How Does It Get Made?: The SPP Edition.

How does it get made? Is this a question we ask too much?…or not enough?

When we live in such a consumer-driven culture, it can be easy to forget the journey an item makes before we purchase it. For us here at SPP, it’s more than just making a commodity. It’s about creating high quality, handmade items that connect all of us through fun and meaningful life moments. With that in mind, we want to begin a series of blog posts that detail specific portions of the design process for our upcoming release – from start to finish! However, we thought to give it a bit more context that we should layout a brief overview of the entire process derived from our last release which just happened in January (Spring)!  Without further ado, enjoy How does It Get Made?: The SPP Edition.

The “Thinking” Process:
While this isn’t an official title or anything, it’s a great umbrella concept for the creative thoughts process that must happen first. Essentially, we can’t produce new items if we don’t know what ideas we want to create! As I mentioned above, we just did a Spring Release this January but its development began way back in August of last year (2018)! The entire staff joins in on the brainstorming process which means we are constantly jotting down and joking around with ideas. From that pool of ideas, Shayna starts designing rough sketches which can take anywhere from 4-6 weeks.

As the sketching process continues, Shayna will present them to the entire staff during weekly meetings in which positive and negative feedback is given and adjustments are made to create final designs or table  unfinished ideas (possibly for another release).

The “Printing” Process:
Next up, printing! Since we create cards using the letterpress process, we must order the plates which “stamp” (or press) our design onto paper. Therefore, absolutely no printing can occur until we receive them. The plates usually come in 1-2 weeks and then we print all the new card designs for another 2-3 weeks.

However here at SPP, we don’t just design cards! We also design gift items like magnets, mugs, gift bags, and gift wrap which can’t be made using letterpress so we outsource them during this time to other printing services in the US.

The “Marketing to Sales” Process:
This final portion of the journey encompasses all aspects that have to do with marketing and getting our products to sale through either wholesale or retail. When we finish printing, the new samples are shipped out to be photographed which takes about another 1-2 weeks. These photographs are important because they can used for a variety of marketing purposes like Instagram, Facebook, newsletters, etc.

During this time, Shayna will also update our wholesale catalog while our wholesale manager, Rachel, works on updating our various selling websites. Rachel will also work on sending out the new samples to our sales rep groups across the country to ensure they have our entire current line available for accounts. Last on the wholesale front, we will send out catalogs and marketing fliers to all 300+ current retailers to let them know about our new release!

Once all of that is complete, we can begin selling our new items to the public through various retail channels such as our brick and mortar store and our website!

The finish of a release also sets us up to show at wholesale markets like AmericasMart and NYNow because we have new products to debut to current and potential accounts!

Whew – what a process, huh?! While it’s no small feat, it’s a large part of what we are constantly doing here at Steel Petal Press. We look forward to continuing this blog post series in real time alongside our next release. Until then, we hope you enjoyed How Does It Get Made?: The SPP Edition.

Be sure to stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse all of our awesome products AND MORE!

And be sure to follow us on Instagram for more behind the scenes!

Leave a Reply