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The Art of the Written Thank You



Now that school is back in session I am reminded that the life of a parent is busier not just during the week, but all weekend long. The reason? BIRTHDAY PARTIES. The onslaught of invitations to these precious events has prompted me to write this post for a product that is not only near and dear to my heart, but one that I think parents (OK mostly moms) would benefit from immensely. I know I did. This is the story of the creation of “My First Thank You Notes.” These awesome kits are my personal attempt to keep the art of the written thank you note alive!

Growing up I was taught that you always wrote a thank you note for any gift. In fact, I remember not even calling my grandmother to thank her for the twenty bucks, but immediately sitting down to draft her a written thank you note. But Noni was ALWAYS sending us twenty-dollar bills, even on St. Patrick’s Day! So that meant I had to get creative. I remember developing a systematic and foolproof method for thank you note writing. I never actually thought that I would have a use for this until it came time for me to instill the “art of thank you note writing” in my own children, hence preserving the good manners my own mother tried so desperately to grace us with.


uma1So it all started when my daughter, Uma, was in Kindergarten and she was writing thank you notes for her birthday gifts. As any mom these days knows, one is pretty much commanded by politically correct standards to invite every student in the class to the party, so in this case that meant 16 thank you notes. . . all hand written. . . by a five-year old. Needless to say, that took some time, about 2 weeks from what I recall; roughly one per day. It also took some serious effort and determination from both my daughter AND me. My First Thank You NoteI began by drafting a fill-in style version of the thank you note, a cheat sheet so to speak, that my daughter could use. She copied the words on the card and when she got to the line left blank, we filled in the specific name, gift, etc. for each card.

The day that poor kid finished drafting her last thank you note, it sparked a whole plethora of emotions, but mostly pride in my daughter and motivation to make a product that would mean WE NEVER had to go through THAT again.  The next day, I began the conception our My First Thank You Note card kits. I loved the idea for the fill-in note cards only slightly fill in photomore than I loved the idea of doing my part in society to keep the art of the written thank you note alive for future generations!

BELOW ARE MY RULES FOR THANK YOU NOTE WRITING, each of which has been incorporated into these totally awesome modern thank you cards for kids. And even cooler (OK, not a word but just go with it), Uma got to put her own artwork and handwriting on the back of the box.  She thinks she’s famous now. And in my eyes, she’s right.

Most Sincerely,
Melissa Foster



2013 Louie Award Winners


It is with utter elation that we announce Elum was named winner of two awards at this year’s 25th Anniversary Louie Awards, the stationery industry’s highest honor. Our “Sweet Shoppe” couture wedding invitation suite was the winner in the Wedding Invitation category and our Pop-Out 3D Menorah Holiday card won in the Religious Celebrations category. To be acknowledged for all of the obsessing that transpired over these designs (and trust us, it was boatloads) has given us a motivating boost to continue doing what we love. We were especially humbled to have been selected since our incredibly talented peers submitted such inspiring and outstanding work in these same categories.

We also want to take this opportunity to express how important the National Stationery Show is to our company. We cherish the relationships we have formed with our retailers and custom dealers and we want to give a personal thank you to all of you who continue to support us year after year (thank you!). The National Stationery Show is not only a place to showcase our products, but it’s a forum to continue to build lasting partnerships with other fellow colleagues in the industry. We look forward to seeing you ALL again next year!
Louie Awards

1. Sweet Shoppe wedding invitation || Elum
2. left to right: Amy Kreft Green (Art Director, Elum) | Melissa Foster (Creative Director/President, Elum) | Victoria Ricci (Graphic Designer, Elum)
3. Sweet Shoppe wedding invitation, reception card || Elum
4. Pop-Out 3D Menorah Holiday Card || Elum

Elum – Winner of 3 How International Design Awards


We proudly announce that Elum is the winner of three How International Design Awards including an Outstanding Achievement Award in Invitation Design for Elum’s own art director, Amy Kreft Green’s stunning letterpress wedding invitation suite. For her October 2012 wedding to Frank Green, Amy designed her wedding stationery as a series of vintage inspired books. The Save the Date (which is Volume 1 in the book series) is a custom designed & illustrated letterpress mini-book which tucks safely into a tiny letterpress pocket with a die-cut window showcasing the cover that reads “And so our story begins.” The Invitation (Volume 2) is a larger more complex book incorporating layers of original textile patterns and hand-drawn florals (paying homage to the romantic lavender farm where the wedding took place) all deeply letterpressed into luxurious soft cotton paper. The Ceremony Program (Volume 3) and Menu (Volume 4) were also tailor-made and completed the unique book series. We fell in love with the little details Amy incorporated such as the “library card” inspired Reply shown below and bookmarks mimicking antique book spines that detailed the wedding weekend events for their guests.

Elum also received Merit Awards for our Sweet Shoppe letterpress wedding invitation suite, inspired by vintage candy packaging and old-fashioned ice cream parlors; and our Billboard letterpress wedding invitation suite which pairs clever wording and type pairings with fun vibrant colors in a playfully over-sized dimension (well pretty darn big actually) that we lovingly call “Jumbo.” We feel like proud parents over here and are so honored to receive this recognition.

How International Design Awards

Elum Couture Volume 3 Has Arrived


We are overwhelmed with excitement to reveal our 3rd volume of Elum Couture. Many changes have been made to our collection with this new release.  Arguably the most significant change we have made is to our pricing, which after 12 years in business, was re-evaluated and re-vamped, offering more competitive pricing for our couture line without cutting any corners and ensuring the integrity of Elum Couture.

Here are some of the other changes we have made that we think will make you smile…
•  Free Color Proofs
•  Reduced Price Points!
•  Shorter Turn Around Time
•  No Charge for Small Design Changes
•  Minimum Quantity Reduced to 25

New Products & Services
•  Metallic Dusting
•  Edge Painting
•  A library of Elum Signature Print & Pattern used to visually enhance each package
•  Letterpress Printed Envelope Liners
•  Letterpress Printed Invitation Backers
•  Suede and Cork duplexed invitation Backers
•  Letterpress Printed Gatefolds
•  High Capacity Box Mailers – for an impressive alternative to a standard envelope!
•  New Elum exclusive Quilted Clutch Carriers
•  New ink colors and embellishments in line with current & upcoming trends.

Elum CoutureGet a Closer Look at the Elum Couture V3 Album!
Letterpress Wedding Invitations

1. Tide
2. Mélange
3. Parfume
4. Uptown
5. Versailles
6. Fifth Avenue
7. Billboard
8. Inkwell
9. Darjeeling
10. Sweet Shoppe
11. Alchemy
12. Reserve

HOW International Merit Winner


Sound the trumpets! We are so excited to announce that our Sweet Shoppe and Billboard invitation suites from our brand new Elum Couture Volume 3 album are 2012 HOW International Merit Winners! We are honored to receive this recognition and to kick off the 2013 wedding season on such a high note. Happy New Year!

How International Merit

Creative Craft: Woodgrain Gift Wrap Vase


We were delighted to see our Woodgrain gift wrap given a whole new life in the November issue of Better Homes and Garden magazine. A vase wrapped in our Woodgrain gift wrap creates the perfect trunk for a “growing” bouquet. Think of all the possibilities for fall or winter weddings! How amazing would it be to fill the head table with faux bois vases for the bridesmaids to preserve their bouquets during the reception?! If you’ve discovered new uses for our gift wrap or other products, please share them with us, we love to hear from our fabulous and creative customers! Happy Holidays!
(shout out to the Little House in the City blog for also posting about this fun and innovative craft project)

Woodgrain Gift Wrap, 2/pk $7.49 each, The Container Store

Woodgrain Gift Wrap

Woodgrain Gift Wrap


Chunky Monkey Birthday Cake


We love seeing our designs in action, and seeing a Chunky Monkey inspired birthday cake was a blast! We recently worked with a client to craft an invitation for her little girl’s first birthday. We based the design on our Chunky Monkey letterpress birth announcement, a design featuring cute and colorful illustrations perfect for a playful first birthday!

The client loved the Chunky Monkey design so much that she sent a picture of it to local cake maker Jean Schapowal to see if she could bring the invitation design to life in the form of a cake!  You can see from the picture that this woman didn’t miss a beat.  She did an amazing job.  Not only was the cake absolutely beautiful but it tasted delicious.  The little added touch was to use a banana pudding filling.  Their little monkey just loved it!

Birthday Cake

Here is the Chunky Monkey letterpress birth announcement and social note design that it was all inspired from:

Chunky Monkey Birth Announcement

Chunky Monkey Playdate Card

Our cute and playful Chunky Monkey Birth Announcements, Social Notes, and Playdate cards are also available in a Corresponding design for boys. You can see this and all our other Elum Baby designs Here on our website!

Our irresistible letterpress birth announcements are printed with hand mixed soy based inks on luxuriously soft pure cotton rag paper. With your choice of imprint ink colors, these superbly designed modern letterpress birth announcements also come offered with coordinating social notes for sending a hand written note of thanks and our cute & compact matching play date cards. Our wildly adorable Chunky Monkey birth announcements can be customized to fit your personal color & font specifications, and we can even modify the text to make the most spectacular birthday party invitations or baby shower invitations your friends have ever seen.