THIS SCREEN IS TOO SMALL FOR THE PERSONALIZATION TOOLS ON OUR WEBSITE. FEEL FREE TO BROWSE OUR STORE, BUT FOR THE BEST EXPERIENCE, USE A DESKTOP OR NOTEBOOK COMPUTER TO PERSONALIZE YOUR ITEM.

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From the Desk of Dixie

In the Studio with Holly Hollon

When Dixie's owner, Jennifer Hunt, first inquired with Holly Hollon in late 2014 to design her Christmas card and Holly was unavailable, Jennifer was inspired to create Dixie Design Collective. She approached Holly to help her with branding and card designs, but Holly's role in Dixie soon became Creative Director, helping Jennifer with selecting artists and building a design team to execute Dixie's beautiful collections of stationery. Holly also contributes her own calligraphy and artwork to Dixie's card designs. 

Holly has invited us inside her studio through the lens of Mary Margaret Smith. Scroll down to see her color filled space and read more about her creative process.

When do you work on your artwork? I am naturally a night owl, I love the creative juices that flow at 2 o’clock in the morning, but now being a mother of two little ones, I have learned to be creative when the babysitter arrives. That has really taken some discipline in my work habits to just get to work when I have the time and not necessarily when I "feel" creative. I have become a lot more efficient at my work now being more limited in time, but interesting enough, these past two years I have created some of my best work, even though more limited on time.

Do you have a particular morning [or nightly] routine you follow to get ready to work? Music is key to working. When I am not feeling creative or in the mood to work, if I can get some music going and an iced coffee drink, that jives me to work. Some of my favorites are Louis Armstrong, Dustin O’Halloran, Andrew Bird and For King and Country.

What is your favorite part of your studio space? The light!!! The light in my studio is amazing and is so key to creativity! I also love to have art by art friends in my environment. I recently added fellow Dixie artist, Willa Heart's “Kitty and the Cats” print above my desk and I just love it.

Where do you turn when you need to be creatively refreshed? Outings really creatively refresh me. When I am in a rut with a project, getting out of the house and not looking at the house really help! I love a trip to Continental Bakery for iced tea and a macaron or visiting an antique shop for some refreshment.

Favorite Instagram account for artistic inspiration? I love following The Frances Flair (@ragancain). She takes fantastic, dreamy trips and it is so fun to travel the world through her Instagram account. I also just got the opportunity to work with her and create a crest for her account. A few other favorite are @mrsalice, @willaheart, @santambroeus, @tulipinadesign, @theglampad, @sommersruthie, @matchbookdiaries and @twissmanor.

Favorite Dixie product you have created? Koi Fish and Foo Dogs are some of my favorites! I love anything chinoiserie. My favorite wedding suite is Naples, I just love birds and all things coastal. I have some mid century modern inspired designs coming out this Holiday season that I am pretty excited about too!

Dixie's Guide for Your Handwritten Thank You Notes

With the holiday season now behind us, thank you note obligations can seem daunting. But our Southern mothers raised us to know that this form of etiquette was never to be overlooked. We were taught to always acknowledge our thanks in a written form.

Our mothers’ opinion on this matter was not unfounded. The queen of etiquette herself also mandates the handwritten note: According to The Emily Post Institute, the “the handwritten thank-you note speaks volumes simply as a medium and sends the message that you care enough to invest yourself personally in acknowledging another.”

So if thank you notes are still lingering on your January to-do list, please allow us to share a few of our guaranteed-to-make-them-smile thank you note tips... 

  • Designate a Special Spot - Create a cozy nook in your home specifically devoted to your note writing. Our Creative Director, Holly Hollon’s beautiful secretary desk (pictured above) has inspired us to do this very thing:

Last Christmas my mother gave me a secretary. I have an office in my home, but it is full to the brim with art supplies and my work, my address list and stationery would easily get lost in there and delay in me writing thank you notes. I filled the secretary in my living room with my stationery and all the things needed to write a note. This helped me in having a designated spot to pen notes promptly, consider a special place in your home to store your stationery, a nice pen and stamps.

  • Thoughtfully Choose Your Stationery - While we certainly have a plethora of lovely personalized options available here, the possibilities are endless! Have fun with your notes, so that they reflect your personality in the design. Also, we have learned so much from Holly Holden’s take on the traditional approach to thank you notes from her tutorial here. Fun fact... Holly designates the fold-over stationery card, rather than the the flat note card, as the most formal note.
  • Date It - Etiquette Expert Lee Cordone, of DoSayGive, says to always include this when you are writing notes you think someone may keep. 
  • Greeting - This may seem completely obvious, but check and re-check the spelling of your recipient’s name. You do not want a misspelling to be their first impression of your note!
  • A First Line Challenge - Holly Holden, in the same video mentioned above, challenges thank you note writers to never begin the first sentence with the word “I.” She says it presumes you are more important than the person to whom you are writing. So we encourage you go beyond the formulaic “thank you so much for xyz” to creatively express how much the gift meant to you and why. We always love to read how our gift is being used in thank you notes we receive.
  • Make Your Recipient Smile - We borrowed this advice from the talented Kalee Baker of Kalee Baker Events. She is a firm believer in the power of a well-written thank you note: "Each day is a gift, so always include a memory or leave them with a kind, positive thought."
  • In Closing - Depending on the depth of your relationship with your recipient, “Sincerely” is always a safe option, but we also love to use “Best” or “With Love.”
  • Late? - Don’t Fret! - We are of the mindset that a late thank you note is always much better than no note at all! 

Still overwhelmed by the long list of thank you notes that may even include note writing for your children and your husband? We love this idea mentioned on The Emily Post Institute of getting your entire family involved in the thank you note process:

The smallest (ages 4-6) drew pictures of their gifts, and Mom and Dad added dictated captions and thank you’s. The 7-8 year-olds wrote one or two sentences, practicing new writing skills. The 9-and-olders were able to work more or less independently. Meanwhile, Mom and Dad helped with spelling words and addressing, and, in the quiet moments, wrote a few notes themselves. When everyone was finished, there was hot cider and banana bread. The kids were involved, the notes were done and the family had time to be together and talk about their holiday, friends and relatives.

Happy note writing!

Fondly,
The Dixie Team