Say "Thank You" In Style: A Local Stationery Designer Shows Us How

Come holiday time, we’re all about playing dress-up: sparkles and rhinestones and glitter, oh my! But thanks to one uber-crafty local lady, we’ve also got your guide to being well-addressed. We all know the type — the got-it-together girl with adorable stationery and insane calligraphy skills who sends greeting cards on time and never forgets a thank-you note. If you're not a natural with expressing gratitude on paper, don’t fret — Claudia Smith, the stationery designer behind Bethesda-based company Fig. 2, answered our questions on how to pick the perfect card and, yes, what to write in it — just in time for the holidays. And we say: You're welcome.
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Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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How do you pick the perfect holiday card?
"Picking a card, holiday or not, should be a reflection of the giver and the receiver. In a way, it is just as hard as deciding what to wear! There are so many options, but you know you always look best in what you feel comfortable wearing. So if a card makes you happy and you know the recipient will have the same feeling, then it's a winner!"


Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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Some of us are challenged when it comes to words. What's the perfect thing to write in a greeting card this time of year?
"As always, write from the heart. At Fig. 2, we are all about being fun and festive, so be merry but still be yourself — don't force it. Our Merci stripes note cards are perfect for Thanksgiving. Lay one at each place setting at the dinner table and have everyone write out what they are most thankful for."


Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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"Our foil stamped note sets are perfect for holiday! Use Confetti Cheers to write invitations to a New Years Eve party."


Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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How did you come up with your tagline, Correspondence for the Well Addressed?
"I knew Fig. 2 wasn't for the everyday consumer. It's really for people who appreciate design and know that stationery can be very personal and special. I love clothes and accessories, and in a way, I think I've branded Fig. 2 to match my personality, including my closet. It's fun and colorful! I certainly take cues from fashion when coming up with color palettes and patterns. Getting dressed is like picking a card — you want it to be a reflection of you!"


Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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When should you send greeting cards and thank-you notes?
"When it comes to thank-you notes, it's never too late. If someone really goes out of their way to do something special, like throws you a party, helps you move, or hosts you at their home for a few days, the sooner the better. You don't want to make the person feel they are an afterthought. If it's thanking someone for a wedding or baby gift, you'll probably have a lot of notes to write. Get someone to help you! Write the notes, and have a friend (ahem, or husband) to address and stamp the envelopes."


Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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What's it like to be a stationery designer in the D.C. area?
"It's great — there aren't a ton of us, and though we are a growing community, I love that everyone has a different style so there is something here for everyone. When people ask me what I do for a living and I say I'm a stationer, most of the time I get blank looks, so I say I am a graphic designer who specializes in stationery. But neither title sounds fun, so I my first business card read "Color Connoisseur, Paper Aficionado, and Type Enthusiast."


Photo: Courtesy of Fig. 2
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