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VIProfile: Susan Grear

By Lee Rennick

“I have found the one whom my soul loves.” Song of Solomon 3:4

Finding the perfect wedding invitation is like finding a special quote about your love for the person with whom you know you will be sharing the rest of your life. And helping couples find that perfect invitation for their special day has been Susan Grear’s joy for 20 years.

“Patty Hutchinson and I saw a need for a place to get wedding invitations, thank you notes, announcements and stationary here in Murfreesboro,” said Susan Grear, owner of The Write Impression. “We started it out of our homes.”

Hutchinson was an event coordinator for their church, and Grear was interested in graphic design. The business grew through personal contacts and participating in events and bridal fairs. Then, an opportunity presented itself for them to move into the Reeves-Sain Pharmacy location on Church Street. When that closed, they moved to Reeves-Sain on Memorial for 17 months. Finally, the time arrived for them to move into their own space, at their current location on Murfreesboro’s city square. Grear bought out Hutchinson in 2007.

“You never get a second chance to make a first impression.”
-Andrew Grant

“When we started out,” said Grear, “everyone wanted Precious Moments. But things have really changed. The internet is not our friend. So many started selling invitations and other paper products there at a cheaper price, but they do not support their products or provide the service that we can. And you do not get to see a sample of what you are ordering like you will with us. So you can touch and feel. Make sure it is what you want.”

Grear has seen many changes in the industry over the last 20 years. For invitations, the cliché that all things old are new again is so true. For many years, wedding invitations were all about rustic. But, especially in the last 12 months, brides are going back to more traditional invitation styles. They have gone back to simple fonts, with no ribbon and few add-ons. They are using a white or ecru base paper, no more brown paper or barn wood prints.

“Brides here have picked up on laser cutting, which makes the paper look like lace,” said Grear. “It came from the coasts, and we are a bit later in picking it up, but I have had more asking for it.”

Walking into The Write Impression, you will see that it is not just about paper goods. Once Grear moved into the current location, she added gifts, accessories, jewelry and some clothing to provide extras for her customers.

One of the exclusive products she brings to Murfreesboro is Casafina Fine Stoneware imported from Portugal. The company produces beautiful bakers, serving pieces and other tabletop items. The Write Impression also carries Hester and Cooke out of Nashville, Gretchen Scott clothing and fun pieces like Murfreesboro pillows and tea towels. 

“If a man be gracious and courteous to strangers, it shows he is a citizen of the world.”
-Francis Bacon

Grear was born and raised in Murfreesboro. She went to Hobgood Elementary, was in the last graduating class at Central High School and is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University. She moved away and got married, then returned in 1999. That is when she and Hutchinson began talking about the need for a store like The Write Impression.

Long involved in the community, Grear is a strong supporter of downtown. She was a founding co-chair of Celebrate Christmas Downtown and has participated all 14 years. She has supported Wine Around the Square, the fundraiser for Saint Thomas Rutherford Foundation’s Power of Pink Fund, from the beginning. And she was in on the ground floor with the Boro Art Crawl.

She is a board member of Main Street Murfreesboro/Rutherford County, supports Oaklands Association and is a member of Charity Circle. She attends The Experience Community Church. 

“You never know when a moment and a few sincere words can have an impact on a life”
-Zig Ziglar

In spite of all the changes going on in the world with the internet, according to a recent article in Bride magazine, it is still important to send a paper invitation. And a gracious bride will make a point of sending out handwritten thank you notes. They mean so much more to the receiver.

A complete wedding paper package insures gracious and elegant communication with friends and family and provides treasured memories. This package could include an engagement party invitation, save the date cards, bridal shower invitations, bridal shower thank you notes, bachelor/bachelorette party invitations, rehearsal dinner invitations, wedding gift thank you notes, favor tags, table numbers, place cards, a ceremony program and a wedding dinner menu.

Having an expert like Susan Grear helping a bride navigate through the world of bridal communication pieces, or any other type of invitation or printed piece, takes away the guess work and decreases the likelihood of mistakes.

A polished invitation inviting loved ones to a wedding sets the tone for the event and provides all that they need to communicate the most important elements of that most special day. 

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