Deluxe Corp. features Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio in documentary project
SAXTONS RIVER >> Julie Moir Messervy was working in her office at her landscape design business last April when the phone rang.
"One afternoon, at the end of the day, we got a call. (Communications Coordinator) Jennifer patched it through and it was this man who said, 'We think your small business is one we would like to feature in a documentary project,'" Messervy told the Reformer. "I talked with him some more and it just sounded perfect."
That man was calling from the Deluxe Corp., which is commissioning documentarians to showcase 100 businesses from across the United States as part of the "Small Business Revolution." He expressed interest in having someone chronicle Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio in Saxtons River. According to Deluxe Corp., the project is a national campaign to find the nation's most compelling small businesses "to focus on the importance of personal touch and local involvement in an era when business is becoming increasingly impersonal." Some of the businesses' stories have been captured on video; Julie Moir Messervy Design Studio's was featured in a photo essay that can be viewed at SmallBusinessRevolution.org.
Messervy told the Reformer she conducted a 45-minute telephone interview that afternoon and a young woman visited soon after to take the photographs. The Small Business Revolution will unfold throughout 2015, as a part of Deluxe's 100th anniversary celebration. It will also award $25,000 to one small business later in the year.
"It's lovely," she said, adding she is pleased Deluxe chose to place a spotlight on small businesses, "rather than just tout themselves as this amazing small business that grew into a big business. It's an incredibly generous thing to do."
Deluxe is a leading provider of checks and accessories sold directly to consumers. It also offers website development, e-mail marketing, search engine optimization and logo design.
Amanda Brinkman, the chief brand and communications officer for Deluxe, said the corporation researched deserving businesses through media and chambers of commerce. She told the Reformer Messervy's company shows what is possible through hard work.
"Her professional success is just an example of a small business owner taking the time and inspiration to truly master her craft," she said. "She puts a little bit of her own style into each project."
Brinkman mentioned Deluxe, based out of St. Paul, Minn., began in the humblest of ways — when a chicken farmer took out a $300 loan. She also said the completion of the Small Business Revolution project likely won't be the end of the relationship between the companies and Deluxe.
"We will continue to monitor them as leaders in entrepreneurship and we hope to continue the relationship with all of them," she said.
Messervy explained she had attended architecture school and was doing graduate school work when she fell in love with Japanese gardens and went to Japan to learn garden design from a master before returning home to finish school. She said she started her company in Boston in the early 1980s and moved to this area 13 years ago. A mother of three children now grown, she said all five of her employees (who are also mothers) are allowed to work flexible hours to accommodate their hectic schedules.
"It's important that we have flexible hours so they can work out their lives well," she said.
Messervy's philosophy helped attract the Small Business Revolution.
"The hands-on customer service, the entrepreneurial spirit and the deep community involvement people find in the small businesses they frequent make all the difference," Brinkman said. "Telling these moving, inspirational stories and putting a spotlight on these owners is our way of celebrating the best parts of American business."
Messervy's work is far-reaching and she said she designs landscapes for people and businesses all over North America. She stressed her studio strictly does designs only — no installations. She explained she crafts designs that are either do-it-yourself projects or can be taken to a contractor or local garden center for help with construction.
"It's wonderful work," she said. "Our whole objective is to get people back outside."
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