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!

123_P35 quotes1_P12 ABC_ecru_P10

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.

10374486_837145149658694_1885042334076427652_n

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.

Screen Shot 2014-11-15 at 5.27.36 PM

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

circles_ornaments_4832

Driftless Studio

Anne Connor with her award-winning Boy Band
Anne Connor with her award-winning "Boy Band" photograph

622 press cards are now carried at Driftless Studio, which is owned and operated by Anne Connor. Anne is an amazing nature photographer, and the gallery exhibits much of her work as well as that of local and international artists. The shop carries everything from hand-woven rugs to unique jewelry to handmade crayons, and of course Anne’s photography graces coasters, mousepads, canvases and more.

She picked up my vintage owl notecard, plum and silver feathers note card and two colorways of my gone to seed note card. Driftless Studio is located at 2981 Cahill Main in Fitchburg, just behind The Great Dane on Fish Hatchery Rd.

Books and Brew, a delightful coffee shop in my hometown of Milton, WI, also decided to carry my cards full time. They picked up a few holiday designs last year, and the new owner Carla ordered a few of almost all of my notecard designs as well as one of each of the limited edition prints. She’s doing some really exciting things with the store including an expanded menu and earlier hours and giving the whole shop a facelift.

Miltons Old Junction Mill
Milton's Old Junction Mill

Books and Brew is located at 613 W. Madison Ave., in Milton’s recently restored Old Junction Mill, which is also home to The Red Rooster and Peddlar’s Loft. If you’re in the area you should definitely make a point to stop by!

The evening news

Hey all, I know I’ve been a little MIA lately, but it’s been quite a week! On Monday, I had double meetings: one for wholesaling 622 press goods (yay!) and one for a logo design for MMoCA (yay! ahh! More to come on this later). Anyway, the meeting went really well, and in a couple weeks 622 press pieces will be available at Iconi Interiors (534 W. Washington Ave., Madison).

Iconi Interiors
Iconi Interiors

Iconi has been my very favorite home store since it opened last May, and I decided I might as well start at the top when approaching stores for wholesale, and it worked! The owner, Coni (get it?) Marotz is great and she has an amazing eye for putting together living spaces. The shop is an eclectic mix of original new pieces, great vintage and re-upholstered furniture, beautiful contemporary art and unique accessories. Basically, I want to live there.

A bevy of lamps in the far front corner of the sunny shop
Left: A bookshelf of vintage barware; Right: A bevy of lamps in the far front corner of the sunny shop

She’s planning on carrying a couple holiday card sets, several of the others in my etsy shop, as well as some pieces that are exclusive to Iconi (and she just about bought me out of my “Marine” Limited Edition, so get them while you can!). She also had two vintage cuts for sale in her shop that she sent home with me to test print. I was skeptical because they seemed to be a bit worn, but they printed absolutely beautifully. I did a small run of each (see below), but plan on doing more soon. They’re so cool! And in my limited experience it’s pretty rare to find large abstract designs. I like that they’re a little more masculine and geometric than my illustrations.

Vintage cuts courtesy of Iconi Interiors

I also printed a really fun purple version of my ornaments card for my little sister (remember — you can order any design in any color, it only takes a couple weeks), and finally got a good run out of “Tablescape” (below), one of the first designs I created but haven’t been able to get to print well yet. (I think the cooler, less humid weather helped significantly, as well as my getting better at knowing the correct ink consistency and pressure.) So, even though I’ve been a total slacker on the blogging front, I’ve gotten a lot done!

"Tablescape" notecard