In the Cards – Lisa Wyett of Mark Harris Stationers knows how to spread the word the right way

Career, Features, Style


 

By Matt Robinson

 

Though you may still be digging out from the latest snowstorm, it is not too soon to be thinking about all the warm-weather events that are sure to come. From weddings and baby showers to cocktail parties and other fetes and festivities, the party season will soon be upon us.

That is why it is so important to know a good stationer; for even in this age of evite, there is still nothing like a hand-picked, hand-made, hand-signed piece of paper to express your wishes and show off your style and creativity.

For decades, Mark Harris Stationers (www.markharrisstationers.com) has been heralding the hottest happenings in Boston and beyond. Though it has been among the best-known and most beloved stationery stores in the region for many years, the firm has recently undergone a major image upgrade, thanks to Newton native Lisa Wyett.

With her degree in art history and years of experience in the fashion industry, Wyett has a keen eye for the aesthetic and a strong sense of what is appropriate for each and every occasion.

“I have worked in retail my entire adult life,” Wyett recalls. “After graduating from Brown, I went through the Bloomingdale’s buyer training program.” While at “Bloomie’s,” Wyett had the honor of working with the retail giant’s legendary fashion director Kal Ruttenstein. “I learned a tremendous amount from him,” she says, always eager to give credit where it is due. After Bloomingdales, Wyett moved on to help out at Hermes, assembling their collections for retail stores across the country. At both of these companies, Wyett was able to hone her eye for fine work, detail and her dedication to the customer experience, all attributes which come to the fore soon after clients stop by her Newton office.

After “taking a break” from the retail world to raise her children, Wyett found herself missing the joy she found helping people put together the perfect ensemble and designing their own style. “I had wanted to find my way back to retail,” she explains, noting that she first became a part owner of Mark Harris in 2008 before taking full control in January of 2012. Since then, Wyett has brought the already successful shop to new heights, defying digital detractors with her dedication and eye for detail.

“I love everything about stationery,” Wyett says, “and I care deeply for my clients.”

As a mother of four, Wyett has had the blessed opportunity to experience a number of the special events that she helps her customers plan for each day – from birth announcements and birthday parties to Bar Mitzvahs (Wyett speaks Hebrew) and bridal showers. With a catalog of brands that ranges from Bella Figura and Crane & Co. to Julie Holcomb and Vera Wang (as well as a number of exclusive independent offerings that no other stationer or desktop can offer), Wyett treats every invitation as if it were for her own family and makes sure that she presents each client with just the right choices so they can pick their party preps quickly and confidently.

“We offer an extremely diverse selection of custom invitations,” she says, “everything from fun and modern to extremely elegant and traditional. We truly have something for everyone!”

And while Wyett herself may lose sleep thinking about how to make every invitation the best it can be, her customers praise her for the efficiency and ease with which she handles every order (and reorder).

“A great invitation helps set the perfect tone for your event,” Wyett suggests, “and we are as discerning as you are when it comes to getting everything just right.”

In addition to a wide but carefully curated collection of cards, Wyett’s shop also offers customized gifts that can all be further personalized with printing, engraving, thermography and letterpress technologies. She even has close ties with a variety of professional calligraphers who can add that extra-personal touch. It is this level of personal service and attention that keeps Wyett’s clients coming back and telling their friends and families, many of whom become Wyett’s clients and friends as well.

So even though many may be tempted to go the online route or to overlook the power of a personal invitation, thank you note or other paper product, Wyett has been able to keep Mark Harris successful and to find new customers while maintaining close relationships with older ones.

“What sets us apart is the level of personal service we offer,” Wyett suggests. “We are not a chain store-we work very closely with every client.  We really get to know and understand our clients.”
From initial design to appropriate wording and even rules of etiquette, Wyett is able to advise clients in ways that no online invitation system can. So even as many elements of human relations continue to go the way of the Dodo, Wyett is able to not only maintain but strengthen ties between people and to help them to celebrate the many ways in which they are all part of one big party.

“I love what I do,” Wyett says, “because I enjoy connecting with people and being a part of a happy occasion in their life.”

 

 

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