Happy 2017!

You guys, I’m such a bad blogger! Between holiday travels and some big exciting projects, I haven’t had much time to write, but this rainy morning seems the perfect opportunity.

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First things first, if you’re here trying to find out more about the Kindness is Everything, I’ve licensed the design to the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health and you can shop for signs, shirts and more here. Follow our Kindness is Everything facebook page for updates and to connect with people across the nation that identified with the movement that began as a simple sign.

If you have no idea what I’m talking about above, check out my original post for the back story. Hundreds of emails and thousands of orders later, we’ve raised more than $7,000 for the ACLU with our Midwest sign distribution, and dozens of other groups across the country have raised even more! There were three of us managing all the requests and etsy page (completely pro bono of course) and it just got to be too much, so we started seeking a nonprofit with the capability to sell branded merchandise. Two of us had worked with WAWH previously, were familiar the good work the organization was doing in Wisconsin and nationally and thought it was the perfect fit (plus we knew the executive director would make the most of the opportunity!). It’s been really exciting to have something I made “go viral” and more importantly, to be able to connect with like-minded people across the world.

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I also took a step toward expanding the flower arm of 622 press in December. I offered my first flower making class in December! We ended up having to cancel it, but now that I’ve got the instruction booklets and material kits made—I even hosted a practice class with friends!—I’ve totally got the bug. I’m talking with a few venues in different cities about 2017 classes, so stay tuned! (And if you’re interested in having me teach a class in your area, get in touch, I’m available to travel!)

Speaking of flowers, I felt like they were starting to take over my Instagram feed, so I started a second account completely devoted to paper flowers. Follow here!

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I also had quite a few engaged couples get in touch before the holidays for save the dates and invitations. I can’t share any of those until after the big day of course, but here’s a lovely piece I received in late fall—nothing better than getting your own work in the mail! I’m so excited to work on more wedding invitations in 2017—get in touch if you’re planning your nuptials!

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Thank You Notes

thanks_9921As New Year’s approaches, I find myself reflecting on the year that’s passed. As I send out Christmas cards, I take the opportunity to tell friends and family what they mean to me, usually thanking them for various kindnesses throughout the year. This year I thought I’d do the same for my business. As I grow and put more of myself into 622 press/studio I find that the businesses and clients helping me realize this dream mean even more to me. Don’t worry, I’ll be sending cards, but I also thought I’d share here!

Iconi Interiors: About a million years ago, when I had absolutely no idea what I was doing business-wise, the owner of a gorgeous home interiors shop I truly admired took a chance on my work. I wrote about how absolutely floored I was at the time, but looking back, I realize her buy gave me the confidence to pursue all my other wholesale clients, which has become a huge portion of my business.

Driftless Studio: I’ve written about her a lot over the years, because the shop has been instrumental to the growth of 622 press. Not only does Driftless sell the most product of all my wholesalers, owner Anne is an amazing collaborator, never hesitant to share what she thinks will sell best, offering ideas and commissioning projects she truly believes in. And she’s always willing to let me peek behind the scenes of her business, which will quite possibly help me for years to come. As a creative running a successful retail shop, she has become a shining example of what I hope to someday grow up to be!

When Pigs Fly: This shop is owned by my friend’s mom, so it took me a long time to approach her about wholesale, but I’m so glad I did! Kim is always up for trying out new product and I love that! It’s been so important, especially in this year of growth. She’s currently the only retailer carrying my paper flowers!

Lark & Woods Grove: Both of these fabulous stores approached me out of the blue to carry 622 press goods. Just the fact that they were sold on the product alone has been a huge confidence booster this year!

Brain Mill Press: The projects Brain Mill Press sends my way make me feel so incredibly lucky to be able to spend my days doing what I love. With this second commission of art prints, I feel like a part of the BMP family: looking forward to our continued success and collaborations!

Card Club subscribers: Even though it’s a one-way relationship, I feel connected to the women I send cards to every month. I love thinking about what their stationery needs might be for the month, what pieces would round out their collection. Plus they help me keep my inventory in check, and for that I’m very grateful!

There are many more wedding and freelance clients that have really made a difference this year, and if you’re reading this you know who you are :) Thanks for an amazing 2015, here’s to another successful year!

Christmas in July

I haven’t created many cards for the holiday season in recent years. New designs need to be printed months in advance in order to get them to wholesalers by fall and my brain just wasn’t good at coming up with Christmas ideas in the middle of a busy summer.

This year, however, is different. This is the first year where 622 press gets the lion’s share of my attention, which means I’ve spent the last few weeks adding to my holiday card collection! I’ve got them printed, folded, and photographed even—and my winter catalog is going out to wholesalers this week. Please leave a comment if you have a favorite local shop that should stock 622 press goods!

I won’t be listing the cards in my etsy shop for a few months, but if you’re feeling super Type A, get in touch to order yours! Here’s a sneak peek, just in case :)

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!

#RealTalk

Avid readers of this blog have seen a progression (intentional and non-) toward more type-based designs lately. Not only does that mean ordering fewer [very expensive] printing plates for me, but people like cards with words on them, whether it says something they couldn’t quite figure out how to put into words or weren’t sure they were allowed to say.

I’m a pretty straightforward person. If you’ve met me in real life (or maybe you can even tell from my writing!), you more or less know how I feel about you, a situation or the work that you’ve made. I’m tactful, but I’m just not going to bullshit you—in fact I think it’s incredibly rude to say one thing to someone’s face and another behind their back (or even think it really).

So it makes sense that the cards I’ve been working on lately cut straight to the point. Sure, I could send you something with a quote about your journey and how everything happens for a reason… but wouldn’t you rather have this?

sorry_6815 ugh_6818The card above was actually inspired by a girlfriend’s experience with miscarriage. She said the best, most truthful sentiment anyone expressed to her was from her doctor, who simply said, “This really sucks. You don’t have to be ok right now.”

Of course that straightforward attitude works both ways—when I’m truly excited, you know it! And so, for when exciting things are on the horizon:

OMG_6812 holycrap_6809I’m at that age where most of my friends have or are thinking about, maybe working on making babies, which still just blows my mind. I know the survival of the species depends on it and all, but DO YOU KNOW ANOTHER, SEPARATE PERSON JUST GREW INSIDE YOU AND IS NOW OUT IN THE WORLD? “Holy crap” pretty much sums up how I feel about that.

These are now all available in my etsy shop, and there’s more to come in my next post! Stay tuned!

Product photography

I have a confession: almost every photo you’ve seen in my etsy shop or on my blog, Facebook page or instagram feed over the last two years has been taken with an iPhone. All my product photography, all those behind-the-scenes studio shots. I have professional editing software and know a few things about styling photos (former Art Director here, remember!), so things have gone well so far.

I do, however, feel something is lacking in my photos of prints and paintings. It’s a hard thing to capture the way a piece of art lights up a room to make the customer feel like it would be perfect in their own space. Since this is something I’m working on making more of (stay tuned for some exciting news in the next month or so!), I enlisted my dear friend and very talented stylist and photographer, Laura Houlihan of Laurels & Stars photography, for some help.

She has an incredible knack for creating gorgeous little vignettes throughout her home, so I knew she would knock this out of the park, but she even went above and beyond my high expectations!

Check out the photos below and pick up any of these prints here!

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