It was by sheer luck that Anne Gibson-George found herself in the stationery industry. She bought a store where the previous owner was a stationer and, she says, “It looked like fun, so I tried it.” Ten years later, Girl General is a high-end stationery boutique offering customized paper products.
“There was a hole in the marketplace for customized stationery,” Anne says. “There just weren’t a lot of people providing that service in San Antonio—that’s how Girl General got its start.”
Through trial and error during the past decade, Anne and her team of designers have figured out how to do pretty much everything, taking couples’ visions from the very preliminary concepts to the development of entire wedding paper suites. “Paper weaves it’s way through weddings,” says Anne, who also happens to be a huge advocate for shopping locally. “I always emphasize that shopping locally, particularly within the wedding industry, is really important—80 percent of money spent in the community stays in the community.”
Because she herself shops locally, Anne understands the difference between purchasing something online and walking into a local shop in your community and talking with an actual person. At Girl General, Anne and the team bring personalization to every aspect of their work. “We want people to have as much awesomeness as they can on their special day,” she says. From save-the-dates, bachelorette and bachelor party invites, rehearsal dinner invitations, wedding invitation suites, and thank-you notes to table numbers, napkins, programs, koozies, cups, escort cards, place cards, menus, and gobo lights, Girl General can take care of its couples from the proposal to the wedding and beyond.
The company also recently expanded into wedding accessories and now creates a beautiful assortment of wedding albums and can even do embroidery for items like bridesmaid and groomsmen gifts.
Anne always has her brides and grooms in mind. She understands that not every couple can work custom-designed illustrations and papers into their wedding budget. So the Girl General owner and her graphic team developed a line of products at a competitive price point that caters to all types of couples. With this new product line, couples have access to wonderful, high-quality, custom products.
“Everything we do is a super fun, funky process,” Anne says. “We work with calligraphers, we have a letter-press woman who develops plates—we are very much an anomaly in the local wedding industry. That’s how we’ve managed to succeed.”
That and the fact that Anne and her team of experts live and breathe their work and understand cultural and social nuances and wedding etiquette, which enables them to answer any and all of their couples’ questions. “Invitations are little pieces of your history as a couple. Invitations set the tone of the actual wedding day. But once the invitation is out there, you can’t retract it. Girl General can help you with everything. We provide expertise and knowledge in how to manage invitations, from casual events for 500 to formal events for 50.”
Anne and her team also invest themselves emotionally in every project and actually care about what will happen on your special day.
“We work with people during some of the most exciting times in their lives, and we are there to help in any way we can,” she says. “I like working with couples who are excited about their special moment and enjoying that moment and sharing it with their families. I like to share in that palpable joy. It’s why I do what I do—the joy.”
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