There is just something special about receiving a hand written letter. That’s the belief that motivated Holly Callanan, 45, of Ridgefield to open her home-based, personalized paper and accessories store, Sycamore Stationers.
Callanan, who was a mortgage underwriter before she had her children, Allie (a freshman at ), and Ryan (a graduating senior, RHS) said her business initially grew out of her card making and scrapbooking hobby.
Today Callanan runs a successful business in personalized paper, but she said she did a lot of invitations for family and friends before finally deciding to turn her hobby into a business in 2004.
“I just have fun with it and offer a service to people who love personalized paper and accessories as much as I do,” Callanan said. “It's not about the business so much—I could probably do well in any town—it's about offering products to friends and neighbors who want them.”
Sycamore Stationers offers personalized party invitations—perfect for the upcoming graduation season, as well as save-the-dates, birth announcements, holiday cards and stationery, social stationery, casual and formal wedding invitations, personalized party accessories (napkins, cups, etc.), and personalized desk accessories.
Full-service invitations are Sycamore Stationers most popular offering. “I do an ‘All-Inclusive Invitation Service’ where for a small fee I'll handle the ordering, addressing and mailing of your invites. It's been very popular since people are always so busy!”
A transplant to Ridgefield—she was raised in Nevada and New Jersey, attended college in New Hampshire, and met her husband, Rick, while living in Boston before they moved to Ridgefield in 1998—she has become an important member of the community over the past fourteen years. In fact, it’s hard to find anyone who is more active in the volunteer community than Callanan.
“I've been a volunteer for a long time here in Ridgefield. I started out with the , being on the Board of Directors and helping to welcome new families to Ridgefield, and then I was active in the PTA, serving as President at for a couple years. I will head up the Membership Committee at the high school next year. I was also a member of The Woman's Committee at the Community Center and chaired the Holiday Festival of Trees committee for a number of years,” she said.
Currently she and her daughter Allie are members of the National Charity League, Ridgefield Chapter, where they spend time together volunteering for numerous community causes and events.
“I also work at and ; one for my love of office products and the other the support my love for clothes shopping!” she said.
Callanan, who is also an active member of the , said that the high cost of commercial rent has been a challenge for many Ridgefield businesses. Currently she works by appointment out of her home office on Sycamore Lane, but said she would love to have a store in town. For now, the rents are just too high.
Surprisingly, although online stationary and digital invitation companies plague most brick-and-mortar stationary stores, Callanan does not consider click-to-order stores among her business challenges.
“I appeal to people who like to look and feel the products they are purchasing. I have samples. I will sit with a customer for as long as it takes to figure out exactly what they want and how they want it to look. No website can do that for you,” she said.
To make an appointment visit the website or call (203) 241-3884.