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Dallas’ Monogram Masters Go Far Beyond Paper

New Tony Lovers Lane Shop Heralds Another New Day for Ellis Hill

BY // 05.14.18
photography Tony Krash

Beauty is in the details: hand-embroidered monograms; thank-you notes penned on engraved stationery; a personalized gift tag tied with silk ribbon. All are as intimate as one’s own fingerprint.

It’s this obsessive dedication to the power of a personal touch that inspired Ellis Hill co-owners Margretta Wikert and Kerri Davis to go into business together in 2013. It wasn’t long before their darling Ellis Hill established the chicest reputation in Dallas — and established a lengthy list of devoted (and stylish) clients that consider Ellis Hill their go-to for exclusive, custom stationery, and personalized gifts.

In just five years, Wikert and Davis have outgrown three locations, including a bitty, office-sized shop upstairs in Highland Park Village and the glossy, downstairs HP Village storefront they moved into in 2016.

This February, Ellis Hill doubled in size, moving to a 1,200-square-foot space on tony West Lovers Lane. Cheery sky-blue French doors mark the spot.

On the far side of the sunny, blue-and-white-floored shop is the holy grail of paper; where Wikert, Davis, and team help discerning clients decide whether sage or celery looks best on thick ecru cardstock and point to examples on a massive bulletin board — essentially a trophy wall showcasing the most fashionable party invitations — and names — in Dallas.

To reach it, one must walk past a table set with Julia B. dinnerware, sumptuous Walker Valentine towels, and linens in every color under the sun. Few will make it without placing orders to personalize their entire homes. Because why should a monogram be limited to stationery when it could be engraved on a salad fork?

Plenty of shop-and-go items like cheeky cosmetics cases labeled “uppers” and other re-invite-securing hostess gifts mean shoppers can stop in for a quick fix in addition to selecting the perfect scalloped edge.

The move to Lovers feels a bit like coming home. Just a few steps down from their new boutique is the spot where Ellis Hill was born — behind another notably happy door, this one purple. In 2009, Davis was helping clients with custom stationery under the name Anne Grace Designs in the back of dear friend Merry Vose’s boutique, Cabana.

During this time, Wikert worked with Davis when helping her mother with their family’s Christmas cards – at this point, her only creative outlet for her passion for paper – and the two clicked. When Wikert left her banking job to study for the GMAT, Davis invited her to help part-time.

“I loved it so much I ended up skipping the school plan,” says Wikert. In 2013, she bought half of the company and the two renamed it Ellis Hill.

Since then, Ellis Hill has notably expanded beyond paper, having added a growing selection of linen, china, and personalized gifts; making trips to New York and Paris multiple times a year to source the best new lines.

And the relocation to their sunny West Lovers Lane shop isn’t the only move they’ve made in 2018. After much demand from their devotees, Ellis Hill has now entered the world of e-commerce and, given their track record, it won’t be long before they’ve made their monogrammed mark across the web.

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