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Despite the higher prices, the owner of 6.25 Paper Studio said she has no problem selling letterpress stationery in her store. Shown is an artistic display arrangement at the shop.
By Jen Heller Meservey

ne of the best ways to sell more signs at stationery and gift stores is to hang them up, according to Trisha Brink, partner and main buyer at Grandiflora Home and Garden in Lynden, Wash. “We love to feature our signs in our themed vignettes to help people envision them in a home-like setting, ” she said. “We also have a great picture rail shelf that we are able to set the signs up on near our 12-foot ceilings.”

Brink said that hanging up the signs keeps them from overwhelming her customers. “It gets the signs up off the floor so you ’re not overwhelmed by so much verbiage, ” she explained. “It makes it easier for the customer to wander around and read each sign as they have the time to do so. Too many words directly in your face is a turn-off to most people. ”

Abbey Fowler, owner of 6.25 Paper Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich., said she also likes to keep signs up off the floor. “I display them above our product shelves using large easels, ” she said. “Once I can expand, I would like to frame and hang them up all together on a large wall. When I ’ve hung up one or two, they always sell better. ”

Abbey Fowler, owner of 6.25 Paper Studio in Grand Rapids, Mich. Fowler said she sells more collectibles by finding unique, high quality products.

At Igloo Letterpress, a 1,000-square-foot store in Worthington, Ohio, signs sell best when they ’re framed and hung on a wall. “We adore our poster and art print wall in our retail store, ” said Studio Director, Beth Dekker. “It shows our customers how great they look framed and on the wall. We also love to be able to offer some of our smaller prints on standing frames to give people various ideas for how to display them in their homes. ”

Trisha Logan, owner of Shindig Paperie in Fayetteville, Ark., agreed that framing signs helps them sell. “Our prints sell great if we have them framed already for customers, ” she said. “We have found that customers will pay a significant amount more to get art that is already framed and ready to hang... We have art prints hanging all over the shop, and we try to mix the smaller ones in with our merchandising based on theme or color story. ”

At Paper and Home in Las Vegas, Nev., Owner and Creative Director, Michael Coxen, said he sells more signs by providing a variety of options. “We all love options when we ’re shopping, right? ” he remarked. “To sell more signs, give your customers options! Sell them framed so the person who wants to grab-and-go will make a purchase. Sell them unframed for the person with that perfect frame waiting at home. Also, sell some decorative frames on their own so your customers can mix and match. ”

La Von Vander Werff, left, sister and partner of Trisha Brink, partner and main buyer, right, of Grandiflora Home and Garden LLC, Lynden, Wash.

Coxen said that his customers like to shop for collectibles while observing the printing process in his 1,200-square-foot store. “[Customers love] our status as a one-stop shop for all sorts of items and gifts, ” he said. “Being able to see the printing process as they are shopping gives customers a unique connection to the pieces they are selecting. ”

Brink said that she displays collectibles along with signs and other items to give them a homey feel. “We prefer to have a vignette in each area of the store which tells a story, ” she explained. “However, too many vignettes gets overwhelming to the customer. So, with each vignette comes a more standard shelf... Customers love the look of the vignette, but enjoy grabbing something off the shelf that isn ’t too difficult to get their hands on. ”

A clean, neat display at Grandiflora Home and Garden LLC. The partner and main buyer said that she displays collectibles along with signs and other items to give them a homey feel.

Fowler said she sells more collectibles by finding unique, high quality products. “I think the key is to discover quality product even for tchotchkes, ” she explained. “There are many local companies making (often hand-making) really unique items, which usually have a little higher price tag and are much higher quality than the over-manufactured stuff you can find anywhere. Customers will spend the extra money when it ’s unique, good quality and especially if it has a story behind it. ”

Fowler said that she has no problem selling letterpress stationery in her 1,300-square-foot store. “Honestly, letterpress stationery sells itself, ” she said. “Even if the price is a little higher than you ’re used to carrying, the current letterpress designs are so well done that they resonate with all ages, and they are sure to sell. ”

On the other hand, Coxen said he recommends keeping letterpress stationery prices low. “The best way to sell more letterpress is to minimize the cost as much as possible, ” he advised. “Letterpress is everywhere online, so your customers can see its beauty anywhere. Once they actually feel it, they ’re sold. That is, however, until they hear the price. The labor of love that is letterpress printing comes at a price. When selling this printing method, try to create designs that use only one ink color. That significantly reduces the price and, therefore, increases your volume of sales. ”

Stationery items at Grandiflora Home and Garden. The main buyer and partner said that if customers do not understand the effort put into each piece of letterpress stationery, they will never pay the extra price.

Brink said that educating customers helps sell more letterpress stationery in her 4,000-square-foot store. “It ’s all about educating the customer on the hands-on process of letterpress, ” she explained. “If they don ’t understand the effort put into each piece, they will never pay the extra price.

Brink added that it ’s best to give letterpress stationery a distinctive display. ”We try to highlight the specialty cards, etc., on individual stands, rather than shoving them into normal rotating card racks, “ she said. ”If you show it special, customers will especially fall in love with it, which transfers to increased sales. “

Logan said that changing where it was displayed helped sell more letterpress stationery in her 1,000-square-foot store. ”We used to have the stationery all tucked away in a custom room, “ she said. ”However, we decided to try a display of it next to the checkout desk and it doubled our sales. If a customer shows interest in it, we then lead them to our custom room to see a huge selection of stationery options. “

An exterior view of 6.25 Paper Studio. The owner said she currently displays signs above product shelves using large easels, but in the future once the store is expanded, she would like to frame and hang them on a large wall.

Logan added that she uses social media to help sell letterpress stationery. ”We post our favorite custom stationery orders on Instagram and Facebook, which brings in new customers weekly, “ she said.

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