While I was in New York last week I had the opportunity to meet with the new owner of Mrs. John L. Strong, Allan Li. Allan and his wife, Jacqueline Kotts purchased the stationery company in 2009. Yes, I was in heaven.  You know I am a big believer in the handwritten note.  I have had a strong affinity for stationery for years.

The stationery company was founded in 1929.  They are an American luxury company and manufacture custom stationery.  Mrs. John L. Strong has created stationery for seven presidential families, celebreties and The Duke of Windsor and Wallis Simpson, the Duchess of Windsor.  In fact, I was able to see and touch the dies that created the stationery for Wallis Simpson.

stationery luxury etiquette

Mrs John L Strong has a boutique at 699 Madison Avenue.  Actually Allan refers to it as the  “jewel box”. It is tiny and charming.  The Chinoiserie secretary was built specifically for the space.

Mrs. John L. Strong how to write a thank you note

Take a look at the floors. The boutique is exquisite and a must see the next time you are in New York.

Mrs. John L. Strong boutique

It sells the “ready to write” – boxed stationery and other items such as the desk calendar sets which is one of their most popular items.

etiquette hand written note

If you want to spend more time and design you own stationery, then head up to the 5th floor to the showroom.  The staff will assist you in creating custom dies.  All of the stationery is on what is called “Vanilla Strong”. This is the beautiful cream paper on which your design is created. Allan shared with me the “bruising” which is formed when custom papers are hand engraved.

Stationery Luxury handwritten thank you note

Mrs. John L. Strong


Needless to say this was an experience I will treasure.  The next time you are in New York stop in and take a look at a tradition than needs to be marveled at and treasured.  We cannot let the custom of sending a handwritten note go by the wayside.


699 Madison Avenue

New York, New York  10065

(212) 838-3775


Monday – Saturday:  10am to 6pm

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