Bonnie Marcus is the face and the force behind the Bonnie Marcus Collection. Her diverse range of stationery and gift products fill the shelves of venues from exclusive boutiques to, well, Target, but to me, she will always be just Bonnie, someone I feel I’ve known forever and a dear friend.
She is the only person who, when sending me editorial submissions, addresses me as “super-mommy.” At National Stationery Show (NSS) her booth space is always in the same special spot, one actually created just for her because she launched her company late into her first pregnancy — and by showtime she had a baby to nurse as well as stationery to sell.
Every year her husband Andrew, a dentist, clears his schedule for the duration of NSS to help her out, and you can find him in her booth writing orders on a clipboard. They are the proud parents to three adorable small boys, which is somewhat ironic since Bonnie’s line is quintessentially girly — she told me when I profiled her for Stationery Trends back in 2010 that she suspected “pink ink ran through her veins.”
Here’s some of her most recent crew of fashionistas, an exclusive group comprised of both brides-to-be and expectant moms, plus an invitation featuring the show closet of my dreams. You can see & shop them all here.
I’ve always loved these blond and brunette brides, inspired by Kate Middleton but timelessly classic and chic.
With all the projects she’s got going on, Bonnie was kind enough to take the time to be interviewed about her life & latest projects.
1. SS: How did you get into this crazy business?
BM: I have always been passionate about paper and party planning! From designing my own Bat Mitzvah and Sweet 16 invitations growing up, to working for Diane Von Furstenberg after college and planning her son’s wedding, party planning has always been a very important part of my life! I decided to start my own line of invitations when I became the Director of Special Events at the 92nd Street Y, a major cultural center in New York City. My job entailed planning special events for all of the celebrities, politicians and authors speaking at the concert hall each night. I found that my biggest challenge was always the invitations! At that time (15 years ago) most of the invitations available were very traditional, and my clients were looking for high-fashion, glamour and glitter, so I designed the invitations for each event.
When I was seven months pregnant with my first child, my invitations were featured in New York Magazine as a “Best Bet” and the excitement hasn’t stopped since! Ten years, 3 children, and over 3000 designs later, I love the industry even more each day.
2. SS: Please fill us in on your new licenses and product lines.
BM: We have so many fun and exciting new projects in the works! From couture chocolate bars to chic iPhone covers (with sparkle, of course), it’s always wonderfully exciting to see how our best-selling invitation designs translate onto products beyond the world of paper.We just signed a clothing deal, which is very exciting for me, since my background is in the world of fashion. Our new line of pretty patterned pajamas are launching for Mother’s Day 2014 and we have a line of clothing for Destination Maternity that will be in the stores for holiday.
We also have a wonderful collection of books from Parragon Publishing – 2 cookbooks: “Cupcakes and Cocktails” and “Guilt-Free Desserts” as well as a fashionable and VERY functional “Busy Mom Planner” coming out in January. In addition, we have a fun collection of Pretty Patterned Puzzle Books with titles like “Stylish Sudoku” and “Classy Crossword Puzzles” that are perfect little gifts for the holidays, as well as throughout the year!
I feel truly blessed to have such wonderful partners who are so supportive of moms trying to do it all!
3. SS: What letter, card or invitation first comes to mind as the best you’ve ever received?
BM: I received one of my own thank you notes from Cindy Crawford with a doodle on face of the girl on the cover, and a note on the inside saying “Love your collection, but your girl is missing a beauty mark.” Of course, we then sent her lots of custom designed stationery, each with a girl having a “Cindy Crawford beauty mark.”
4. SS: What are your three favorite paper lines aside from your own?
BM: We design a collection of greeting cards for American Greetings, and after visiting their company a number of times and seeing how seamless their operations are and how knowledgeable and passionate about the industry all of the company’s employees are, they are definitely my new “go to” for all of my greeting cards, if I am not sending out my own. 🙂 I truly admire how their company is run.
I also love everything Stacy Claire Boyd. When I worked in NYC and helped all of the moms-to-be with their birth announcements, Stacy Claire Boyd was always the “must have” brand. It’s truly inspiring to see such longevity with a company. In the same respect, Anna Griffin has always been an inspiration of mine as well, and I love seeing all that she has been able to accomplish with her collection. As a woman entrepreneur, I am always inspired by other women who are able to accomplish amazing things, both personally and professionally.
5. SS: Is there anything you do personally to keep letter-writing, card-sending and invitation using alive?
BM: I LOVE buying cards, writing cards, sending cards and receiving cards! I am a huge proponent of the industry and try to incorporate card & letter-writing into everything that I do. Nothing is more special and meaningful than receiving a beautiful hand-written card in the mail. Also, we’ve taught our three children the importance of thank you note writing and letter writing. What a wonderful gift that we could all pass down to our children!