One of the few saving graces of the Encore Studios sudden closure is the time of the year. This is normally a soft time of the year for invitation sales, too early for holiday card or stationery sales. The short Jewish New Year Card season is over. Thus fewer dealers had orders in house than other times of the year and suppliers are more in the position to accommodate additional unexpected orders.
Certain manufacturers such as Lemon Tree, Checkerboard, Natural Impressions and Pioneer have made direct overtures saying they will help dealers who have existing Encore orders, or orders to place, re-create the products if possible.
The main issue dealers face are the catalogs that need to be replaced.
Brands that offered customization, and designed products and offered conversion services with processes like die cutting, foil stamping, embossing, and laminating, are scarce with Encore gone, especially given the recent closures of Jansson and Elite.
If you are a dealer trying to find alternate resources for certain papers that Encore carried, and do not see them in other albums, you should know that the paper sellers have greatly consolidated in the last 5 years and the main paper sellers that Encore used were:
One other source that needs mentioning is JRC Industries, the manufacturer of many of the designed stamped and embossed invitations, as well as the Felt Paper Deckled Edge invitations found in the ES Collection and Simply Encore 2 Albums. JRC does not sell direct nor do they personalize invitations. You can email [email protected], with a picture of the invitation needed and they will likely be able to find you a source for your customers’ needs.
And in reality this information is of limited value because of the large minimum quantities often required, processes that Encore might have applied to the paper after being purchased, and of course, cutting.
I want to clarify that I am only sharing these resources to help expedite remedies to unfinished orders and other problems the closure of Encore has caused dealers and not in any way to give dealers direct resources that bypass the current supply chain. However, perhaps the paper suppliers can direct you to a brand that carries a particular paper or an outlet where you can buy and send to the supplier you may use to print the invitation.
The following resources are meant for the beginning of a discussion which I hope will generate a lot of dealer comments. Please share your opinions and suggestions on how to go about best replacing the resource Encore was to the stationery industry. What existing suppliers can best fill the void?
Please note that many invitation dealers throughout the country have never been to the National Stationery Show or have not attended in a number of years, so while some of these suppliers are mainstays to you, they be insightful to other dealers. Also as a web design company, I will tell you that many of the manufacturer websites are not representing the elegance of their products effectively so please call them for additional information or samples.
If you have a retail store, certainly William Arthur offers more customization than they had 10 years ago. Elegant layered invitations or pockets can be had from a company like Envelopments, who has elegant printing methods.
One of the top letterpress and foil stamping invitation brands, Dauphine Press, has very talented designers and in house capabilities to help Encore dealers with more intricate, one of a kind, custom designs.
One company that based their designs on the folding of Elite and Jansson was Little Wedding Works, who also is a retailer but has established a growing wholesale brand that does many custom and layered invitations with appliqués and broaches. Their pricing is very competitive.
Otto printing, who gave out a great customization kit at the Stationery Show, can handle most custom orders requiring Letterpress, Engraving or Thermography. They offer Hand Bordering, Deckle Edging, Layering, Laminating, and Pasting of sheets together, Beveling with round or square corners as well as Contoured Bevels, Colored Bevels and Edge Coloring.
As for your Encore albums, I want to again say, I did not tell anyone to throw out the albums. Remove them from the shelves until you get official word from Encore to discard them.
Here are some additional suggestions, per album. This is only a start. Please add your thoughts to these.
Checkerboard – www.checkernet.com
Simply Personal – www.simplypersonal.com who debuted at the stationery show and offers one of the strongest online design tools that allows both the retailer and customer work together with simple technology to design elegant letterpress or thermographed single layer invitations on good paper stock with elegant motifs, fonts and inks.
*both luxury brands require dealer to have a storefront and purchase packaged products
Simply Encore Wedding and Bar Mitzvah
Birchcraft studios, always heralded for their turn around time, proficiency in production and outstanding customer service, have raised the bar on their wedding and Bar Mitzvah invitation designs in recent years that certainly can help fill the void of the Simply Encore Wedding and Bar Mitzvah albums. Call 1 800 333 0405 for dealer information.
Carlson Craft’s product line is so broad that there are options at a lower price point in both categories www.carlsoncraft.com
Just Calligraphy – www.justcalligraphy.com – is equipped with customized and highly productive state of the art envelope printing machinery that can print onto shiny, metallic surfaces and any other envelopes of any thickness, with or without a lining.
A number of dealers expressed that we need to share resources generously for the good of the industry. So, please post your comments and suggestions on this blog so dealers can help each other. And if I did not mention a supplier who should be listed, please make a comment. I also invite suppliers to comment as well. Please remember to post links to resources you recommend that were not included. Please also note that while I categorized these companies under album categories, there certainly may be crossover to other albums and categories.