Bernard Maisner’s Dinner Party

A few weeks ago while I was getting my mail I noticed something really special: a hand-addressed envelope done in characteristic Bernard Maisner style. Was someone getting married? I turned it over to see the return address. It was from Bernard Maisner himself! It was an invitation to join him and his business partner Lisa McCarthy for a “dinner soiree” at her Upper East Side home. I was so excited to be invited, this was a pretty big deal!

Bernard and I met a year ago at the Wedding Library/Martha Stewart Weddings Event while I was wandering around looking at the different vendor displays. His work is so out-of-control amazing that I spent quite a while fixated on the samples he was displaying. I’m obsessed with anything handmade, intensely detailed and perfectly executed, especially if it bears the distinct style of its creator. Bernard’s work fits into all of those categories. We began talking about what each of us do and had a creative-person bonding moment over the fact that we are both kind of artistic luddites, completely obsessed with carrying on our respective old-world crafts (albeit with current sensibilities) in a modern age.

The dinner was night before last and it was a truly wonderful evening. A really great mix of friendly and fascinating people, wonderful conversation, delicious food. My favorite part, though, was when Bernard gave a little speech. He held up a business card — his first ever business card — that he had made as a teenager. No, it wasn’t an elaborately illuminated piece of script. It was a white, typed, return address sticker affixed to a piece of yellow cardstock. He told us that once he had affixed all one hundred of the labels he realized, “it only had my address on it, so I had to write in my name and phone number underneath!” We all giggled at the irony, as this little cobbled together business card bore no resemblance at all to the exquisite and sophisticated stationary that he now creates for his clients!

I love seeing where talented, creative, and successful people started from, and especially where they can get to by following their artistic vision and dedicating themselves to their craft. What an inspiration!

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