LAURA ANN Ladies, Meet Stella & Dot

It's with great excitement that I announce LAURA ANN's Bridesmaid Collection collaboration with Stella & Dot Stylist Joanna Roth! In the spirit of Bridal Fashion Week in New York City, LAURA ANN has launched a line of "Will you Be My Bridesmaid?" greeting and thank you cards inspired by Stella & Dot's Spring 2014 Elodie Necklace and Naomi Cluster Earrings (also available as Allanah Clip Earrings). The curated special collection calls out to the confident, bold and stylish bride attracted to both brands.

"Will You Be My Bridesmaid?" Greeting Card (LAURA ANN/$22.50 for a set of 3); Naomi Cluster or Allanah Clip Earrings (Stella & Dot/$44); Bridesmaid "Thank You" Card (LAURA ANN/$20 for a set of 6); "Bridesmaid = Love" Card (LAURA ANN/$20 for a set of 6); Elodie Necklace (Stella & Dot/$89)

At LAURA ANN, we believe in the art of the personal touch, and that inspiration from coordinated details makes an extra special impression. For engaged ladies overseeing the  hundreds of details that go into planning a wedding, sharing the love with your bridesmaids is one detail not to overlook. Let them know just how much they mean to you with a handwritten note when asking them to be part of your bridal party, as well as a note and gift when they shower you with love on your big day. The LAURA ANN "Will You Be My Bridesmaid" card was designed in conjunction with a "Bridesmaid = Love" and "Thank You" card to coordinate sentiments of gratitude to your bridesmaids across wedding related occasions.

I personally love the warm gesture that goes with giving and receiving jewelry between bride and bridesmaids, and have seen how bridal jewelry can be a strong point of inspiration when selecting bridesmaid dresses, shoes, and other accessories. I am a big fan of the clean, bold, and artistic aesthetic of Stella & Dot, and love that they have so many jewelry pieces that could capture the style of a bride and her maids! I sat down with my longtime friend and fashionista Joanna Roth, an Independent Stylist for Stella & Dot to discuss Stella & Dot bridal jewelry:

Laura Ann Elbogen, Founder and Creative Director, LAURA ANN and Joanna Roth, Independent Stylist, Stella & Dot.

Laura Ann Elbogen: As a Stella and Dot stylist, you are an expert in helping clients choose the right pieces for any occasion. What's particularly exciting about styling for weddings?
Joanna Roth: I love styling for weddings because it is such a joyous occasion! Women tend to wear more color during festive occasions and that makes me so happy. I wish everyone would wear bright colors all the time.

LAE: How would you describe the jewelry style trends for this spring / summer?
JR: There are three main trends happening this spring and summer. The first is fringe - you will be seeing it everywhere, on jewelry, bags, clothes. The second is a pop of color - we have some great pieces that are in a strong coral or blue that will liven up any summer outfit. The third is rocker chic - we have some beautiful floral pieces that were inspired by vintage Chanel necklaces our designers found in Paris. We added a little bit of edge to the design to make them cooler and more wearable for the modern woman. 

LAE: What advice do you have to brides about selecting jewelry for their bridal party?
JR: For anyone who loves our pieces, but would like to see them in person before purchasing, please reach out to me to set up a FREE trunk show! I'll show you all our latest jewelry and can bring over my favorite pieces for brides and bridesmaids.

Joanna Roth can be reached through her website at www.stelladot.com/sites/joannaroth.

Thank You, Thank You

It doesn't have to be Thanksgiving to show your gratitude. At LAURA ANN, we believe a hand written note of appreciation in personal correspondence and business goes a long way, and others agree. Guy Trebay in the Fashion & Style section of The New York Times recently penned on the cultural art that the "boring stuff your parents made you do never actually goes out of fashion" ("The Found Art of Thank-You Notes", April 4, 2014). Not only is it proper manners, but he brings up studies linking the old handwritten note to health benefits such as better sleep and stress reduction - who knew! 

Similarly, Regina Lewis reported in USA Today's weekly Money Quick Tips that a handwritten thank you note is helping individuals stand out in today's digital world of over communication ("Handwritten Notes making a comeback", March 22, 2014).

Here at LAURA ANN, where penmanship comes in many calligraphy styles, we believe in the art of personal communication, and helping our clients and customers communicate their own personal style and touch. How sweet is it to pick up a saved note from an old friend or loved one and hear their voice in you mind as know them by their handwriting? For my part, I know that any message written out to Laura Ann is from my parents, the only people who have ever called me by my full name.

It is with gratitude and thanks to friends and family who have supported LAURA ANN from its early days that the LAURA ANN online shop goes live with its first retail product category - Greetings and Thanks. From the bottom of my heart here in NYC, thank you for your interest!

The Manhattan Heart Collection Thank You is available in a set of 8 cards and envelopes ($20).


A Romantic Storybook Invitation, with the Luck of the Irish

Monday, March 17th is Saint Patrick's Day! It also happens to be Irish Arts Center Book Day 2014 in New York City.  Books and the Irish will always have a fond place in my heart as I think back warmly to my cousin Alberto's wedding to his sweet bride Betsy on the eve of Saint Patrick's Day last year. It was cold in Minneapolis but spring in spirit with touches of Irish green from the flowers to the shoes and the invitation suite.

LAURA ANN_Storybook Collection_Inspiration

The literature lovers wrote the story of their love into the details of the weekend, starting with a LAURA ANN illustrated bookmark save the date. The couple shared an image of the bench where Alberto proposed, which I illustrated and wove through the stationery suite.

The couple's initials drawn together on an open book became a signature mark throughout the stationery suite. The invitation featured three book pages with romantic quotes and a wedding weekend illustrated map. The reply card designed in the style of a library card reminded guests when their response was "due back."

The wedding day decor carried through the literary theme, from escort cards handed out in card catalog drawers, to hard back books stacked elegantly with the centerpieces. Literary themed table names matched romantic quotes designed for each table by LAURA ANN.

As a final touch, the bride and groom sent thank you notes with a wedding portrait on the same bench where they got engaged, with the bench illustration to match on the inside. Sounds like a storybook romance to me.