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A top Hollywood stationer’s golden rules for expressing your gratitude this season.
Written By Christine Whitney
In the age of paperless cards, email one-liners, and even Insta-thanks, there’s nothing quite like a handwritten note, particularly when it comes time to express thanks for that holiday bonus, beauty set, or custom lingerie, (depending on the gifter). To that end, The Violet Files enlisted stationer Wanda Wen of Soolip, who tends to the paper needs of Hollywood insiders such as Stevie Nicks and Suri Cruise (may we all aspire to be as discerning), to share tips on the art of the elegant thank-you.
“Number one: Get personal stationery,” Wen advises. “Just like you have specific clothing or makeup wardrobes for different occasions, you should have options for stationery. It’s always appropriate to have two or even three styles. Everyone should have something with a clean, business look and your name, plus something more personal that shows your fun side. [Stevie Nicks’] is very unique—handmade paper, deckled edges, an unusually shaped envelope”—although the layperson could get a personal feel from any of those elements by itself.

If you have only one set, something professional can still make an elegant thank-you, just as long as it’s not strictly business. “If it says ‘From the desk of…’ [pulls out Mark Wahlberg’s cards], it’s a little bit too business-y for a thank-you,” says Wen.
Take note of the power of the pen. “Never use a ballpoint, which lowers the tone. I would always seek out a rollerball. Of course, it would be beautiful to have dipping ink and a pen, but a rollerball is just fine. Choose a color that coordinates with your stationery. Black is a classic, but colored ink can be fun, and it brings joie de vivre to your correspondence. Royal purple or grassy green is always nice, although I’d stay away from red unless you’re a person that always wears red lipstick and it’s your signature. And penmanship is key.”
Wen advises that the target length for a thank-you note should be between three and five sentences—nothing less. Always make it specific or personal. “If someone sent me a beautiful cerulean blue vase full of flowers, I’d write something like, ‘Dear John, thank you for the beautiful vase of flowers. It sits here brightening my room; the blue reminds me of the colors that I saw in Italy when I went traveling last month…’”
No matter whom you’re addressing—boss, mother-in-law, or best girlfriend—always use “Dear.” Wen says, “There is no one I know who would not want to be addressed that way. Everyone wants to be dear!” When signing off, Wen insists that “Sincerely” is verboten. (She ranks it on the level of the email thank-you.) “I would use ‘Love’ if you’re close, ‘Lots of love’ if it’s casual, and ‘Warmly’ or ‘All my best’ if the relationship is not close,” she says.
“Before we had email, sending a thank-you note within two weeks would have been appropriate,” Wen says. “But since email is instantaneous, we’ve had to up the bar—I would be sure to send that note within three days.”

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