Tell us what you do.
MF – I do the daily accounting tasks associated with a small business, order product and assist in retail store sales and custom orders.
JF- I’m responsible for relationship management for all our web application customers, including William Arthur, Elum, Luscious Verde, and others.
Tell us about the Stationery Web Development services you offer. How did that branch of the business develop?
JF - We have an E-Commerce stationery platform for consumers and an back-office dealer order system – designed for stationery manufacturers. Both leverage TWIO Stationery Preview Application technology. The best example can be seen at www.williamarthur.com. This segment of our business grew out of TWIO’s own direct-to-consumer e-commerce operation. Over time, we made the business decision to focus on development, implementation, managing, and marketing websites for stationery manufacturers and to leave the direct selling to consumers to our retail operation.
What are the positives and negatives of a family owned business?
MF- Positive: You can talk about work at all hours of the day! Negative: You can talk about work at all hours of the day!
JF- I work with both my wife and my mother on a daily basis … enough said …
Who has taught you the most about the stationery industry?
MF – Toni Footer, my mother-in-law, has been in the stationery business for almost 30 years. She taught me the most about custom stationery orders. And the customers continue to teach me about the stationery business every day.
JF- there have been a few key mentors – Toni Footer – gave me the perspective on the business. Lauren Brady – TWIO’s manager – for showing me how passionate people are about paper and what it represents as art. And a few clients who will remain nameless, but shared our vision and gave us the opportunity to develop our business in new and exciting ways.
What does your ideal version of your company look like?
MF- One that makes money consistently so there is never any stress!
JF – Repeat and happy customers. Great, long-term staff.
What would you change about the stationery industry?
MF- No more e-vites. It’s not the competition, it’s that they get lost in the swirl of e-mail. They make the event seem less important then a “real” invitation.
JF – Don’t be afraid of change. Embrace it. Be proactive. The good old days are just that … in the past.
Which products can you always rely to make an easy sale?
MF- Funny greeting cards and well designed, moderately priced, imprintable invitations.
What product (or products) do customers ask for but you can never seem to find?
MF- Great, fun, interesting, moderately priced pens. We have a few lines, but we need more!