Tuesday. Our conversation was brief and there was such sadness, it almost brought me to tears. He said that a formal announcement will be made, however the announcement may take some time.

If you are an Encore Dealer, you know that I had been the voice of the company for many years prior to leaving in 2010 to more fully focus on the growth of Local Traffic Builder. During my 14 years I came to know you and I understand how a delay of this information can impact you with your customers.

You need to pull the albums and put them in storage, remove display samples unless they can be exactly replicated and remove any images or text about Encore from your website. If we can help you with those site changes and help research other images from other brands, please let us know.

If you have an Encore order in house or one that you were planning to place, some custom brands may be able to replicate certain items or come close, so you may try that route before informing your customer that they have to make an entirely different selection.

I also want to say that owners of other brands also contacted me with concern and they were gracious and very saddened by the news. Encore was a great company and both owners are gems of human beings. This must be devastating for them, so please be understanding. I am sure you will hear from them in their own words. I just wanted you to know to protect the interest of your business.