Clockwise from top left:
• Westport Studio
• On the boat with our boxer, Casey.
• Client and friend Isabelle Hahn, photographed by Elizabeth Messina.
• Martha and I on set, 2002
I started Grace Connell Designs because of a love for fine papers, and art. At SVA I was trained in Spencerian calligraphy by an engraver from Tiffany & Co. and became hooked on the precise but delicately-fragile nature of inked letters. I studied fine art and art history in Italy and earned a Masters in Arts Ed. When I started my wedding stationery business, I was fortunate enough to link up with Martha Stewart Weddings magazine where Darcy Miller and her team hired me to create calligraphic art for covers and layouts in their beautiful publication. While attending a CBS Working Women's Luncheon at the Rainbow Room, I met Martha Stewart and later that evening received a call to appear as a wedding segment on her show where I enjoyed my first business TV spot. The segment was later selected for her Best of Weddings DVD.
Now, a total of 32+ years working with brides and I've amassed a collection of memories and artworks drawn for invitations, bridal luncheons, etc. Many pretty floral bouquets, location watercolors and nautical burgees for the bride and groom became the seedlings for the products you see here on this site. No one truly achieves on their own though, and I am privileged to work with talented printers, calligraphers and craftsmen who year-after-year help me to create fine stationery products that I hope you'll love as much as I do.
Our mission is to bring joy, a sense of humor, and beautiful artwork to as many people as possible, enhancing the communication between friends and soon-to-be-friends...and hand-made stationery can do just that! I love when images emerge and take on personality or drum up happy memories for a customer. So in short, the mission is to spread smiles, and continue to sell and promote fine stationery while making money for business and charity. Thank you for helping us along the way!
Our vision is simple: to grow the business by being as responsive to our buyers as humanly possible. We regularly create new images, based on client suggestions, and consider our business as one of partnership. This relationship keeps the energy and aesthetic of the GCD brand fresh and forward-moving. Our product lines develop and flourish as a result of our community interactions and retail partner relationships. Thank you for being an integral part of our vision and for coming along on this journey with us.