2013 recap

this poor blog has been completely neglected.  i’ve had a rough first month of the year… it felt like the holiday rush ran right into the new year and straight into wedding season… while, i’m not complaining of the increased business penelope’s press has been receiving, it’s been draining and work/life balance is becoming more and more of a challenge.  penelope’s press and myself is in need of a little tlc, which is exactly why i’m writing this post from sunny coronado, california!

working-vacation_penelopes-press

before i desperately try to bring you up to speed with penelope’s press ongoings, i best recap the highlights {and some lowlights} of the last year {yep, even though it’s already february!}

debuted at the national stationery show:  this was the most stressful, time-consuming, yet rewarding thing i’ve done for my business thus far.  preparing for the show encompassed so many moving parts, including building an entire booth display plus contents and shipping it to nyc, expanding the line by 100+ new designs {the majority of which were hand drawn illustrations by my sister {after several revisions, each drawing is scanned into illustrator, cleaned up + formatted,  then designed to include text + color.  photopolymer plates are made of each design and individually hand fed + letterpress printed one at time, one color at time}, and too many other things that happen behind the scenes like creating a catalog + line sheet from scratch, creating and assembling press kits, compiling a mailing list of potential wholesale buyers + sending them snail mail, updating the website with all of the new products including pricing, photos, description, etcetera.  the. list. was. endless.  but i did it, with the unending support and help of my husband {who built the hardwalls of my booth, drove me + the booth furnishings + products to nyc while i slept almost the entirety of the way, and was my go-to-runner-tie-loose-ends-keep-me-calm sidekick }, my sister {who kept drawing for me despite her own job + family + kids + life}, my parents {who babysat the kids while i hustled + printed + hustled + printed}, and all of my patient clients who waited a bit longer than normal for me to finish orders during the crazy rush that preceded and followed the show.  just thinking about all of the hardwork and mental energy that went into the show makes makes me both tired + teary eyed.  …and guess what?  it’s happening all over again… the tradeshow is just around the corner!  let the madness fun begin!

penelopes-press-at-the-national-stationery-show-NSS-2013

retail:  with our debut at the national stationery show, penelope’s press has fully launched our wholesale line.  prior to the stationery show, penelope’s press products were only carried in two retail locations… since the stationery show, our lists of retailers has grown with fabulous stores from coast to coast.

some awesome press:  penelope’s press had some exciting features, both online + in print, including the chicago tribune red eye, oh so beautiful paper, uppercase magazine, and style me pretty to name a few.

letterpress-rustic-winter-wedding-invitations_signage_tags

photography by amanda hein photography and styling by petal play designs + violet & pearl vintage revival

 

a celebrity client:  we had our first celebrity client order {wishful thinking that we’ll have more celebrity clients}!!!  people keep asking who it is… maybe you can guess who it is with this hint:  he’s a television late night funny guy with the initials JK!

penelopes-press-letterpress-stationery

professional development:  took an intensive hand lettering + calligraphy class taught by the super talented molly jacques.  it’s an incredible feeling to be surrounded by creatives that are just as excited + passionate to learn the craft as you!  stay tuned, we hope to incorporate more hand lettering + calligraphy in our products!

handlettering-with-molly-jacques

wedding shows:  we dipped our toes in the wedding show arena and had a fabulous response!  penelope’s press had the opportunity to be a vendor at chicago’s own indie wed and a month later at martha’s stewart’s wedding party — the first time martha stewart took the annual new york wedding show on the road to the midwest.

martha-stewart-wedding-party-chicago_penelope's-press

well, that’s about it for the major highlights of the last year.  as always, i am blessed to be able to create pretty paper products, work with amazing clients, and collaborate with talented colleagues in the industry!

while it was another great year and penelope’s press continues to steadily grow, there is always room for improvement.  topping the list of “things-i-need-to-work-on” include– better work/life balance, keeping a tidier work station, create a better inventory tracking system, have better bookkeeping, and attempt to blog more.

{see what i mean about keeping a tidier work station?  the struggle is real.} envelopes-galore_penelope's-press

that’s it folks… thanks for sticking around in between the longs gaps of silence.  i hope to be more present with this blog.  cheers to a new year!

 

Leave a Comment

wedding season in full swing!

2014 is in full swing which means wedding season is well under way!!  penelope’s press is a proud vendor of the 5th annual indie wed!  we still have a few more complimentary tickets… if you are a chicago area bride and want to attend this awesome wedding show and market, message me asap at debbie{at}penelopespress.com.  hope to see you there!

300x250web

Leave a Comment

thankful for you!

penelopes-press-letterpress-black-friday-small-business-saturday-cybermonday-sale-

Leave a Comment

surprise, i’m alive!

i know, i know… it’s been MONTHS since my last post!  i never even finished my national stationery show recap… sigh.  not like i’m making excuses, but i don’t find blogging a priority.  eh, is that bad?  i really don’t blog for SEO or for people to pin images to pinterest.  to be honest, i blog because it’s a good way for me to chronicle my adventures in letterpress, to hopefully encourage a reader or two to pursue creative entrepreneurship, and quite frankly, it’s fun.  afterall, my undergrad degree is a bachelors of arts in english with a concentration in creative writing {who would’ve thought, huh?  with all of my lowercase writing, excessive use of the ellipsis, and occasional typographical and grammatical error}, so writing has always been a favorite pastime.  when i was a younger, i always thought i would write a book… eh, i can’t even keep up with this blog… c’est la vie.  i promise to bring you up-to-date with the ongoings of penelope’s press… stay tuned!

Leave a Comment

national stationery show recap part 2

back to my national stationery show recap…

lesson #2:  when you think you packed everything you need and have double or triple checked…. check again then again… and then have someone else with fresh eyes check too!

it was in the wee hours in the morning when i packed for the show,  so while i swear i checked everything twice and three times, apparently my eyes failed me.  not only did i forget 3 or so cards from the line,  i also forgot one of my lined envelopes that coordinates with my fill-in-invitation collection.  so on saturday before heading to the javitz for day 2 of setup, we ran a few errands.  i did a quick stop at paper presentation, the retail side of one my wholesalers, to try to find the liner for the fill-in-invitation that i forgot.

penelope's-press-at-national-stationery-show-nss-10

paper-presentation-nyc-2

while i was in paper heaven, they didn’t have what i needed.  unfortunately, i had to showcase the fill-in invitation collection without any of the envelope liners since one was missing.  fail.  hence, lesson #2.

after rushing around the city doing errands, we finally made it to the javitz.  i dropped off my board for the best new product competition {we didn’t win, but was honored to have been a finalist!} and we were off to finish up the booth.

national-stationery-show-best-new-product-competition

lesson #3:  when in doubt, use tape.

i use a lot of tape in my little business, but goodness, tape was our best friend at the show!  we used double-sided tape to put up the wood logo sign, heavy-duty double-sided outdoor tape to hang a picture frame, and duck tape to tape our walls to our neighbor’s walls for reinforcement!

nss-booth

after all the tape, putting up product on shelves, and ordering last minute lighting due to the hard wall fiasco in the last post {lesson #1}, we were finally ready, with i must say, a pretty good looking booth!  {i posted a ton of pictures throughout the show on instagram and facebook… let’s connect on social media!}  stay tuned for more on the show tomorrow!

penelope's-press-at-national-stationery-show-nss

Leave a Comment