From the Desk of Dixie

Dixie's Guide to Calling Cards

Did you know that in addition to our notecards, invitations, holiday cards, and wedding suites, we also offer beautiful semi-custom calling cards? Similar in size to a business card, these personalized miniature cards can be quite handy to include either on top or inside a wrapped gift, or paired with a homemade item baked for someone special. Dixie’s Creative Consultant Holly Hollon loves the idea of laminating a calling card to transform it into a chic luggage tag!

While calling cards are used today in many social settings, they are most certainly not a by-product of the millennial age. Their rich history dates back to the 19th century in Victorian-Era Europe where wealthy society had stringent rules dictating how and when social visits could ensue. We have had a ball learning about how these once simple engraved cards were used in a time before you could reach someone via a telephone or even now through a few smartphone keystrokes. We have included below three of our favorite facts about the original uses of calling cards. You just may be inspired to tuck a few of your own calling cards away for your next networking gathering or party.

  1. Calling cards, often called visiting cards, began as a simple way to request a future visit of the recipient's home. If the recipient was not home, a servant would accept the calling card and leave it in a silver tray in an entrance hall. Often, the cards of the wealthy members of society would be intentionally displayed on the top of a stack of calling cards to impress future house visitors.
  2. Turning a corner down on your calling card upon delivery could indicate several different reasons or expectations for the visit, all depending upon which corner was bent. Various messages such as a visit in person (as opposed to a servant delivering the card), a congratulatory visit, a condolence visit, or an announcement that you were about to leave town could be communicated merely by turning down a certain corner of your calling card. Sometimes short notes were written on the card to specify the meaning of the visit.
  3. The first calling card visit or “call” did not usually result in a face-to-face meeting. If you wanted to kindle a friendship with a particular person, you would drop off a card and return home to wait to see if the receiver would reply with their own card a few days later to initiate an in-person visit. If no return card was received or if the response card was sealed in an envelope upon return, it meant a visit would not be accepted.

We hope you enjoyed our brief history lesson. Be sure to check out our complete line of calling cards on our website. With numerous style and artwork choices, you’ll surely find the perfect calling card to make a lasting impression!

Sources we used in our research can be found here and here.

How to Assemble Envelope Liners

We are so excited for the addition of our envelope liners to the Holiday Collection this year! We think our clients will have a ball adding an extra dose of flair to their holiday envelopes. Below we have included step-by-step instructions, as well as a video tutorial, for how to adhere these beautiful liners to your Dixie holiday cards as well as some of our favorite options to shop below. 

1: Insert your envelope liner into the envelope.

2: Fold Down the flap using the crease of the envelope to guide the fold.

3: Apply glue to the point of the envelope liner. DO NOT glue in the crease area as this will make it difficult for the envelope to fold back correctly.

4:  Fold down the flap onto the liner to attach the liner to the envelope and rub your hand across the flap of the envelope to bind.

5: Open you envelope and TA-DA! Your envelope liner is in.

TIP: Make sure to enjoy Christmas Movie on Netflix while assembling your envelopes or get a group of friends together and it goes twice as fast!


Dixie's Guide for Your Handwritten Thank You Notes

With the holiday season now behind us, thank you note obligations can seem daunting. But our Southern mothers raised us to know that this form of etiquette was never to be overlooked. We were taught to always acknowledge our thanks in a written form.

Our mothers’ opinion on this matter was not unfounded. The queen of etiquette herself also mandates the handwritten note: According to The Emily Post Institute, the “the handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes simply as a medium and sends the message that you care enough to invest yourself personally in acknowledging another.”

So if thank you notes are still lingering on your January to-do list, please allow us to share a few of our guaranteed-to-make-them-smile thank you note tips... 

  • Designate a Special Spot - Create a cozy nook in your home specifically devoted to your note writing. Our Creative Director, Holly Hollon’s beautiful secretary desk (pictured above) has inspired us to do this very thing:

Last Christmas my mother gave me a secretary. I have an office in my home, but it is full to the brim with art supplies and my work, my address list and stationery would easily get lost in there and delay in me writing thank you notes. I filled the secretary in my living room with my stationery and all the things needed to write a note. This helped me in having a designated spot to pen notes promptly, consider a special place in your home to store your stationery, a nice pen and stamps.

  • Thoughtfully Choose Your Stationery - While we certainly have a plethora of lovely personalized options available here, the possibilities are endless! Have fun with your notes, so that they reflect your personality in the design. Also, we have learned so much from Holly Holden’s take on the traditional approach to thank you notes from her tutorial here. Fun fact... Holly designates the fold-over stationery card, rather than the the flat note card, as the most formal note.
  • Date It - Etiquette Expert Lee Cordone, of DoSayGive, says to always include this when you are writing notes you think someone may keep. 
  • Greeting - This may seem completely obvious, but check and re-check the spelling of your recipient’s name. You do not want a misspelling to be their first impression of your note!
  • A First Line Challenge - Holly Holden, in the same video mentioned above, challenges thank you note writers to never begin the first sentence with the word “I.” She says it presumes you are more important than the person to whom you are writing. So we encourage you go beyond the formulaic “thank you so much for xyz” to creatively express how much the gift meant to you and why. We always love to read how our gift is being used in thank you notes we receive.
  • Make Your Recipient Smile - We borrowed this advice from the talented Kalee Baker of Kalee Baker Events. She is a firm believer in the power of a well-written thank you note: "Each day is a gift, so always include a memory or leave them with a kind, positive thought."
  • In Closing - Depending on the depth of your relationship with your recipient, “Sincerely” is always a safe option, but we also love to use “Best” or “With Love.”
  • Late? - Don’t Fret! - We are of the mindset that a late thank you note is always much better than no note at all! 

Still overwhelmed by the long list of thank you notes that may even include note writing for your children and your husband? We love this idea mentioned on The Emily Post Institute of getting your entire family involved in the thank you note process:

The smallest (ages 4-6) drew pictures of their gifts, and Mom and Dad added dictated captions and thank you’s. The 7-8 year-olds wrote one or two sentences, practicing new writing skills. The 9-and-olders were able to work more or less independently. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad helped with spelling words and addressing, and, in the quiet moments, wrote a few notes themselves. When everyone was finished, there was hot cider and banana bread. The kids were involved, the notes were done and the family had time to be together and talk about their holiday, friends and relatives.

Happy note writing!

The Dixie Team

    Myka Meier's Guide to the Perfect Post-Interview Thank You Note

    We are thrilled that we are just days away from our Paper Petals Plates and Etiquette and Entrepreneurship Luncheon events that will feature the fabulous etiquette expert, Myka Meier! We wrote another blog post about Myka here if you would like to read more about her. But in the meantime, she has allowed us to share her expertise on how job candidates can pen the perfect post-interview thank you note. Her advice follows…

    • In the age of technology when it's most common to email or text, it's more impactful than ever to send a handwritten thank you note after an interview. Here are a few tips to follow to ensure your thank you note stands out!
    • Timing - I recommend dropping your thank you letter in the post the same day of the interview (or as soon as possible). As it could take a couple of days to reach the recipient, it will arrive perfectly timed 
    • Opening- Starting your letter with "Dear XX" is still best for formal business; signing off with "Best regards" is recommended as the formal sign off for corporate protocol
    • First line - Jackie Kennedy taught us that the most impactful letters to show gratitude never have the first line start off with "Thank you for..." and instead a line that creates emotion and sets you apart such as: "I'm truly grateful for the opportunity to come in to interview for a director position at the firm and meet with you. I left feeling enthusiastic about both the role and how my experience could truly make a valuable contribution to the XYZ team. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me...etc.  
    • Call to action - Always include something specific that you spoke about that shows you really enjoyed both the interview, opportunity and conversation. End the thank you note by saying if the opportunity presented itself, you would be available to meet with the rest of the team or answer any questions. 
    • Equally important - Your stationery is a tangible takeaway of yourself - so make sure it represents your style yet remains professional

    We, of course, love that Myka recognizes the importance of stylish stationery! We think our Diamond Pineapple notecards or our Watercolor notecards would make a very impressionable, yet still professional, statement for your thank you notes!

    And if you simply cannot get enough of Myka (We understand! She’s fabulous!), you must enter to win the one-on-one session with her that Regions HerVision HerLegacy has so generously sponsored. To learn more about this giveaway and to enter to win, please visit our Instagram page.

    The Art of Correspondence

    Just as important as pearls, monograms, and a sharp edge on your cocktail napkins, a gracious thank you note is one of the hallmarks of a Dixie lady. Here, we’ve collected a few tips and pointers for crafting the best notes.

    • Start with the right stationery! We may be biased, but we love the classic blue and white of these notecards by designer Gina Langford.
    • Using a nice pen makes the writing of your thank you note somehow more special–sort of like the way you have traditions around writing Christmas cards. We love the hand-crafted beauties at Bourbon and Boots for writing notes of all kinds.
    • Write in a timely fashion. This goes without saying, but don’t wait too long to write your note. A few days, in the case of a regular thank you note is always acceptable, but that brings us to a special case:
    • Wedding thank yous: Etiquette states that newlyweds have one year to pen their thank yous. But don’t let that drag you down–make a calendar and complete them within a few months. Definitely add “Get new stationery!” in your wedding to-do list–before the wedding a bride should use her maiden name monogram, but after, she can either use a monogram with the bride and groom’s first initials, or her new, married monogram.
    • Keep it simple: If you don’t have a lot to say, don’t belabor the note. A simple, succinct, “Thank you so much for your time and consideration,” can be better than an overblown–and potentially insincere-sounding–novel of a note.
    • On the other hand: You do want to make the note personal, if possible. Reference the gift or act, and your relationship to the person to whom the note is addressed.
    • Make it special: We know, we know, we’re always telling you to take your stationery up a notch. But simple things like customized stickers or pretty wax seals for your cards can really take your thank yous to the next level.
    • Finally: Having a list of thank yous to write can seem daunting, but crossing them off as you finish them is so satisfying, and will ensure that no one gets left behind.
    • Questions? We Dixie gals know to just who to consult: Emily Post, of course!