MEET THE BRAND: DEAR ANNABELLE
Our collections are filled with beautiful products from niche brands, each with their own unique story. This week, we're introducing you to the fabulous Marcie Pantzer, the woman behind our favorite luxury stationery sets: Dear Annabelle.
Below, Marcie shares where she finds inspiration, how she spends her time outside of work, and why she thinks handwritten notes are still important in the digital age.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE YOU LAUNCHED DEAR ANNABELLE?
After college, I worked briefly at Ralph Lauren and then had a stint at Town & Country magazine as a jewelry and accessories editor. After I had my first child, Annabelle (yes, our company's namesake!), I took a hiatus from working - though anyone who has been a parent knows that it's absolutely a job. I started Dear Annabelle 12 years later.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO CREATE LUXURY STATIONERY?
I have always adored stationery and have spent much of my life amassing a collection from some of my favorite designers: Bernard Maisner, The Printery, Cheree Berry, Happy Menocal, and Stephanie Fishwick, to name a few. Because of my borderline obsession with typography, paper, and correspondence in general, creating my own line had always been in the back of my mind, so when the vision crystallized, I knew I had to take the entrepreneurial leap. I knew I wanted to make boxed sets that combined effortless elegance with a dash of wit and humor, and this combination is what has become the Dear Annabelle signature and has continued to set us apart.
WHERE DO YOU FIND INSPIRATION FOR THE CHEEKY, ADORABLE MOTIFS ON DEAR ANNABELLE'S DESIGNS?
Inspiration is, quite literally, everywhere! I always have my eyes peeled for design ideas, funny sayings, and new trends as I move through my life, whether I'm traveling, spending time with my kids, flipping through magazines (yes, I still read them), visiting an art museum, or just walking around New York City. I also get great ideas from my friends - my dear friend Melissa begged me to make tennis notecards, which is how our Match Point set was born.
WHAT IS A TYPICAL DAY LIKE FOR YOU?
I'm a major morning person and I usually pop out of bed at around 5:30am (I know, I know). I love beginning the day with movement, so I often head straight to Tracy Anderson for a dance and/or mat class. I then work at my office in Midtown for the rest of the day and try to get home by 6pm for dinner with my husband and kids. A couple days a week, I like to fit in something cultural to take advantage of all that New York City has to offer - this could be anything from dipping into a museum to trying a new restaurant to seeing a theater or music show. I take a bi-weekly art class that tours art exhibits in Chelsea and the Lower East Side, as well as a weekly bridge lesson with a group of girlfriends. I also put a lot of energy into my philanthropic efforts, primarily for Memorial Sloan Kettering and the pediatrics department at New York Presbyterian Hospital.
I KNOW THIS IS A HARD ONE! WHAT HAS BEEN YOUR VERY FAVORITE DEAR ANNABELLE SET OR DESIGN SERIES?
My very favorite Dear Annabelle design is the Naughty Notecards Set. I am known to have a total potty mouth and I can't help but love the irreverent nature of the cards. I think that the juxtaposition between the crass words and the beautiful gold engraving on the thick card is unexpected and fabulous.
IN THE DIGITAL AGE WHERE IT'S EASY TO SEND OFF A QUICK TEXT OR EMAIL, WHY DO YOU THINK HANDWRITTEN NOTES ARE STILL IMPORTANT?
Handwritten notes take communication to a more elevated, thoughtful place. It shows that you put the effort in to pick a special piece of paper, to pen a personal note, and to pop it in the mail. These notes can be cherished, saved, and looked back on in a way that texts or DMs can't. Although there are certainly times when texting is the perfect way to dash off a note (and the more ridiculous emojis, the better).
WHAT ITEM FROM TRULY GIFTED WOULD YOU LIKE TO GIVE AS A GIFT? WHAT ITEM WOULD YOU LIKE TO RECEIVE AS A GIFT?
It is so hard to pick from your fabulously chic edit, but if I were forced to choose, I'd go with a Jane Win Zodiac necklace (and not just because I know Jane personally and love her). The Zodiac necklaces are the perfect layering piece and make such a thoughtful present, as it shows you thought specifically about the giftee's sign. In terms of what I would want to receive, I'd be giddy to get a gilded Andy Warhol coffee table book, which would make the perfect addition to my art book collection. I also love the Hazy Mae vases. Hopefully my husband is reading this!
HOW DO YOU LIKE TO SPEND YOUR TIME OUTSIDE OF WORK?
Aside from my business, I focus on the big three: traveling, entertaining, and spending time with my family. I am always plotting new vacations to take with my husband and kids - I can get a little obsessed with discovering all the best places to stay, eat, and explore. I also spend loads of time planning future dinner parties and cocktails at my apartment in New York City. Oh, and I'm perpetually buying, arranging, and thinking about flowers.
WHAT IS SOMETHING PEOPLE WOULD NEVER GUESS ABOUT YOU?
I was an economics major at Duke.