As our 2015 catalog reaches the homes of our customers, we want to take time to spotlight a few of our vendors. The first is Mary Grace Wallace and WritefullyHis stationery. I first met Grace at the National Stationery Show in New York City this past spring. I was immediately drawn to the beautiful stationery showcased at her booth and was thrilled to find her so kind and genuine. The more l learned about WritefullyHis, the more convinced I became that it was a perfect product line to add to our inventory.
Grace is a recent graduate of Wofford College in Spartanburg,S.C. During her time there as a student, she had the chance to study abroad in the south of France. Because the family she stayed with did not speak English and she did not speak French, Grace had plenty of time to study and catch up on the list of books she’d been compiling that she wanted to read. During that time she read Start Something That Matters by Blake Mycoskie and Kisses From Katie by Katie J. Davis and was deeply affected by both.
Grace’s sister visited her while she was still in France, and it was during a brainstorming session in a French cafe that the idea for Writefully His was born. Grace had already been creating stationery for friends as Christmas gifts to encourage handwritten letters. While tossing out ideas with her sister, two particular thoughts stood out. The first was that no matter what economical situation you are born into, you have the right to an education and the second was that it all goes back to God. With those two crucial beliefs stated, the name WritefullyHis was born.
Now knowing that she wanted to begin a social enterprise that included stationery, Grace decided that she wanted to use a portion of her proceeds to purchase school supplies for children in Africa, and she felt that if she purchased those supplies from within the communities where the students lived, she’d help their relatives become more invested in their educations. Having established her goal, she contacted Amazima Ministries, the nonprofit founded by Katie Davis. Though that particular ministry was well-funded due to the success of Katie’s book, they were able to connect Grace with educationally based non-profits in Uganda. Knowing that she did not want to start completely from scratch, Grace welcomed the opportunity to work with an existing organization. From there, Grace established a grass roots connection to two other schools in Uganda. Next, Grace partnered with Global Bikes in SC to connect to a school in Tanzania. She also worked with KIPP Academy to connect with schools in Rwanda and Kenya. For each school she supports, she purchases paper and pencil at local markets to help booster the local communities while equipping the students with the supplies they need to learn.
Grace recently opened a studio in downtown Spartanburg. Built in the 1920s, the character of the building offers the perfect home for WritefullyHis. Her long term goals include expanding her wholesale line, expanding a new bridal line, and building a WritefullyHis school. She hopes to continue to partner with boutique and stationery stores to make the WritefullyHis line more widely available. With the bridal line, Grace hopes to inspire brides and grooms to create custom invitations that give back to others while honoring their special day. Finally, Grace hopes to be able to open a WritefullyHis school in Africa where students would never have to be concerned for pencil and paper and would have the opportunity to learn and grow.
When she’s not working, Grace loves playing with her one and a half year old Golden Retriever who is the other full-time employee of WritefullyHis. She also enjoys traveling and truly loves to work. “When you enjoy doing it, it’s not work,” she says, “When you’re helping others, it’s not just gain for me but gain for individuals across the world.I started with the simple act of opening myself up to my passions and integrated them into something I love to do.”