(Part 1 of 2)
ARLINGTON HEIGHTS-GiftBandit.com Stationery Studio has opened up a new brick-and-mortar in September at 26 East Northwest Highway in Arlington Heights. “Peggy”, Gift Bandit’s pink-skirted mascot, the brightly spotted awning and hot magenta curtains may have caught your eye during a recent drive through downtown. Each hints at Gift Bandit’s fun-but-elegant take on stationery and invitations.
Owner Mariette Fredericks has been working in the stationery business for over 30 years and has built her reputation on providing personal style as well what’s current in invitations, favors and calligraphy coupled with creativity, quality and highly personal attention to the details.
Being a frugal bride or bride-on-a-budget doesn’t mean you need to veer away from local business or personalized attention in order to stay on budget; time spent in consultation and planning can save dollars in the long run.
Today, I chatted with Mariette for ways Gift Bandit Stationery and Graphic Design Studio helps brides and stationery customers save money.
How do you work with the customer on a budget?
GB.com: There are a few different things that we do. For one, we haven’t raised our calligraphy prices in over ten years, and we offer a 10-15% discount on calligraphy when a customer orders invitations from us.
We also offer an email bridal interview form, that when complete, tells us a lot about the customer’s wedding theme, vision, and budget, which is extremely helpful. Creating an invitation is not simply slapping words on a piece of paper, and voila, out comes a beautiful invitation. There is much more to the process, and this helps our customers to see all the parts and pieces of what’s involved. A quick phone interview also proves to be advantageous, which allows our customers to gain confidence in us, as we offer solutions to matching their vision to their budget.
We offer a 5% discount to customers who pay 100% in advance of any project. Depending on the project this may not seem like much, but it can range from $25-$100 which does help–-if for nothing else can be put toward other orders or dinner for the family or couple.
Could you share some examples of how you saved a customer money?
GB.com:We have recommended poster-size seating charts over place cards. For example, a customer who chooses to order a 22×36 seating chart over 200 place cards (matte paper stock, including printing of names and a monogram) could save about $50-$100 dollars, depending upon the options desired. Savings vary, depending on a customer’s needs.
We also always ask our brides, “Is your ceremony in the same place as the reception?” If so, this eliminates the printing of the reception card! Or we may offer to add reception information onto the invitation card, should there be room.
That definitely saves money. But what if they are in different locations?
Gb.com: Not a problem! We might offer to add reception information onto the invitation card, should there be enough space. In years past this was a no-no, however, in today’s graphic-driven society, it has become more and more acceptable to include this information on the invitation. It can be quite a nice savings and can be done elegantly and tactfully.
That is helpful. It never hurts to plan!
Gb.com: Yes. In this economy, all options need to be explored to save money. Sometimes a customer may not opt-in for the reception information on the invitation card, but it’s always good to know as many options upfront, and we are happy to brainstorm with the customers to explore other ideas.
Stay tuned for part 2 tommorrow.
Giftbandit.com Stationery Studio Business Hours
Monday-Friday: By Appointment (Hours are extremely flexible to accomodate for customer schedules. Walk-ins and browsers are welcome to stop in take a look if GiftBandit is not meeting with customers and using the meeting area.)
Saturday: Accounting and last minute customer emergency requests.
Sunday: Closed to spend time with families, friends and to worship.