Tuesday, December 23, 2008

A Holiday Wish For All Our Friends

The staff at Webster's Fine Stationers - Michelle, Leilana, Rosalie, Betsy, Scott and myself - would like to wish you and yours a holiday full of love, laughter, good food, good friends and warm feelings. May all good things be yours in 2009!
We'll be closing at 5:00 p.m. on Christmas Eve so we can enjoy the holidays with our families. If you need a last minute gift, need a package prettily wrapped or shipped, please come by before then to see us. We've got stocking stuffers and hostess gifts galore....dark chocolate filled candy canes, hot cocoa mixes, wonderful cookies, beautiful ornaments (which make a statement when tied onto a gift!) and cool little pocket word game books. Don't forget our beautiful Santos, hand made in the Phillapines and designed by Bethany Lowe....we have large sized Joseph & Child and the Angel Gabriel. We have medium sized "flatbacks", which can hang or fit up against a wall, of Our Lady of Lourdes, Our Lady of Guadalupe and St. Francis and smaller, stand alone figures of Our Lady and the Angel of Knowledge. These items of faith make lovely, meaningful gifts for someone dear to you.
Come by and enjoy some holiday treats and hot apple cider....we've got a table out every day through the season and would love to see you! Again, my friends, may you enjoy every day of your holidays!

Friday, December 5, 2008

It's The Holiday Season!

And we are shining brightly here at WFS. Along with some other fabulous news and reports of new merchandise, we are honored to announce our Webster’s Shopping Center-wide toy drive for 5 Acres. Kicking off on Friday, December 12th, when you bring an unwrapped gift in for a child, ages 6 to 13, Webster’s Pharmacy and Webster’s Fine Stationers will give you a coupon good for 10% off selected merchandise. In WFS, it’s home and holiday decor items. You buy an eligible item(s) and we’ll give your 10% savings to 5 Acres. We’ll then match that 10% because we appreciate all the great things 5 Acres does – and expressing that appreciation during this holiday season, is particularly appropriate.

Come see Webster’s…..all of us! We’re decked out in holiday finery with the choicest offerings to tempt your holiday gifting. Festivities will get underway on the 12th with Santa and his elves at Karen’s Hallmark at 3:00 p.m. You’ll be able to take pictures with them and portrait packages will be available. Get some holiday shopping in while the kids are greeting Santa! At Webster’s Fine Stationers, you’ll be able to enjoy some holiday goodies and stroll around our gorgeous displays. We’re an authorized Crane Retailer now, so see us for your fine stationery needs, business or personal. A choir from a local school will gather outside around 5:00 p.m. to sing holiday carols for your pleasure….sip a cup of hot mulled cider and bask in the holiday magic! Webster’s Pharmacy will be showcasing their new lines of personal gift items and jewelry….exciting finds from the exacting eye of Merideth Miller. Merideth and Michael are the former owners of Fair Oaks Pharmacy and are the wunderkids of old-time pharmacy ambiance. Come by and say hello, and pick a child’s name off their Five Acres “Wish Tree”. Help make a child’s Christmas wish come true this season….so many people are in such dire need. We hope to see you all here at Webster’s, it’s such a wonderful feeling to gather for a good cause and some good, old fashioned holiday fun!

Some more great news….WFS has made Fox LA’s Top 5 Hottest Places to Shop in LA in the Arts & Crafts store division! Yay for us and if you voted for us, thank you very much! We appreciate your support.

Another new line we’re carrying is N2Stickerz….the coolest weather-resistant vinyl stickers for your car, your school binders, your laptop….whatever. From family members, animals, symbols and initials in white, pink and hot pink, there’s something in here for everyone! They’d make excellent and clever gifts or stocking stuffers….very au currant. We also have some beautiful Santos in from Bethany Lowe. The most awesome, in my opinion, are the Joseph and Child Santos and the Angel Gabriel. So sublimely suited for haute holiday décor and they mix so well with old mercury glass and silver. Come by the store and see our elegant displays – grab some decorating ideas while you sip a cup of coffee, tea or cider as you browse. Come in and taste Isabella’s Sugar Rush cookies, decorated for the holidays! These are the best tasting, all natural, no partially hydrogenated oils, pure goodness cookies….they also would make fabulous stocking stuffers or offerings at your holiday gala. As always, our line of Wind & Willow appetizer mixes, soups and breads are tasty, quick alternatives for parties or quiet dinners at home. As for fast pick-ups for hostess gifts or family presents, Elegant Gourmet and Hannah’s Naturals offer tea cookies, chocolate filled candy canes (yum!), the sweetest hot cocoa sets, and nostalgic holiday lollipops in peppermint and cherry flavors. They’re all so attractively packaged and taste divine!

Additionally, let’s not forget about our fabulous selection of children’s books and toys, games or about our customizable, made in the U.S., 100% hardwood wall décor signs. There are signs for your kid’s rooms and Altadena-centric signs, Christmas and family-oriented signs, too. There are even small, desk sized signs you can inset a picture into. These are very giftable and sure to please anyone on your list!

Remember, purchases $20.00 and over receive a free (and elegant!) gift wrap. The girls and I….and yes, even Scott…..can dress a package like no one else. Make sure you come by and give us a whirl, we’ll be waiting.

From Webster’s Fine Stationers to you, our beloved customers and friends, have a blessed holiday season. We look forward to seeing you on December 12th!

p.s. I've attached some photos from our Grand Opening!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Post Grand Opening Benefit News

I wanted to share with you how our Grand Re-Opening and Benefit for the Quality of Life Center went. Those of you who participated know what a fabulous time everyone had. If you couldn't make it, no worries....there'll be more functions soon.

We're deeply indebted to all who helped make this such a success....Bo Astrup and Revvell Ravati of Photobooth Los Angeles; Laura Gladden, who made the wonderful cakes; The Altadena Chamber of Commerce; our manufacturor's reps - Laurel from the Lynn Mitchell Group, Robin from Sales Producers representing Accents de Ville, Chris Holmes representing Greenleaf, Mindy from the FlemingChalef showroom, Marshall from SP Richards and Karen from Golden Sales; our artists Donna Barnes-Roberts, Dianna March, Penny Palumbo and Athena Meltzer; our staff members who worked their behinds off - Michelle, Leilana, Christian and Rose (in no particular order....you're all fabulous!); Christine from Waste Less Living; my daughter, Parisa and her best bud, Michelle; and finally, Dore Charbonneau who gave me such great advice.....thank you one and all! I also want to acknowledge our team member, Betsy Lopez, who couldn't be in attendance because she was recovering from giving her little sister a bone-marrow transplant....such a selfless and caring sister. We ask everyone reading to say a prayer for the Lopez family and when you come into the store, let Betsy know you're praying for them.

Since my main gal, Deb Halberstadt, was out of town, no professional pictures were taken. Not to worry, we have some coming by attendees who took pix....bear with me until they send them.

I'm very proud that we were able to spotlight The Quality of Life Center and Waste Less Living. We had many in attendance that hadn't heard of these two worthy groups and am gratified that we were able to get the word out about them. It was great to see the families whose childrens' portraits adorn our wall above the shipping area (if you haven't seen them yet, you're missing a treat!). The raffles were a blast, too....so many happy winners of wonderful merchandise and a grand prize of a $100.00 gift certificate (courtesy of SP Richards) to The Cheesecake Factory! Folks really had fun with the photobooth, provided by PhotoBooth Los Angeles (see link below)....what an exciting addition to any event!

Next on the horizon is our Holiday Open House....stay tuned for more information on that. Meanwhile, come in and enjoy the warmth of our Thanksgiving decor, have a cup of coffee or tea and a cookie sample....we're always ready to serve you!

Friday, October 24, 2008

Grand Re-Opening, Ribbon Cutting & Benefit for The Quality of Life Center

You don’t need us to tell you that times are tough lately. We will ask you to consider, however, that if you’re feeling the crunch of this economic downturn, how are charitable organizations faring these days? The answer is they’re scrambling to survive, just like we are.

This is a time when communities need to come together and step up to support our local non-profits and charities. We here at WFS feel so strongly about this that we’re dedicating 15% of our net sales on the 6th of November to the Quality of Life Center.

We’re holding this benefit simultaneously with our Grand Re-Opening and Chamber of Commerce sponsored ribbon cutting. We’ll be hosting a Chamber mixer at 5:30 p.m., after the ribbon cutting, and the store will remain open until 7:00 p.m. so we can all celebrate together.

That brings us to you and how you can support this important cause. First of all, if you’re not familiar with The Quality of Life Center and what they do, we urge you to take a moment and click on this link - http://www.qualityoflifecenterinc.com/ - to learn about their valuable efforts. Next, come into WFS on Thursday, November 6th, and make a purchase. Check out the lovely displays, have a cup of coffee or tea from Pasadena Coffee Company and enjoy some delicious treats. Meet the Bright Future Scholars and the principals of the Center and discover why what they accomplish for Altadena’s youth is so vitally important.

Along with the benefit for the Quality of Life Center, we are also introducing a new service company in Altadena called Waste Less Living. All the utensils, serveware and napkins will be supplied by them and are 100% biodegradable and compostable. Waste Less Living sets you up with everything you need for your function, along with compostable trash bags. To clean up, you dump everything, including food scraps, into the bags and they come take it away to be responsibly composted. We can’t think of a better way to help our environment and we welcome this opportunity to demonstrate the ease of how it works.

This has turned out to be a long missive and we apologize for that….we know you’re busy. The Center is a cause we here at WFS feel strongly about. We hope that you feel the same and will help support the at-risk youth in our community. Stop by any time on the 6th of November, the benefit will run from our delayed opening at 12:00 noon to our extended closing at 7:00 p.m. The ribbon cutting should be in the late afternoon followed by the Chamber of Commerce mixer at 5:30. The store will remain open for business during the mixer….we urge you to stay and meet some of Altadena’s business owners. Representatives from our various vendors will be on hand from 3:00 p.m., also, to explain their various products and answer any questions you may have. Meet and mingle with the local artists whose works are carried here at WFS. Best of all, there’ll be gourmet snacks, door prizes and a raffle for a fabulous basket chock full of our favorite goodies. To enter the raffle, simply leave your name, address and email address with any one of your WFS crew members before or during the festivities, and they’ll give you a ticket. You do need to be present to win, however, so please make arrangements to be here. As always, we’ll be playing our most favorite oldies station on XM Radio, so come sing along with us. We’re all very excited about our grand opening and benefit and we’re looking forward to celebrating with you!

Thursday, October 16, 2008


How we love Halloween at WFS! The very first of the fourth quarter holidays, ushering in the Fall season with fun and fabulous decorations....can't you just feel the excitement?

Scott and I, along with all of the WFS crew - Michelle, Leilana, Rosalie, Betsy and Christian - want to invite you in to check out our spooky yet elegant displays and all our wonderful new holiday themed merchandise. We're gearing up for a fantastic holiday season and, as always, we're striving to make your shopping experience an awesome one! Enjoy these pictures, taken by Deb Halberstadt of HalfCity Productions, and come visit us when you can.

Stay tuned for information about our Grand Re-Opening, Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and all day benefit for The Quality of Life Center on November 6th....I'll be posting about it soon. It's going to be quite the celebration!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Ahhhh.....September is Here!

School has started and fall is in the air, my friends. We’re now entering my very favorite time of the year and we’re just bursting with plans for the upcoming season!

Here now is our Back-to-School promotion….just look for the bright red schoolhouse and you’ll find everything you need for you or your child’s new school year. We’re making it easy for you by placing the items in one large display….come see, ‘cause it’s too cute! Remember to stay local, buy local - save gas and support your community! Staples, and big-box stores like them, may have killer deals, but did you know that when you buy from them your money doesn’t stay in your community, let alone stay in California? It’s true. Almost every big box chain store’s headquarters are located in some other state or country and your money is going there instead of here, where it’s needed. Just sayin’.

Those of you who have signed our guestbook at the store might have recently received from us an invitation to have your child(ren) professionally photographed and receive the gallery-wrapped canvas photo free of charge after they hang in our “Growing Up Gallery”. This is not a gimmick or a trick to get you to buy or a sham or a lie….this is the real deal. Penelope Palumbo, of Pasadena’s Studio P3, is a dear friend of Michelle’s, and wants to expand her photographic efforts here in Altadena. What better way, she thought, than to run a promotion through WFS….invite our most treasured customers to have their child’s photo taken at the Studio with every professional amenity available, have the completed canvas exhibited at WFS through the 4th quarter, and receive the canvas absolutely free after Studio P3 finishes with it? What an excellent gift this would make….who wouldn’t love a gorgeous photo of your child? Or you could, of course, keep it and have it hanging in your home for all to admire. Whichever, this is a fantastic opportunity to receive a large-sized piece of art and pay nothing….no strings attached. Oh wait….there will be a party held for the family and friends of the chosen models and we’ll advise you of the date for that later on. If you got an invitation, please respond soon, as there are only 10 available slots, 4 of which have already been spoken for. Multiple children in one photo is acceptable….if you have any other questions or concerns, please contact Lori or Michelle at the store.

I also want to keep you all informed of upcoming plans for more functions benefiting Dr. Sandra Thomas’ Quality of Life Center. As you know, we’ve partnered with the Center, as we believe there is nothing more precious than our children, and the future of our country lies in their hands. Our children, every one of them, deserves to have every educational avenue open to them so they can succeed in today’s world. We want to help Dr. Thomas realize that dream. We all need to be aware of the great need in our community for a program like this. Please take a moment, click on her link on this page and discover what the Quality of Life Center is all about. Help us support our future!

As a reminder, we’re receiving new merchandise all the time. Why not drop by and see? As always, there’s a hot cuppa coffee or tea waiting, just for you. See you soon!

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Time marches on and we find ourselves in the dog days of summer, with the change of the seasons approaching rapidly. To many of you, that means it’s time for the annual havoc of getting your children ready for the new school year. To us, it means it’s time to make room for all the wonderful merchandise we have for your child’s back-to-school needs. To that end, we excitedly announce our first End-of-Summer Clearance Sale!
Come reap the many bargains….and who doesn’t love a good bargain these days? Our sale begins Thursday, August 7 and continues through August 14th. There’ll be some lovely items offered at extremely attractive prices…..don’t miss this opportunity to snag a pretty or bag some great pens, stationery, desk accessories and….oh, there’s too much more to mention! We’ll see you there….and don’t forget to ask for a sample of Isabella’s Cookies and a cup of Pasadena Coffee Company’s house blend coffee (made fresh daily, just for you!).

For those of you not familiar with our hours, they are as follows:

Mon. through Fri. 9:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.

Saturday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Sunday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Awesome Toy & Game Arrivals & More News!

There’s been lots of things happening here at WFS since our last post! As you’ve probably noticed, our blog has a new look, thanks to the multi-talented Kate McKinney, who graciously agreed to help us out. She’ll also be helping us create our new website, which will be debuting soon…..we’re very excited about this new facet of our business! Please stay tuned in for more information about our new website.
We’re also happy to announce that we’ve gotten in some fabulous new toys, games and books for children, just in time for those seemingly never-ending doldrums of summer. They’re guaranteed to cure boredom and I know you’ll be happy to hear that! Also come in and see the new stuffed animals freshly arrived from toymakers Melissa & Doug…..cute, cuddly and best of all, no mess….what’s not to love? I’m sure you’ll want to adopt one for your child.

Every one home from school and no one knows whose job is whose? Kids fighting over who has to clean the kitchen, make the bed and clean the bathroom? Or worse, are you dreading the return of the school year because you have to nag your child to do homework & projects? No worries, WFS has you covered. Come in and check out our very cool (and useful!) family helpers – household jobs & responsibilities charts, potty and homework charts to encourage your child in a positive way to learn those important rules and duties at home and school.
Don’t neglect extracurricular learning activities while your child is on summer vacation! We have a wide selection of flash cards and fun-oriented workbooks in all major subjects…..math, English, vocabulary, science and some geography. Most of these workbooks and flashcards are available in English/Spanish editions.

Speaking of summer doldrums, keep checking our blog for news of our summer clearance sale, to be held sometime in August. We need to make room for all our back-to-school merchandise, so do check back for a firm date on this major blow-out sale!

Lastly, don’t forget to sign our guest book while you’re in the store – or leave a comment here – you could win a lunch with Michelle and Lori on July 25th! We’ll be picking six (6) winning entries on July 21st , and we’ll notify you by email (or phone, if we must). Let us take you to a nice restraunt, where we can sit down, have an enjoyable meal and talk about the changes being made at the store. I’m truly interested in getting to know you and how you’d like to see us develop….we want to be the place you like to shop at. It would also allow me an opportunity to explain the reasons why we’ve made the changes you see at Webster’s and how it will ultimately benefit the community. I can tell you our plans of supporting our local public schools and how we’re planning to make back-to-school shopping easier & more fun than ever. If you’re worried about giving us your email address, please don’t worry. We promise not to ever spam you. By having your email address, we’ll be able to send you periodic coupons and notifications of special events & specials. Periodic doesn’t mean daily email from us…..trust me, we’ll be doing well if we can get one a month out. We also promise not to sell or give away your information to anyone – ever.
Come by soon….we’re waiting for you!

Thursday, April 17, 2008

We're a Winner!

Just a quick note to share some exciting news with you. I'm a member of a couple retail-specific internet groups, one of which is the Gift and Home Channel's retail board. I quickly submitted a couple pictures of the store's Spring/Easter themed decor when I learned of their contest last month and just heard that we placed as first runner-up! Very cool and I'm very proud that we've been able to make the store look a bit better than it has in the past. Stay with us and watch us make it look even better in the coming months! : >

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Early April News

Here we are on April 9th already. Wow, does time fly when you're busy! Looks like we're in the middle of Spring Break, as it's been so quiet in the store these past few days. During this downtime we'll hopefully be able to get our taxes completed then have a spring cleaning and revamping of decor. I always look forward to a decor re-do, it's fun to rearrange and make things look fresh. You'll have to drop by and check it out soon.

We're expecting in a shipment of beautiful new stationery items soon, in addition to all the new items we've recently received. If you haven't been in yet to check, you should come see. New thank you notes have arrived and I'm in love with them all! We've gotten some gorgeous letterpress t.y. cards and blank note cards, all available by the pack. Also new home announcements/invitations to come visit, bridal shower invites and wedding thank yous. To be put out soon are the most beautiful ribbon and crystal embellished note cards....we're very excited about this new line. Good thing about them is that they're available by the single card. We'll also be putting out some very nice Mother's Day, Father's Day and Graduation cards.....very fashion-forward on fine papers that will be appreciated by the recipient.

Also on the arrival horizon is new product from the talented midwestern designer, Mary Carol Garrity....this time mostly home office and desk accoutrements to spiff up your office area. Trays for clips, pencil cups, small wastepaper baskets and ceramic boxes for stamps & small items....all color and pattern coordinated. If you're ready to give your office a cosmetic redo, whether it be at home or elsewhere, let us help you bring it all together and give it that famous Mary Carol look. I'll give a heads-up when the new merchandise arrives.....until then, I'm looking forward to seeing you soon!

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Pictures of our Easter Coloring Contest Winners and Easter Bunny Visit

Congratulations to all our coloring contest entrants....all of the drawings submitted were wonderful! The Easter Bunny was thrilled to have so many children to greet and pass out gift bags to. Here are some pictures of all the fun.....

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

After Easter Blow-Out and Fundraiser Follow-Up

All Easter themed home decor is now specially priced to make way for new merchandise arriving soon. Come in and stock up for next year! Faux chocolate bunnies & eggs and Spring florals are currently 25% off.

We are pleased to announce that we raised just under $800.00 for Antwan Havard of Dr. Sandra Thomas' Bright Future Scholars group. While that doesn't meet the full amount needed for Antwan to go to the Washington, D.C. retreat next month, it does help and we'd like to thank all who participated. WFS looks forward to a long relationship with the Quality of Life Center, Dr. Thomas and the Bright Future Scholars.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

High Hopes and Community Involvement

Forgive my sporadic posting, please....I'm still adjusting to having a blog to keep up. I'll get better at it, I hope.

I'd like to take a quick minute here and talk about what's happening next week, the Saturday before Easter specifically. WFS is having an Easter-themed coloring contest for the children of Altadena (well, actually, it's a raffle, because all the kids are winners in our book) that culminates Saturday the 22nd of this month. We're very excited to announce that the winning names, of which there will be 3, will be drawn by none other than the Easter Bunny himself. How fun will this be for your young ones? Bring 'em on in, there'll be wonderful Easter baskets for the prize winners and no child will leave empty handed......don't forget your cameras, either, 'cause you'll definately want to get a picture of your cutie and Mr. Bunny!

After you enjoy the Easter fun, you can browse our store.....you might notice the banner hung by our office windows above the cash station. This banner is announcing that 25% of our sales for the entire day on the 22nd will be donated to the Bright Future Scholars for the benefit of Antwan Havard. The Bright Future Scholars are a group of middle and high school high-acheivers under the wing of Dr. Sandra Thomas, Altadena's current Citizen of the Year. Being part of this highly respected group allows a child to expand their educational horizons, exposing them to real-life studies of current events that will contribute to shaping their lives. To that end, they are planning a Spring Retreat in Washington, D.C., this April. Each child needs $2,000.00 to cover their expenses for this important trip, and Antwan was anticipating going with everyone when April rolled around.....but the unthinkable happened and his grandmother passed away. Money that was earmarked toward Antwan's trip had to be used to honor is grandmother's memory, and because of that, his long-awaited trip is in jeoprady. One of my associates, Leilana, knows Antwan and his family very well and brought me a letter Antwan wrote requesting help getting to Washington, D.C. with the Bright Futures Scholars. What could I do, I thought, to help this child take this trip to our nation's capitol? I'd just been at the Chamber of Commerce dinner honoring Dr. Thomas and was so impressed with her accomplishments and moreso by the obvious pride she takes in "her kids", who were there in numbers supporting and cheering her on. I told her that evening that I'd love to do something to help.....this, I thought, is the perfect time to begin doing something. Webster's has been a presence in Altadena for well over 80 years and I believe that we should use that presence to help our community and its most valuable assets.....the children. So come by on Saturday.....don't feel pressured to buy anything, but all of us would sure appreciate it if you did.....you could just leave a donation for Antwan with one of us, if you'd rather.

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Making The Best Of A Not So Positive Economic Forecast, or, What Can WFS Do For You?

What dire news we're hearing lately from the media. We're entering a recession, we're not entering a recession, it's just a slowdown....whatever it is, it's sure not glad tidings we're receiving, is it? The price of goods and services are more costly due to the increasing costs of raw material and fuel and it seems to be a never-ending spiral. When you've just bought a retail store in a suburb of a large city, it's downright frightening. Folks naturally keep their assets close when faced with times like these....we understand this and are thinking about ways we can keep our business alive yet try to help out our customers at the same time. In addition to that, we want to make you aware about what buying locally means to you and your community. Did you know that when you buy from a big box store chain, you're actually supporting the state these companies were incorporated in? Why not buy from an independant retailer in your town where the revenue they receive really does support the area you live in? True, the prices can be lower at a big box....but then again, you have to buy quantities to realize those savings. True also that you have to then deal with the "big box attitude" and their lack of any real knowledge. Who hasn't gone to Staples or Home Depot and spent valuable time looking for someone to help you, only to be a) ignored, b) told that they don't know, or the worst, c) be told something that is totally wrong? At WFS, you will never be ignored or be given faulty information....that is our solemn promise to you. I can't promise that you'll never wait a little bit, but I will swear right here that we'll do our utmost to see you satisfied, whether you're buying an eraser or placing a special order. When you shop at WFS, you'll be treated the way you should be treated....like a guest by a staff member that lives in your community. We'll introduce our associates to you soon, but I want to take this opportunity to let you know just how proud we are of our little retail family.

So what can WFS do for you? First and foremost, there's the savings on gas, time and effort. We're right here, on Altadena's main street. For those of you who live up the hill a ways, either west or east, getting down into Pasadena can be a chore, and not a pleasant one. Traffic, parking.....ehhhhh, who needs it! And all those new buildings and living spaces under construction will just add to the congestion, can you imagine? Save the headaches for a special occasion and shop locally.....we have just about everything you need for your office and home. We've talked about our childrens' section, now let's discuss our other goods and services. WFS offers:
  • Top of the line stationery....paper, imprintables, notes and ungreeted cards (blank inside).
  • Custom printing for invitations, special occasions, announcements and banners without the long wait typical at other stationers.
  • Extensive office product selections - catalog avaible with next-day availability on most special orders.
  • We offer business discounts....call or come see what we can help you with.
  • UPS/FedEx Authorized Shipping Outlet, boxing and packaging services.
  • Faxing and laminating services.
  • Large selection of childrens' books and toys, geared toward educational improvement & empowerment
  • Teaching aids....we give teachers' discounts.
  • School necessities....pencil boxes & pouches, binders, bookcovers, notebooks, ledgers, graph paper, rulers, stencils, protractors, angles & compasses.
  • Personal mail boxes that can receive UPS/FedEx shipments (unlike USPS boxes)....great for your business!
  • Envelopes.....lots and lots of mailers and you can buy them individually or in a box for more savings.
  • Pens from everyday use to special....we carry Shaefer, Cross and Waterman, plus all refills for same.
  • Pencils of every kind, from learning-to-write to mechanical and leads for same.
  • Large line of art products....drawing tablets, brushes, paints, specialty sets, pastels, colored pencils, markers, canvases. We offer an artists' discount.
  • Journals and diaries for kids and adults....all journals in stock are now 25% off.
  • Calendars....monthly, daily, weekly and academic planners along with desk and wall calendars....all calendars are now 35% - 40% off to make room for our '09 merchandise....hurry in before they're gone, it's still early in the year!
  • New this year......unique home and office decor and tabletop featuring the Mary Carol Collection. Like I said before, there's no reason your home or office can't combine the mundane with the decorative....let us help you take it to the next level. Design and decor advice freely given....it's what I do best.
  • Also new are our lines of gourmet snack mixes from Wind & Willow and Gourmet du Village, coffees and teas from Pasadena Coffee Company and our special gourmet chocolates. Looking for a special and tasty gift? Come see what's new.....we've got our own line of gourmet candied popcorn coming soon!

Whew! We're also very excited to announce our Easter coloring raffle for the children of Altadena. Come on in and pick up the age-specific coloring pages and enter your child(ren) in the drawing. All the kids' artwork will be displayed for the entire community to see and we will have the raffle for prizes....Easter baskets chock-full of goodies....the Saturday before Easter Sunday. We will be closed Easter Sunday so all of us can celebrate with our families on this joyous holiday. We'd love to see you on Saturday, though.....you never know who might pop in!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Where We're At Now, Con't

Along with the childrens' books, we also offer a large selection of educational (and fun!) toys, games, puzzles and blocks. We proudly feature toys from Melissa & Doug and although their line of toys is mainly manufactured in China, their testing standards exceed those of any large toymaker. Their toys are tested 3 times....once after manufacture, once after being loaded on the transport ships and again after docking at their destination. The trouble we've been hearing about with tainted paint, etc., is that larger companies subcontract out the inspection jobs so it's more difficult to coordinate and control. Melissa & Doug performs their own inspections and testing so they can be assured that all their toys are safe. These are quality toys at a very reasonable price point. We also carry learning aids such as school workbooks by subject and flashcards.....we even have workbooks in Spanish and flashcards in Spanish and French. We also believe that raising children with integrity, manners and good citizenship is important, so you'll find things that will help with that, too. We have the cutest Good Habits chart that you can hang on a wall at home to keep record of how your child is progressing....we have Good Manners and Good Citizenship flashcards, too.

So enough about the kids' stuff and on to what lies in store for the Easter Holiday. Check out the pictures above.....come in and browse, share a cup of gourmet coffee or tea and have a sample of our wonderful chocolate, we'd love to see you!

Monday, February 25, 2008

Where We're At Now

After a very busy holiday season (thank you to all of our customers!), Scott and I and our staff have been continuing to make more improvements. Scott's been working on the electrical.....he's got the back room done and Rosalie can now see when she sorts the mail into the personal mail boxes....yay! Soon we'll have electrical outlets on the walls throughout the store, where before they were placed about 3/4 height up the walls. The new outlets will make things so much easier....we'll be able to plug in the vacuum and other light sources, like our new lamps from the Mary Carol Collection. We've beefed up our selection of children's books, too.....Michelle and I spent a day at Beyda for Books and brought home a great selection we think folks will like. We think that books are an important and powerful tool for children (all people, really) and that a well told story, whether truth or fiction, can provide inspiration and empowerment. In addition to our always popular younger childrens' educational, we are concentrating on finding helpful workbooks for older kids, too. Above are two pics of our Kids' Korner. More later.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Renovation Story, Part III

Throughout the fall season, we all worked on painting fixtures, such as the gondolas and pegboard, in addition to planning out the addition of home & office decor. New merchandise started rollling in from our orders from the July gift show....and what a mess it was! We were just barely able to get out the Halloween things, but were really too late for it to show well and the same thing happened to Thanksgiving. Formally taking ownership of the store on October 1st, we discovered we were too busy to do it all so fast. Keeping that in mind, and aware that Christmas was quickly approaching, we made a snap descision to have a "small" open house in mid-December. Nothing like an immediate deadline to crystallize plans, eh? We called on some neighbors, Miller-Hawkins Event Planning, to help and Inger Miller pulled it all together for us. Through their wonderful services, we contracted costumed carollers to circulate through the crowd and served samples from our new gourmet lines, including Wind and Willow dips and spread mixes. The best thing that resulted from our collaboration was meeting Doyle Borden, principal of My Flower Guy, to help me pull together our displays. He and his fellow designer buddy, Ali, did such a lovely job....you see their work in the banner photo and in the smaller photos, above. Talk about meeting the nicest, most talented designers....it was truly kismet that Inger pointed us in their direction. It's not often that you contract someone that mirrors your own design sensibilities on the first try and I'm forever grateful to Doyle and Ali for being so selfless. These guys stayed for one marathon afternoon/evening decorating spree.....they even opened merchandise boxes and tagged it before placing.....I owe them a heartfelt thank you. His website and My Space addy are found in our links and I can't recommend him highly enough.....just take a gander at our Christmas photos and you'll see just how talented he is. Miller-Hawkins is also listed and if you're in the greater L.A. area, these folks can help you plan a fantastic event when you don't have the time to do it yourself. Enjoy the pics and stay tuned for more later!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Renovation Story, Part II

Just prior to our buying WFS, in early summer '07, the Corporation started construction on the walls between the stores. Oh my, what a mess that was! As I've said, there was no communication to the public about what was going on, so it was up to us and the employees of the store to explain it all. I'd like to take this oppportunity to thank all our employees and the other stores' employees for going above and beyond their job descriptions by acting as information conduits to the public.....it's through their repeated explanations that our customers were informed of anything at all. These pictures show how the store looked during construction.....first the walls went up, then our office and some storage space for the shipping business was built where the pass through to the pharmacy was, then we had the place painted and rearranged the floor plan. More later!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

First of all, let me apologize for deleting the wordy post about what Webser's Fine Stationers carries. I uploaded a few pics that I realized were not rotated correctly.....couldn't fix it so I ended up scratching the whole enchilada. Then I realized that I was jumping the gun a bit. I ran across some pictures I'd taken three or four years ago of the entire Webster's shopping complex and a couple of them show how our store looked prior to our renovation. I thought, why not continue the thread of the prior posts, and show what we've done with our store and how, in our humble opinions, improved it.

The picture on the right, above, shows Sherrie, a former manager, on the stairway between the Hallmark store and our Stationery store.....note that the passways between the stores is what our customers miss the most. Funny, though, that quite a few folks complained repeatedly about those stairs when they were there.....how difficult they were to get down and why didn't we get a ramp? The Corporation did end up putting a lift in at the stairway between the Stationery store and the Pharmacy a couple years ago....it ended up being sold when the walls between the stores went up last summer. The first picture is the old cash-wrap station in its old position in the middle of the store. Customer service (gift wrap, gift cards, utility payments) and the Post Office were located to the far right of the cash-wrap....they've since been relocated to the Pharmacy. The third picture, on top, shows the old Customer Service station along with part of the Stationery aisles.
Since I haven't figured this whole posting thing yet, I'm going to end this here and continue on tomorrow with more pictures of the store during construction (yes, we remained open throughout it all), winding up with a third post on how it looks today. Hope you're all having a warm and wonderful Valentines Day!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Our Vision For WFS and a Lament About Insensitive Customers

Since Scott and I bought WFS last October, we've made some significant improvements, as I mentioned in my last post. Not all of the improvements involve remodeling - much has changed on the sales floor, too. While we are trying to retain the integrity of the original stationery/office product mix, we're in the process of winnowing out items that are not specific to our niche. We found that there was a slew of merchandise that truly belonged in a hardware store on our shelves, contributing to a messy, disjointed look. We firmly believe that to be successful, we must narrow our focus to fine stationery, gifts and office products, but that's no reason why the store should look so utilitarian. This is partly why we added home and office decor, and we're very excited about this addition!

Previously to taking over WFS I dabbled in decorating, renovating our home and helping friends with theirs. I discovered that I love decorating and design, so adding these elements to our store allows me an outlet for creativity, just as building and design allows Scott an outlet for his (he designed and helped build our new office and storage space). Together I believe we're an awesome team. We love that our new look is fresh, can change with the seasons and adds interest to the store. Customers seem excited by it, too....there's no excuse why your office, whether at home or elsewhere, has to look like an end-cap display at Staples. Now you have the option to personalize it a bit with things that are functional and good looking. We've brought in artwork....some original oil paintings, some prints and giclees, adorable wall and door signs, faux florals and much more. We'd love for you to keep checking in with us, as we're receiving new things for Spring now.

We had a rough moment the day before yesterday....why do some customers have to be so unfeeling and rude? As I wrote in the first post, we understand how our long-standing customers feel about the changes the entire store has made and we certainly sympathize with them about Webster's  lack of communication....but that doesn't give license to be hurtful. An older woman walked through our store, apparently not noticing that I was down on my hands and knees on the sales floor, moving merchandise from one gondola to another. As she got nearer, I could her her making denouncements about the changes, loudly exclaiming to all in her path how much she hated it. One of my associates, Leilana, asked her if she remembered what the "old store" looked like, trying to point out the many improvements we'd made. This "lady" harummped and tartly said that it looked messy and crowded now. At that point, I popped my head up and asked her if she was serious. I really wish I had a picture of the way our store looked before we started the renovation....it was dark, cramped and as I've said, had a mish-mash of products jumbled around. We're trying to streamline our look and raise the bar toward higher-end merchandise.  There's no way we can compete with stores like WalMart, Staples, Target and Costco so why try? At any rate, I'm sure this particular woman and the myriad of other customers who've made it extremely clear to us that they don't like change, haven't really thought about how their comments make us feel when we've worked SO hard to bring the store to where it is now. I realize that there's a long way to go before we're satisfied, but we've made excellent progress so far.....I really wish they'd understand that we're trying to make it nice for them, not just ourselves. We couldn't control what Webster's Corporation did or how they did it, but we can be more communicative with our customers by using this blog. Thank you for allowing me to rant.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

A Little History and an Explanation

We're so excited about this blog! I have so many friends who've created some awesome blogs in the past few months (I'll link them just as soon as I figure this all out) and I've felt seriously out of the loop due to my lack of one.....now we can join the cadre.

Let me give you some background on our store. Back in 1923, Scott's grandad founded Webster's, a pharmacy located on North Lake Ave. in beautiful Altadena, CA. Back then, Henry Ford used to test his cars in the street in front of the store, a trolley system brought people to the area and Market Basket's first store was across the street. There's a lot of history packed into this neighborhood....along with some gorgeous examples of architecture, residential and commercial. Grandad (Harold "Frank" Webster) passed away when my father-in-law, William Webster, was 19 and Bill ran it from then on, taking time out only for military service. Though the years, Bill expanded and the little pharmacy became a complex of interconnected stores.....the pharmacy, a liquor store, a stationery and office products store, a Hallmark Gold Crown, a video rental store, a scrapbooking store and a UPS/FedEx authorized shipping outlet all had a home here. The video store couldn't take the competition from on-line outfits such as NetFlix, so that's gone now. The scrapbooking store was moved into the Hallmark store and shipping moved down to the Stationery store.....all in preparation for Bill's retirement. To facilitate this, two of the stores were sold to family members.....Scott and I were lucky enough to be able and willing to buy the Stationery store this past October.

Taking on an existing store, let alone one with this much history attached to it, is a daunting task. Making changes when people are used to it being a certain way is also an uphill battle, as we learn daily. Our challenge was this: create a "new" look without seriously changing the product mix and bring in new items that freshen and uplift the store's image. Early on this past summer, before we took ownership, the two stores at the south end of the complex....the Stationery and Hallmark stores....were separated by new walls between them. No formal explanation was given to the store's customers and for that we're heartily sorry. In retrospect, had the store let people know what was going on, there wouldn't have been such a resistance to the changes. By this blog, I hope to rectify this lack of communication and let everyone know what lies in store (ha ha) for Webster's Fine Stationers. Check back with us soon as we continue our story......