Romantic Floral Wedding Invitations

It’s finally the big day—the one I’ve been waiting for all year. Today is the day I get to share my first wedding of 2017!

Allison and John got married today in a romantic ceremony in a beautiful church in downtown Madison, followed by an elegant and fun reception at a very cool converted warehouse space just outside the city.

I’ve been working with Allison on details for her big day for almost a year now—you may remember her gorgeous floral save the dates from last fall. Being the dream client that she is, she wanted all her paper goods to coordinate perfectly, so I carried the romantic watercolor florals and classic-yet-casual calligraphy throughout the suite and added a truly special touch with a custom liner.

A few months before the big day, one of Allison’s bridesmaids got in touch to ask if I would design coordinating tote bags for the bachelorette party—which I happily did! Such a thoughtful way for all the girls to remember a great day!

I just love the map of local food sources on the back of their mouthwatering menu!

As a parting gift, the couple offered seed packets to their guests featuring a stamped illustration I designed. 

As you can see, Allison went above and beyond to make her day special from start to finish—and most importantly, at the end of the day, she got to go home with her best friend, who is now her husband. Here’s wishing you two all the luck in the world and a love that continues to grow. Thanks for making me a small part of your big day!

 

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Studio Update & a Sale!

One of my favorite stockists got in touch just days after the Supreme Court’s marriage equality ruling a few weeks back. As we had many times before, she wanted to brainstorm some new card ideas to celebrate the wedding boom she saw in the near future, and I was all too happy to oblige!

I offered several ideas and she added a few of her own and as always, let me run away with the design. Some were simply variations on designs that already existed in the 622 press collection. Others were brand new and allowed me to show off my ever-growing collection of wood and lead type! I’m most excited about the congratulations cards below: I love the way they evoke the old-school letterpress style of shops like Hatch Show Print.

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She also needed to restock on a fair number of best-sellers, and the result is my biggest wholesale order to date! I’ve been printing almost every day for weeks, and it feels great to be so busy.

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This week is all about folding and packaging her order and photographing new designs to list in my etsy shop. Now I have to find a home for all these new designs! To help me clear some space in my stockroom, I’m offering 25% off purchases of in-stock merchandise through the end of the month! Just enter the code “622BLOGFOLLOWER” at checkout. Enjoy!

Reprints & Revamps

Last week, I sent off an order from my longest standing—and if we’re being honest, one of my favorite!—wholesale client. Driftless Studio has been carrying 622 press goodies consistently since 2009. The owner, Anne, is fabulous to work with—tactile and appreciative of the artsy imperfections of letterpress; decisive and trusting of her intuition when it comes to stocking the shop; and always offering creative ideas to collaborate on pieces she thinks will sell well.

bestdayever_multi_6156These collaborations have resulted in a few designs that are completely exclusive to her shop as well as small tweaks on existing designs—like our Best Day Ever cards in a bunch of new colors! I printed extras for my etsy shop as well, so get a multi-pack here, or individual cards here, here and here.

WI_6382Driftless Studio is located right in the heart of downtown, which is dominated by UW-Madison, so anything printed in red or Wisconsin-themed always sells well. With graduation soon approaching, they stocked up! The Wisconsin notecards are also available in my etsy shop.

nicewheels_6357The best part about having such a long-standing relationship is that Driftless still stocks a number of designs I haven’t had a chance to print recently. With more than 100 unique cards, it’s hard to keep them all in stock at once, so when the shop needed more nice wheels and magnolia thank you cards, I was all too happy to reprint some for the 622 etsy shop as well. magnolia_thankyou_6352

A Christmas Letter from 622 press

I know this should be a travel post, but instead this week I did some actual traveling, in the form of heading home to Wisconsin for the holidays. I’m taking a mini break from business and blogging through the new year, but if you’re looking for some holiday reading material, check out decor ideas here, here, and here, plus awesome handmade gift guides from years past here, here, here and here, plus wrapping ideas here.

Dear Friend,

2014 has been a big year for 622 press. It started off normally enough: living in Madison and continuing to work as art director of BRAVA Magazine—all while driving down to Mom and Dad’s on the weekends to print on my antique letterpress. Spring was particularly busy, as the business added Middleton’s The Regal Find to its group of wholesalers—in addition to Driftless Studio on State Street in Madison; the now-defunct east-side Absolutely Art; and When Pigs Fly in Whitewater.

I was also printing my largest wedding stationery suite to date—150 three-piece invitations with lined, printed envelopes, 2 different thank you cards, menu cards, recipe card favors and more, plus designing a wrap for the invites, table numbers and seating chart—along with two other weddings, and the usual business cards, stationery and such. There were quite a few nights that I got back to my Madison apartment entirely too close to midnight, rushing down after work and printing the entire evening—but it was worth it to grow 622 press.

Amy_Lanser_3085By summer I had finally accepted Andrew’s invitation to move to Bermuda—job or not (I had been hunting from the U.S. since last year). I told BRAVA my plans months before the planned move—and after a few tense weeks of indecision, they committed to my current contract position as main freelancer for design work. However, we still had to find a replacement for me as Art Director. It’s sort of a funny thing—searching for someone to do the job you’ve poured everything into for 5+ years… plus she would be my boss! I’m so glad we ended up with the candidate we did though.

The process to apply for Bermuda residency was incredibly long and costly—and inefficient. Every time I thought I had submitted everything the government/health insurer/customs official needed, I was handed another list of medical exams, notarized documents and letters to acquire. I had planned to move in late July/early August, but the BRAVA logistics pushed my move until the end of August—exactly when my lease expired, so I was working right up until the week before I flew out, along with selling all my furniture and car, packing a shipping container, giving away the remainder of my clothes and household items and trying to take care of last-minute logistics like bank accounts and cell phone plans. It was chaos, but the knowledge that a slower-pace awaited me on the island sustained me.

That slower pace wouldn’t come for a while though—the shipping container had arrived, but Bess remained on the dock for weeks while I filled out more and more paperwork and proved over and over again that I had permission to live on the island. I also got a Bermuda driving license (written and driving exams, just like in the U.S.!) and bought a bike.

Finally Bess and everything else was delivered—I finally had a decent set of dishes (goodbye, Andrew’s bachelor kitchen), some artwork and most importantly, my studio. It took quite some time to get everything set up, but now it’s the perfect creative space—with an ocean view to boot.

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Since the big move, I’ve been freelancing for clients old and new, as well as trying to grow 622 press. I post of-the-moment updates on facebook nearly every day, and of course blog as often as I can!

Several of the invitations we printed this year were featured on Wedding Lovely, a blog and wedding resource site that has been incredibly supportive of 622 press over the years. Our shadow monogram stationery was featured in Cool Mom Picks’ annual gift guide, which was far and away the biggest editorial feature I’ve had to date, and prompted quite a few orders this winter.

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While I used the end of 2014 to get the business in order—making sure inventory is correct, analyzing pricing, timing and shipping, and redesigning our branding—2015 will be all about new work. I’ve been designing a new spring collection of cards and prints, plus brainstorming and prototyping new products, and searching for new stores to begin wholesale relationships with. I can’t wait to show you what I’ve been up to!

Until then, stay warm, enjoy time with your family and be grateful for such a blessed life—I know I will. Merry Christmas and happy holidays, see you in the new year!

Kristin

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A few good clients

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There’s nothing more valuable to an artist trying to make it than a truly supportive patron. Not only do they support you financially by buying your work (always important!), they boost your confidence and remind you that what you’re doing is indeed worthwhile. If you’re really lucky—like me—they also invite you to fabulous dinner parties and introduce you to their fabulous friends!

My favorite client ordered a set of stationery for each of her closest friends and family. It was a great collaborative experience in which she told me a little about each person’s personality and I designed a monogram or image just for them. I thought the pineapple card might be rather popular, so I printed extras and they’re also available here!

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Keeping up with Bess the Press

Hello blog readers! I’ve been doing a bad job of keeping you up to date lately… a long post just seems intimidating these days! Please make sure you like us on facebook to stay in the loop: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bess-the-Press

A couple cool things are happening over on that other website: I tried my hand at live micro-blogging this weekend. I had a lot to print and thought it would be fun to give my followers a more real-time experience of what printing is like. Along the same line of thinking, I photographed the process and posted the pictures as well. I hope that explains a little more about the process of printing—don’t hesitate to ask if you have any questions!

Among the things I made this weekend is a beautiful stationery set for a Madison woman named Masarah. She’s been a fan for more than a year now and it always nice to collaborate with someone who has an appreciation for what you do. Her cards were simple and elegant: with her name blind embossed using lead type. As always, don’t hesitate to get in touch if you’re interested in a custom piece of your own!

Gallery Night Recap

622 press has officially had its first art show. Gallery Night was a great time—met tons of great local people, handed out a big stack of business cards and even sold a few things! Check out the rest of the photos here. Thanks to everyone who stopped out!