WYCKOFF, N.J. — Lisa Ambrose and Gwen Sikora were both Wyckoff moms when they conceived of their new editing business, The Write Message .
They realized their mutual obsession with apostrophes and other grammar problems from each other’s Facebook posts.
“I was at a nail salon and saw a sign: GIFT CERTIFICATIONS AVAILABLE,” said Ambrose, 43, of Wyckoff, who soon will hold a doctorate in Communications from Rutgers University.
“It’s a shame because the salon paid for that sign,” she added. “The printers never take liability. They print exactly what you give them.”
The pair sees potential clients for The Write Message every time they walk down the street or cruise the virtual highway.
Realtor signs need editing, they say. And lots of business materials and websites and fliers.
“Open those coupons you get in the mail, read some of them, and cringe,” said Sikora, 47, who now lives in Butler.
She’s a telecommunications project manager with a master’s degree in forensic science.
The pair view The Write Message as an open territory. It isn’t a marketing/social media company. It isn’t a printing service that creates postcards, brochures, and advertising material.
It’s something in between.
“There’s no one writing and editing the message,” Sikora said. “We can work with business owners and also as an add-on service with print shops and web designers to create or polish the messages.”
The two understand how so many errors appear in print.
For one thing, many business owners in North Jersey, they say, speak English as a second language.
Second, particularly in the online world, there’s the issue of immediacy.
“The idea is that when you have information or you want to announce a sale, you want to get it out there as fast as possible,” Ambrose said.
“You get careless,” she added, “and sometimes that works to your detriment.”
Some customers might be turned off. Some social media or blog fans may stop following.
“We’re just helping people realize what they say – and how they say it - is important,” Sikora explained.
Both believe careful writing is good for business and public discourse.
They also feel that what they do helps preserve the language they love.