In the year 2011 one might think that stationery and note cards are obsolete. However, The Scribbler owner says, “Nothing replaces the tangible communication you receive from a personal, hand-addressed envelope especially in this technological era of email and instant messaging.”
Located down the street from Steeple Arts in Crestline Village, The Scribbler is a quintessential Mountain Brook shop, offering the services of a friendly staff and a personalized, customized approach to purchasing stationery and gift items. Having grown up in Mountain Brook, Ginny Hutchinson recognizes and strives to tend to the needs of our community.
Begun in 1980, The Scribbler exists today as one of the community’s most recognized establishments, but this was not always the case. “Early on”, says Ginny, “The Scribbler was run out of someone’s basement.” She purchased The Scribbler in 2008 shortly after discussing the business with her friend Carolyn Greene, owner of C&S Designs. Having been previously employed by AmSouth for eighteen years, Ginny left the bank with a strong background in public relations and a sense of layout and design. As owner of The Scribbler, Ginny has combined these talents with her creative nature, and has since been able to introduce many of her own ideas into the production of purchasable items.
The Scribbler is well known for its quality production of stationery; however, the shop offers much more. In addition to holiday and birthday gifts, The Scribbler also carries popular brands of bath and body products, customized napkins, plates, novelty items, and calling cards.
In preparation for Valentine’s day, the store is selling several special products, namely, O’ Sugar! candy jars, which are perfect as elementary school valentines for children to pass out to their classmates.
Ginny also plans to establish a special section in her store devoted exclusively to Alabama products in order to strengthen the shop’s emphasis on community. Also in keeping with its small town image, most printed items sold at The Scribbler are manufactured inside the store itself through the use of an old-fashioned heat press.
Like many institutions in the area, The Scribbler was impacted by the recent economic crisis; however, rather than facing the usual fates of a recession-era small business, Ginny and The Scribbler were able to cope with and take advantage of such a fiscal climate. Thanks to Ginny’s copious experience in the field of public relations, she succeeded in overcoming the trials of the recession by intelligently managing the prices of her wares to suit the needs of The Scribbler‘s patrons, while simultaneously working off the disadvantages of larger manufacturing companies to secure her materials at a more reasonable price.
Throughout the years of managing The Scribbler, Ginny has witnessed many changes in the store, mostly as a result of numerous innovations in technology. Once an exclusively “Over the Mountain” store, The Scribbler is now able to cater to the needs of customers throughout the Birmingham area and beyond, thanks to the addition of online ordering.
However, The Scribbler, being the personable Mountain Brook store that it is, manages to straddle the dichotomy between the technical innovations of a big business and the amiable charms of a small town shop. Indeed, one of the biggest features that has defined, and continues to define The Scribbler, is its emphasis on personalization. From Valentine’s Day candies to wedding invitations to the usual “War Cam Eagle” sports novelty items, The Scribbler offers the opportunity of customization with the purchase of almost any product.