Paper Party!

November 29th will be my very first trunk show! My friends at stumble & relish in Evanston asked if I would be interested in having a paper party with them for Small Business Saturday, I immediately said yes.

A little background for ya... stumble & relish was a dream of a very dear friend of mine, Jaime and her mom. She and I worked together over a decade ago during our previous, corporate lives. We were fast friends and have been supporting each other’s dreams and treasure hunting obsessions ever since. Her mom is equally amazing and has been a customer of mine for as many years as I've been peddling. A couple years ago I had the very good fortune of having Jaime help out at a. favorite design, and boy did she help, it was great! During that time she was dreaming & scheming to open a boutique with handmade jewelry, stationery, purses and gifts. After two years, Jaime and her mom found the perfect spot, lined up their favorite artisan vendors and took a leap of faith. Last year on November 23rd, (Small Business Saturday), they opened their doors. Evanston has embraced them with open arms, they’ve become actively engaged in the community and I could not be more happy or more proud of them. They have curated a beautiful boutique filled with incredible goods from real crafts-people with entrepreneurial dreams like theirs. If you haven’t been, you really should. And what better time then Small Business Saturday?

If you are in the Chicago area please come see stumble & relish (and me)!

stumble & relish * 1310 a chicago ave * evanston, il 60201
paper party * November 29th * 12pm – 4 pm

Show of Hands 2014

Several years ago I decided to stop participating in retail shows. Instead, I would focus my energy on wholesaling. This was a pretty big decision but I decided I needed to take some time, especially around the holidays to sit back and actually enjoy the season. And it’s been wonderful! Sure, I missed the extra cash but time to bake cookies, decorate my home, attend parties & not be exhausted the morning after in a cold gym for 8 hours the next day peddling my goods has certainly been worth it.

Last year my no more retail shows motto was challenged. I received an email from Emily of Orange Beautiful asking me to be a part of a new show she was putting together, Show of Hands. I was reluctant initially and explained my motto. Emily then shared her passion of curating an amazing group of professional artists, designers & craftspeople in the Ravenswood neighborhood (same as my studio). It was scheduled for the weekend before Thanksgiving, which happens to be before my hustle & bustle of the season. If you’ve ever visited Emily’s shop or blog you know she has impeccable taste. Her passion was contagious & I knew she had what it took to put together a successful show, so I agreed.

It was honestly, like no other show I had ever done. The quality of vendors was fantastic! I was even able to get some holiday shopping done myself. And the aisles were large, in a beautiful (& warm) space. Even during the busiest times you could move through the space comfortably while shopping. I’m honored to say, this year I am again part of Show of Hands. You should visit me & 59 of my independent artist, designer & craftspeople friends. After all, wouldn’t you like to invest in a few craftspeople dreams this holiday, while shopping some of the best, most creative, local handmade items? Happy Holidays, we hope to see you there!

A Chicago Classic

I love Chicago. Seriously. It's absolutely magical. And unless you've experienced it, it's hard to explain. But I'll try... I think Chicago is filled with the friendliest people and greatest food. Not to mention we have Barack Obama, an amazing lakefront, beautiful architecture, grand museums, culturally rich neighborhoods, lollapalooza, pitchfork, a magical skyline & bridges that smell like chocolate. Not bad for the third largest city in the U.S.

One Chicago classic I enjoy visiting is Superdawg. It's a drive-in, that serves THE best Chicago Dog in town (I can say that now that Hot Dougs is gone). It's been at the corner of Devon and Milwaukee since 1948 and not much has changed. It's perfect! What's not to love with the vintage graphics, menu, drive-in speakers, bright neon, amazing vintage style packaging, perfect typography & delicious hotdogs?

Chicago Ideas Week

This week I hosted my very first Chicago Ideas Week (CIW) lab.

A few months ago CIW reached out to me, asking if I’d be interested in hosting a behind-the-scenes experience of our business. If you’re not familiar with CIW, they describe it as follows: “Chicago Ideas Week brings together hundreds of the world's brightest thought leaders to inspire, connect, and activate the city of Chicago and beyond.” I was honored they sought me out but I’m a shy person by nature and was a bit apprehensive. I have an ongoing battle of shyness vs. letterpress passion/business, yet the more I researched CIW, the more I wanted to participate. I really love the idea of sharing my passion for letterpress printing with the rest of the world.

In the past, I have hosted schools, art students, young authors and several one-on-one aspiring letterpress printers with ease. This was much more difficult for me as I had no idea what my guest’s backgrounds were. This made me question how technical I should be while presenting the process. At times, I noticed I was stumbling on words and rambling on a bit. However, once I began demonstrating actual letterpress printing, I was much more at ease. I love printing on my 1913 platen press, it feels natural and the desire to share that experience really helped me to focus. The attendees participated by printing, cutting and corner rounding several of their very own postcards designed specifically for the event. And while I may have started out a bit rocky, the end result was great. Everyone was enthusiastic about printing, extremely respectful of our studio and asked incredibly thoughtful questions. Both the CIW participants and volunteers were wonderful, I couldn’t have asked for a better group. Finally, after demonstrating the craft and effort that go into each card, one participant said, “now I appreciate why a letterpress printed card costs $5.00 or more,” which made me feel great. Overall I’m considering this a big win for letterpress passion, it was a fantastic experience and I hope to have the opportunity to host a lab again next year.