Melissa Cousans Mortillaro
Owner & Manager, Gem Printing
Dennis Cousans, Melissa Cousans Mortillaro and Tommy Cousans
Tell us about Gem; what makes it special? Gem Printing is a fourth generation family business. The owners include my father Sidney, my uncle Dennis, my brother Tommy and myself. My great grandfather Sidney founded it in 1918. My grandfather, Sidney Cousans Jr., took over at the age of 14, when his father passed away. We are social printers, meaning we specialize in weddings and parties. We are able to produce small run orders and we print many of our items in house, in just one day.
How did you come to work in the family business? I think it happened pretty organically, for all of us really. One day in high school I was told it was time to go to work. At first it was part-time, after school and on the weekends; after college I stayed on.
Tell us something we might not know about stationery? Stationery doesn’t have to be stuffy. Colorful inks, exciting monograms and beautiful embossing can add pizzazz to your personalized notes. Have fun with them.
What are excited about in the store right now? Party invitations! We have some great modern styles, as well as an entire book of New Orleans designs. Customers even provide us with custom PDFs that we can print, if our designs don’t work for them.
What’s coming in that you want to tell us about? We are in the process of putting together some fun calling card designs.
What else would you like to share about Gem? We just turned 100! We are very proud of this accomplishment, especially being family owned and operated. We’ve been serving New Orleans for a third of the city’s history.
What items, other than stationary, are available? We carry an extensive line of wedding and party invitations, cups, koozies, handkerchiefs, napkins, guest books, toasting flutes and engraved gifts, to name a few.
Gem Printing Co.
1904 Veterans Blvd., Metairie