Sequestration Not Likely to Put Major Dent in Hawthorne House Business

The Occoquan fine paper merchant and team of graphic designers rely on their loyal customer base and niche market appeal to bolster them through economic hard times.

Many Occoquan businesses may take a hard, indirect hit from sequestration, simply because there would be less money to spend, Hawthorne House owner Diane Boli said.

"I think every business is going to be affected by it," Boli said.

Yet despite customers potentially reserving their money for the essentials, Boli thinks her loyal customer base and her spot in the wedding industry will pull her through. 

"With our customers, it's fairly specific. It's a bride getting married on a particular date, and so she's determined to send out her invitations in a time frame," Boli said. "Many times, people put money aside for the wedding. Now, whether they'll trim it a little here and a little there, that could be one thing. But usually with a wedding, parents or the bride and the groom have prepared for that."

Customers might choose to pay for thermography printing instead of letterpress printing, but they're unlikely to forego invitations entirely, Boli said. Instead, they may make cuts at the wedding reception, by serving hors d'oeuvres instead of a full meal.

"Long ago, people got married, and they had a cake and tea and punch in the church social rooms, and that was the reception," she said. "When you think of the austerity after World War I or World War II, they still had the reception, but it was an abbreviated celebration." 

Boli has grown her customer base largely by word of mouth over the 28 years Hawthorne House has been in Occoquan. 

"We have done wedding invitations this year for brides that, when they were born, we printed their birth announcements," she said. 

Her customer base is mostly in Northern Virginia, with some customers in Richmond or Maryland. Boli and the Hawthorne House graphic design team offer custom work to customers who want something a little more personalized. To learn more or to order online, visit the Hawthorne House website.

Earnie Porta February 28, 2013 at 01:59 PM
Hawthorne House is always worth even an impromptu browse if you are stopping in Occoquan for any reason. They have an assortment of very affordable writing-related items that make great small gifts and thank yous for people. I always seem to stumble on something new and interesting when I am there. Earnie Porta
Rachel Leon February 28, 2013 at 02:32 PM
Thanks for your comment, Mayor Porta!
RME KRNL February 28, 2013 at 05:35 PM
I'm sure Hawthorne House will be just fine. People need to stop buying into Obama's fear mongering about sequestration, which was his idea in the first place. It amounts to only about 2% of federal spending, which is almost a rounding error and it's also spread out over months, if not years, and doesn't happen all at once. The federal government could save that much with some elimination of fraud, waste and duplication. Plus, Obama already has the latitude to manage it, if he really wanted to, without much noticeable impact on everyday Americans at all. Instead, Obama (AKA Chicken Little) goes on another campaign-style tour, trots out his compliant agency heads to declare doom and gloom about everything from longer waits at airports and decreased air safety, to decreased border security and the (probably illegal) release of illegal aliens already in custody, to school children being left on the streets without school lunches, to Social Security checks being delayed, to lions and tigers and bears, oh my. Obama proposed sequestration in the first place to get Republicans to cave on the debt ceiling negotiations and it worked. Now, he wants to use it again to get them to give him more than the $800B in taxes he campaigned for and which they gave him right after his reelection, because he has now moved the goal posts again and wants about double that, or $1.3T, in taxes, while offering no real, substantive cuts of spending in return. His hubris and hypocrisy abound.


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