1. How was your business conceived?
I was first introduced to letterpress printing while earning my BFA at San Francisco Art Institute. Steel Petal Press was born when I designed and printed greeting cards for personal use to send to friends while still in grad school working towards my MFA. I started selling the cards at a few local shops, and the company took off from there. We now have three presses, four employees and an intern. Our cards are carried in over 200 stores across the country including Paper Source.
2. What do you love most about your product?
At Steel Petal Press we believe that beauty and humor bring joy to the world. We love creating products that help people celebrate and connect through life’s important moments. Mostly I love hearing customers laughing when they walk in the door, or notes from people saying my card was THE PERFECT card for a specific occassion.
3. What inspires you?
I am inspired by humanity, connection, friendships, relationships, laughter, beautiful type, harmonious design, and white spaces. My ideas come from things I would want to communicate myself, and those ideas and phrases become the basis of my greeting card ideas.
4. Why Chicago?
I moved to Chicago from San Francisco for an MFA program in Book and Paper Art. I stayed in Chicago for the urban atmosphere, affordable rents (compared to the coasts), and DIY / Crafty vibe. Chicago is one of the former epicenters of the printing world, so there's lots of access to great knowledge, community, and supplies.
5. What do you wish people asked you about your product?
I wish people had a better understanding of the labor involved. We print each card by hand, fold it with an envelope and slip it into a sleeve all by hand. There's a lot of care put into creating each card that can be overlooked.
6. Where can we find more info on your business?
Instagram: @steelpetalpress https://www.instagram.com/steelpetalpress/