I was thrilled to have Gregg L. Parker from the Madison Spirit interview me for a feature in their paper back in September 2009. Sadly, it has since been removed from their online archives so I am re-publishing it here so that those that may wish to read it. Thanks!!
Liv Wilson promotes letter-writing magic
Custom stationery business emphasizes the personal touch
"In the past 13 years, Liv Wilson has worked as a bookseller, florist, accountant and paralegal. She has been the happiest the past three years as a graphic artist and stay-at-home-and-work mom.
Wilson runs Belle Announcements, an Internet based and locally owned business for custom stationery with Southern charm.
Wilson wanted her company name "to represent both my Southern heritage and the main product - announcing an important event in a client's life from birth announcements to party invitations."
She believes that postal mail is quickly becoming lost in the information overload era of Twitter and Facebook. "Letter writing is the solution to the electronic clutter in our lives."
While e-mail messages and phone calls are good, she said, "Nothing beats receiving a thank-you message written on beautifully personalized stationery. It gives me joy to design and print a small bit of magic."
Belle Announcements designs and prints birth announcements, party invitations, stationery, Christmas cards and other items. The products are printed on 110-pound quality card stock in flour paper textures - glossy, linen, pearl and an eco-friendly recycled.
But Belle Announcements' trademark, Wilson said, is superior customer service.
At her first job with B. Dalton Booksellers, her boss taught her all about customer service. The store had one-third wood flooring at the entrance, the rest carpet. "If a customer reached the carpet without a greeting from a bookseller, we were fired."
Wilson said she is usually disappointed with customer service that has "taken a back seat to automation and a "serve the masses" priority."
Wilson encourages special requests and enjoys the creativity of designing new cards. "It makes my day," she said.
She recently responded to a client who wanted an invitation for her daughter's painting party. Wilson's online gallery didn't include the party theme, so she designed a card "with an adorable blond sweetie with big blue eyes painting on a vibrant pink canvas."
"We gave her a unique, quality product with a customer service that reflected Southern charm and manners and prompt delivery."
Wilson holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Alabama. Her husband, Brent Wilson, works as an engineer for t he U.S. Army and has loyally supported her endeavors.
"We joke that Brent is my "delivery boy" because he handles all local business orders," she said.
The Wilsons have two daughters. Abby, who's 3 years old, wants to become an astronaut. Five-mon-old Holly smiles and laughs all day. The couple moved here about three years ago. "We didn't want to raise our child on the coast. We wanted a city more family-driven."