What a seriously crazy year, you guys.
Nearly 100 new products, our first trade show, new stockists around the country, more custom work, a studio move, and I wrote the preface to a book!!
Plus, you know, raising a baby.
So on top of our little baby growing into a full fledged toddler, here are some other things we did in 2017:
This year I really prioritized on growing our shop, especially pushing the wholesale side of our business. We added close to 50 new greeting cards, a bunch of art prints, some more totes and mugs, and a whole new category: gift wrap. We did a bunch of local markets (especially in December!), bumped up our online sales, and then there was that little thing where we went to our first big TRADE SHOW: the 2017 National Stationery Show. Since then we’ve been picking up steam, adding stockists around the country, including getting our first card at the Paper Source!).
As you all know, we did our first NSS (National Stationery Show) this May, and it was INTENSE. Besides it being our first trade show ever, we also had a seven month old baby with us! In the months leading up to the show we designed and printed the products, put together the catalog, sent the mailers, built our own booth walls, packed them up in a rented trailer and drove them (again, with a seven. month. old. baby.) halfway across the country to good old NYC. Thank god we are from there and had lots of friends to help with the setup and sit in the booth with me, or I don’t know how we would have done it! But in the end, everything went great, it was super fun, and we got a bunch of new stockists. Plus this year is going to be a breeze because we are going to be leaving our kid at home with my parents.
Right after the Stationery Show, I was lucky enough to come across a nice big (1,000 sq ft) space in a warehouse/creative space 400 West Rich in the Franklinton Arts District. We packed up my 750 lb letterpress and 1000 lb paper cutter (plus couch, desks, and tons and tons of product) and moved it across town on a hot July day. It’s been super great to have a place to go to work, after all those years of working out of the house. And suddenly, we had about 500 sq ft of our home back! And just in time for Wiley to start crawling; the timing couldn’t have been better.
Now that I have all this extra space, AND it’s not in my house, I was able to bring on 2 part time employees, and start hosting open studios once a month. I have room for more presses down the line and hope to start teaching/hosting some workshops in the future.
We pumped the brakes on custom commissions this year, focusing on only those that gave the most creative freedom and fulfillment. And we weren’t disappointed with Kate and Alec, who let me talk them into this 3 color letterpress card with a vellum overlay.
I was asked to write the preface to a book, among these other mentions:
SO, WHAT’S NEXT?
We’ll continue to push our product line, and we’re already signed up for NSS 2018 (booth 1835!), and considering NYNOW in August. I’d like to start teaching/hosting classes in the new studio, maybe as soon as this spring. And we are working on adding a new [old] Heidelberg Windmill to the arsenal.
THANK YOU FOR FIVE (!?!) GREAT YEARS
I can NOT believe this is my fifth year in this business. I couldn’t do any of this without you, my customers & friends. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for your incredible support, serious.