Leyla has grown and expanded over its thirty years as a small business in Ann Arbor. What began as The Write Touch, a home-based business that focused on custom invitations, has now changed its name and broadened its focus.
The store, which is located in Lamppost Plaza on East Stadium Boulevard, still offers custom invitations, in addition to being a gift shop that includes something for everyone.
“The Write Touch was started by Adele Brinkman thirty years ago and operated out of her home,” said owner Leyla Conlan. “She specialized in wedding invitations, cards and announcements, and personalized stationery. After 25 successful years, Adele sold the business to Terry Zdanowski, who ran the Write Touch for five years.”
“When I purchased the store in 2018, we moved into our first brick and mortar location on Jackson Road,” she said. “I expanded the inventory to specialize in gifts for the person who has everything! Additionally, we now sell apparel, jewelry, accessories and tabletop. We quickly outgrew our first location and are now at 2386 East Stadium Boulevard in the Lamppost Plaza adjacent to Trader Joe’s.”
Conlan may have expanded her inventory, but she still has an active business in the bridal industry.
“I worked for ten years as a wedding planner, so I struggle to keep my advice to just invitations!” she said. “Customers now come to me for help with all the details of a wedding. For invitations, brides rely on my advice on the etiquette of addressing invitations and proper wording and layout of a wedding invitation.”
Wedding trends and themes are reflected in the invitations as well.
“Brides are loving muted tones with accents of crests and monograms. There is an emergence of new die cut shapes and the introduction of watercolors,” Conlan said.
While save the date cards are still offered, Conlan noted that online RSVPs have become increasingly popular.
“Of course, we encourage the classic RSVP card so that all generations are able to respond,” she said.
The custom invitation line is not limited to weddings.
“We offer a wide variety of wedding, mitzvahs, celebrations, showers, and announcements. Customers may choose from engraved, letterpress, thermography, and digital printing at a range of price points. Some of our most popular lines include Crane, Designer’s Fine Press, Haute Papier, Kramer Drive, and Smitten on Paper,” Conlan said.
Shoppers who visit the store will find an ever changing inventory of glassware, blankets, cutting boards, leather goods and baby gifts. Handbags, jewelry, and clothing are included in the apparel line. Home goods such as décor, tableware, paper products, candles and diffusers are also on display.
For the shopper who cannot make it into the store, Leyla offers online shopping at its website. Gifts are offered in various price ranges, with suggestions for recipients. Need a teacher gift? Looking for something special for a housewarming present? Want something unique for the party hostess? Leyla has you covered.
Leyla is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10a.m.-6 p.m. For more information, call 734-662-9171 or visit her website at shopatleyla.com.