Searching for a Commercial Space

Armitage5 If you follow me on instagram, then you’ve probably already seen the photo above.  It is a commercial space I have been courting for the last few weeks.

The space is a mile from my house, on a pretty busy street, beautiful windows with tons of light, HUGE square footage (more than I need) and the best part it was in my price range. The downside was it need a lot of work just to get up to par, but the affordable rent and the size made it SO appealing and perfect for me.


I looked at it once a few weeks ago, then came back a week later with my husband to get a second look.  The owners knew I was interested and were negotiating with me. I said I wanted to come back with a contractor to get estimates before I committed and they agreed.

I came back again this past Thursday with one contractor, and a again the next day. I still loved the space was REALLY interested in renting it.  That day, I had a gut feeling that if I didn’t put in an offer soon, they place would be taken by someone else, but I wanted to be prudent.  When I visited with building manager AND spoke with the owner on the phone, both of them said they wanted me in that space, and that they were waiting for me to make a decision.  I told them I really wanted it, but just need a few more days to decide.

The very next day, less than 12 hours later –  I got a text from the owner saying the space was taken!!  My heart was BROKEN.  (I even cried a little)  Even though, I knew I wanted the place, I had waited, and I was totally kicking myself for letting it get away.  I had envisioned how I would use each of the rooms, where presses would go, and how the retail would be laid out…  I guess there such thing as too cautious. First lesson learned is trust your gut! If he had not told me he would wait, I would have put in my deposit on Friday.


24 hours later – the more I’ve thought about it (and talked about it endlessly with my friends, my mom, my husband, on social media, pretty much everyone..) the more I’m coming to terms with the fact that it’s for the best.  How SHADY was it for the owner to tell me he wanted me in the space, and then give it to someone else without even contacting me first, or giving me a chance to put in an offer. I had put in an application. I had told him I wanted it.  And then he sends me a TEXT message (not even a phone call) to say it’s no longer available. I tried calling him afterwards to discuss what happened, and to see if there’s still a way we can work out a deal or at least I can get an explanation, but he has avoided my calls, and I’m pretty sure I won’t hear from him again.  Do I really want someone with that character as my landlord? Probably not.

I will find somewhere else and it will be fine.  It won’t be as big or cheap, but will be better in other ways. I just don’t know how yet.  I will end up paying more money for a smaller space, but I won’t have to invest as much money in build out.  Maybe it will be in a better location with better foot traffic? Still close to home, but with better street exposure.

In the meantime, I can focus my energies on gearing up for the National Stationery Show and other aspects of the business. AND I won’t have to invest so much of my own energy (and money) into restoring and building out someone else’s space..

Sigh…. what a roller coaster!

On a side/related note I’m sorry, I haven’t posted any NSS Prep updates yet this year, but I plan on posting some updates soon.  I hope you’re weekend was better than mine! Did you get up to anything fun?

Behind The Scenes – Making Room

letterpress studio

We JUST got new shelves, and they’re filling up fast!

letterpress cards

We’re releasing lots of new designs for the National Stationery Show in May. That means we’re saying goodbye to a few of our older styles.

letterpress sale cards

These and many other great cards are in the sale section now!

Vintage Lace Wedding Inspiration


Vintage Lace Wedding Inspiration

Lace Wedding Invitation

The vintage lace wedding invitation started out as a custom design in 2012 and has been a part of my letterpress wedding invitation collection every since. Brides are always drawn to the subtle lace pattern, the beautiful blind printing and the thick, luxurious paper.

The vintage lace wedding invitation would be a lovely compliment, setting the tone for a lace-themed wedding. Below is some great lace-themed inspiration I found around the web.

Be sure to check out the Vintage Lace Wedding Invitation on my site, or you can view my full collection HERE.

vintage romantic lace wedding lace backdrop

(above image source)

vintage romantic lace table runner

(image source)

Lace Wedding Invitation

Vintage Lace Wedding Inspiration

Meet Hillary, the newest letterpress intern!


Meet Hillary, our newest intern!  She started a few weeks ago and will be with us through the end of May (through all the National Stationery Show madness)

Here’s her little bio:

Hillary graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a BFA in Graphic Design. She fell in love with the printing process during her last year of college and has been committed to learning new methods and skills. She loves that printing is a meticulous and hand-work driven process. While not working at Steel Petal Press, she is a graphic designer for a visual branding studio. In her free time she constantly contemplates getting a dog and spends too much money on plants. 
You’ll probably start seeing her pop up in my instagram feed soon enough.  We’re happy to have her!


Marketing / Social Media Intern Wanted In Chicago

004_SteelPetalPress We are looking for a Marketing/Social Media Intern to work with us 5-10 hours a week for at least 12 weeks in our Pilsen studio. There will be no printing involved in this position.

Steel Petal Press is a letterpress stationery company that focuses on greeting cards, custom stationery and wedding invitations. We are a small business but we are growing! We’re looking for someone to help us keep growing by increasing our social media presence, creating a marketing strategy and helping us develop relationships with magazines, blogs and other publications.

Tasks will include:
– creating content for and managing our social media accounts
– creating content and scheduling blog posts
– creating and implementing a strategy to increase and engage with our social media followers
– marketing strategy and outreach to local and national blogs, magazines and publications – wedding and stationery related.

This position can be tailored to your interests and strengths, and you will have the chance to come up with your own projects and implement them. This is a great opportunity for you to prove your ability to create a successful marketing/social media plan from the ground up!

We are open to students or non-students. We can also work with your school’s requirements to receive school credit.

To be considered, you MUST meet the following requirements:
-An interest in stationery and/or the wedding industry
-Marketing experience, classes or related experience
-Ability to work independently and take initiative. You must be able to come up with ideas on your own, and implement them.
– Think creatively
– Excellent writing skills
– Detail oriented
-a design background is a bonus, but not necessary

Please email us your resume and a cover letter to Orders (at) SteelPetalPress (dot) com, with the subject line Marketing/Social Media Intern.

Behind The Scenes – Let’s Ride

letterpress bike card

It’s that time of year again, we have bike rides on our mind! It seems like we’re not the only ones, these spring-y bike cards are a hot seller lately. Time to print!

chicago letterpress studio

Our intern Fuko is the lucky lady on the press today, measuring to make sure everything is centered just right!

chicago letterpress company

We’re loving all the sunshine in the studio lately, it won’t be long until we can get on our bikes and really enjoy it!

Help Steel Petal Press win a Small Biz Grant!

Steel Petal Press FedEx Small Business Grant

It’s the last day to vote Steel Petal Press onto the next round for a FedEx Small Business grant! Please help by voting for us HERE.

We could use the money in so many ways, and your votes can help get us to the next round. Your support is much appreciated!!

NEW: New York City Skyline Wedding Invitation

New York City Skyline Letterpress Wedding Invitaition

I’m excited to introducing another new wedding invitation to my collection. The New York City Skyline wedding invitation is inspired by the New York City Skyline Save the Date.  In this sample it is printed in black and white with a lovely gold envelope liner to accent the suite (can you tell I’m a fan of envelope liners?)  It can also be done in any color of your choosing to match your wedding day.

View my whole collection HERE, or head straight for the New York City wedding invitation.

New York City Skyline Letterpress Wedding Invitaition

Behind The Scenes – Sneak Peeks

letterpress studio

We were printing non-stop today, working on lots of exciting new releases. You know what else is exciting? Sunshine at 6:30 p.m.!!

letterpress printer

I can’t show you much until we get everything photographed and added to the shop, but I couldn’t resist a little teaser. Stayed tuned for some really fun new cards and mugs soon!

NEW: Arboretum Letterpress Wedding Invitation

Arboretum Letterpress Wedding Invitation Chicago

The next new letterpress wedding invitation I would like to introduce from my collection is Arboretum.  Printed in greys with classic typography and a subtle floral border.  I love the delicacy of this invitation.  It is originally printed in grey for a more neutral look, but could easily be jazzed up with a cheery, brighter color palette.

Place your order through my website here, or you can order samples directly through my site.  View my whole collection HERE.  Feel free to contact me with any questions about letterpress or wedding invitations. I’d be happy to hear from you!

Arboretum Letterpress Wedding Invitation Chicago Arboretum Letterpress Wedding Invitation Chicago