Polly McFadden never considered herself artistic or creative. She grew up with accomplished artists like her grandmother who won awards for her theorem stenciling and her mother who mastered every needle art, made teddy bears and dolls and even built and furnished a doll house from scratch! It wasn’t until she picked up a rubber stamp that Polly discovered her own artistic ability.

Polly is a native Texan who graduated with a master’s degree in economics from Baylor University. She started her business career as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas where she worked assessing the impact of bank mergers and acquisitions. She moved to El Paso in 1978 to be the economist and bank merger analyst for the parent company of El Paso National Bank. During her tenure at El Paso National she headed the Investment Department of the bank and later worked as a senior member of the Trust Department.

Polly’s left the bank in 1988 to explore her entrepreneurial spirit. She worked as a consultant to cities and school districts; taught economics as an adjunct professor at UTEP; and founded the Thomason Hospital Foundation. In 1990 she started Hello Polly, Inc., a company that produces advertising that plays over the phone while customers are on hold. Hello Polly was one of the first message on hold companies in Texas and is endorsed by several professional associations like the Texas Optometric Association. Hello Polly’s clients are all over the state and nation including numerous doctors and local companies like Texas Gas Service and El Paso Water Utilities.

In 1997 Polly decided to turn her rubber stamping hobby into a business by opening a store. She opened the Stamp Act inside the Marketplace at the Placita Santa Fe and quickly outgrew the tiny space. She moved to her own storefront in the Placita Santa Fe a year later and then doubled the store a year after that. The Stamp Act sells a rubber stamps, supplies and tools, offers several classes each week, and is often acclaimed as the best stamp store in the southwest. Polly and her staff love introducing customers to the fun and creativity of rubber stamping. Increasingly her customers include scrapbookers who want to combine stamping and scrapping. One of Polly’s specialties is making books including memory books with photos and historical ephemera. Polly will star in an upcoming episode of “That’s Clever” on the HGTV cable network in 2008. She will be making a memory book based on her mother’s life as an army nurse during World War II.

Polly and Chloe, her Bichon Frise, run both business out of her store. Hello Polly, Inc. continues to grow and recently landed several contracts to record telephone system prompts for state agencies including the Texas Department of Transportation, State Comptroller, and the Office of the Attorney General.

Despite her hectic business career, Polly found time to give back to her community. She was a member of Leadership El Paso and later chaired the Curriculum committee. She was on Ann Richard’s local campaign when she ran for State Treasurer and Governor and later chaired the Texas Employment Commission Advisory Board. In 1992, after being diagnosed with breast cancer a year earlier, Polly was one of a handful of women who started the El Paso chapter of the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and El Paso Race for the Cure. Recently Polly held a “Stamp and Scrap Pink” event at The Stamp Act with proceeds going to the Race for the Cure.


Rubber stamping, making books, paper crafting