The stationery and invitation business requires a passion for inviting and writing, a love of paper, and a devotion to customer relationships. The industry has changed dramatically over the years, first with desk-top printers which put the printing of paper in the hands of the writer or inviter. The digital printing revolution came next, allowing photos and multi-colored graphics to be printed with ease. Lastly, and most unkindly, the e-vite craze has threatened the industry like no other varmint. Is there any doubt where I stand on this subject? This will not be a we report, you decide post.
Once Upon an Invitation
One Thing at a Time, a stationery and invitation retailer in RVA, began as a passion for inviting and writing by Ann Parker Gottwald. Back in the mid- to late-nineties, it was housed in a small storefront on Libbie Avenue. With venerable vendors like Sweet Pea, William Arthur, Cross-My-Heart and Lallie, the business prospered. After One Thing at a Time moved to Douglasdale Road behind Windsor Farms, I came to work as a part-time employee. Always an inviter and writer, I was a kid in a candy store. I approached Ann Parker about becoming a business partner and later assumed day-to-day responsibility for the shop. We adored our customers and vendors.
But life has a way of moving along, and it came time for us to sell the business. In came Sara Parsons (coincidentally Becky Jesse‘s daughter), who moved One Thing at a Time to The Shops at 5807 where she served our customers. Soon she found another creative outlet for her talents and recently sold the business to Tunstall Bagley Willis and Jenna Moon. That’s where we pick up today.
New Ownership, New Location
One Thing at a Time is housed inside the Tinker’s shop at 2409 Westwood Avenue. Tunstall and Jenna are available at the shop from 10-2 Monday to Friday and also by appointment. They use the before 10 and after 2 time slots wisely to bring the business to their customers. Such flexibility allows them to meet with corporate employees, stay-at-home mothers and others who are challenged to leave their premises during the 10-2 slot. That attention to customer service cannot be matched by a website.
As mentioned earlier, the industry continues to change. One of my favorite vendors, Lallie, recently closed its doors, and Crane purchased William Arthur, but it is alive and thriving.
Tunstall and Jenna are undeterred by such developments and continue to promote tried-and-true lines like Pic Me and Stacy Claire Boyd by Printswell, Sweet Pea, Boatman Geller, Picture Perfect, Dabney Lee,
One Thing At A Time will THINK PINK
One Thing At A Time is a participating vendor at our THINK PINK breast cancer fundraiser on Friday evening, October 25. Join us and you can browse their books and pick up a few hostess gifts for the holidays. We are proud to include them and hope you will enjoy getting to know the next generation of One Thing At A Time.
October 8, 2013