622 press was born on June 22, 2008 when I drove to Hartford, WI to purchase an 1882 Pearl Oldstyle from a very nice electrician who had acquired it a year earlier—and named her Bess (the press! Get it?). Reportedly, she had sat idle in an elderly couple’s basement for over 50 years and they were just happy to have someone to move it. After several weeks of cleaning, organizing and ordering supplies, 622 press had its first printing in late July. For more about how I got my studio up and running, see this post.
I first encountered letterpress at college in Wisconsin, where I was earning my BFA in graphic design. I loved design, but missed the tactile quality and unpredictability of materials from my fine art classes—and all of a sudden here was a medium that was the perfect marriage of the two. My very first project was an edition of 20-page letterpress and intaglio printed books that kept me setting type and printing for hours—and loving it. (A few years later, one of the books was my very first etsy sale!)
My love for handmade goods, however, started much, much earlier. It could have been the Christmas I received the pink sewing machine or the omni-presence of construction paper in my parents’ house, but it has only increased since then.
I went on to graduate with a snazzy portfolio and get a job at a regional magazine. By 24, I was art director of that magazine—realizing a dream I didn’t think I’d reach for decades—and stayed there for the next 5 years.
Fast forward to the present and I’d been pursuing letterpress as a weekend and evening hobby/business for more than six years. I have greeting cards and limited edition prints in a handful of stores across the country and have printed business cards, invitations and other custom work for countless clients.
Just over two years ago, I decided it was time to shake things up. I took a leap of faith and went full time with my business which also enabled me to move in with my boyfriend—in Bermuda (more about that here and here). 622 press has been growing and it’s been quite an adventure. I’d love to work together on a design or custom letterpress project—just get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!