Wedding Stationery Timeline

Wedding Stationery Timelines

Your big day is coming up, and you’re wondering when you should send out your wedding invitations.

Invitations should be sent out six to eight weeks before the wedding. This will give guests time to work their way around their schedules and make travel arrangements if they’re out of town. If you’re having a destination wedding, send the invitations out three months in advance. Many couples send out save-the-date cards, and they should be sent six to eight months before your wedding day. Your deadline for RSVPs should be two to three weeks before the events, so you can have enough time to give your caterer a head count and to finalize your seating chart. If you have guests that haven’t responded by the deadline, call them and ask for their reply through snail mail.

At Steel Petal Press we love all things wedding stationery related. Check out our collection of unique letterpress wedding invitations online and feel free to ask us any questions about wedding stationery etiquette. We’d love to help!

NEW: Astrology Birthday Cards

A favorite of the new cards I released in May for the National Stationery Show is my line of Letterpress ASTROLOGY BIRTHDAY Cards.  I had a lot of fun designing these, and I worked closely with long-time friend Lisa Fink to create unique copy for each card.   They have been selling well too.

All are available for purchase in my online shop or click each image to purchase the card.

Aquarius Birthday Card Aries Birthday Card Cancer Birthday Card Capricorn Birthday Card Gemini Birthday Card Leo Birthday Card Libra Birthday Card Pisces Birthday Card Sagittarius Birthday Card Scorpio Birthday Card Taurus Birthday Card Virgo Birthday Card

Astrology Birthday Cards

Date Night: Let’s Get Crunk


Here at Steel Petal Press, we’re in the behind-the-scenes business of thoughtfulness—creating greeting cards that allow YOU to be able to send kindness in written form. We’re also in the business of celebrating. We leave our cards blank inside so that they can serve as blank slates for your unique message, your occasion. We’re also in the business of communicating. A quick note is a great way to share thanks, say hello, stir a laugh, extend an invite.

We love providing ways to allow you to be thoughtful, to celebrate, and to communicate with the people in your life. So, in a new series, we’ll be pairing some of our hand-printed cards with date night suggestions. Use the cards to hand write an invitation to a spouse, a friend, a parent, and let the fun begin!

With the longest day of the year now behind us, we’re feeling the pull to get out of doors and enjoy the sun and warmth while it lasts. Lucky for us, opportunities to do so abound here in the Windy City. For our first installment of the Date Night Series, we’re pairing our Let’s Get Crunk card with a night of dancing in Grant Park as part of the Summerdance series.

Each weekend in the Spirit of Music Garden, professional dance instructors lead an hour long class (Fridays and Saturdays from 6-7pm and Sundays from 4-5pm) followed by live music and freestyle rug-cutting. Dance lessons run the gamut from salsa, to tango, to country and square dancing.

Find the schedule of events here, and find our online card shop here, where you can turn our wares into your next great date night idea.


Father’s Day


Just in time for Father’s Day, we’ve compiled a list of our favorite cards and ways to celebrate the men in our lives. Whether your write him a thoughtful note or take him on a dad date in the city, these are great ways to give the man his due this weekend.

1.  This year’s Father’s Day card, hot off the press.
2. Prez Obama burger at Good Stuff Eatery — voted one of the year’s best by Time Out Chicago.
3. Perfect brew complement to the burger, our Beer Print is on sale at just $16. While you’re at it, take him out for a cold Lagunitas, too.
4. This Troubadour Handmade Pen is locally made from Chicago re-claimed wood.
5. Special edition Chicago-made Lillies Q smoky BBQ sauce.
6. Another Steel Petal Press favorite, for the humble, yet beloved child.
7. Yet another one of our apt greeting cards.
8. Just right for pairing with #7 is a trip to one of the city’s newer vinyl shops, Audio Archaeology to hunt down some of his old anthems.

You can find Steel Petal Press cards in any number of local shops near YOU.

Behind the Scenes – Post Stationery Show Updates

Photo May 26

It’s almost unbelievable that nearly a month has passed since the stationery show. As soon as we returned from New York, it’s been (steel) petal to the floor with production work and planning around here. Over the course of four days at the show (and twenty seven hours of exhibiting), we were thankful to have picked up orders from across the map. The studio is now a-buzz with the follow-up printing, packing, and shipping our paper sassiness to retailers countrywide.

Photo May 28

We debuted over 40 new products there last month, including a range of mugs and shot glasses. While we LOVE it, printing can be repetitious work, so it’s been fun to get to see some fresh designs like this one  in the mix over the last several weeks.

Letterpress Congratulations Card Chicago

In line with awesomeness, we’re thrilled to announce we’ve made progress towards a new phase for Steel Petal Press. Fingers crossed, by early fall, you’ll be able to find our cards among some other favorite paper and gift items in a brand new retail space/studio in Logan Square, where we’ll our run production and office hours, but and maintain regular retail hours, as well. The wheels are churning with ideas of how to welcome the community into our process through this space, and we can’t wait to share updates with you as we move forward.

Letterpress Sympathy and Encouragement Card - Good Vibes

So, stay tuned, and while you’re sending good vibes out this summer, we’d be delighted if you’d shoot some in our direction, too.

We’re Hiring!

Hiring 2015

Steel Petal Press is hiring! After a year in the trenches our right hand lady Maranda will be moving on to bigger adventures. Now we have the difficult job of finding an awesome admin/retail/stationery/inventory guru to fill her shoes.

I am looking for a permanent part-time studio manager/ administrative assistant with potential for growth. We are currently located in Pilsen, where we produce and ship all our products around the country. This fall we will be moving to a retail location in Logan Square. Administrative + Retail experience is a plus!
** This is an office job, NOT a creative position.

commitment: 2-3 days a week – with availability on weekends
compensation: DOE
location: Pilsen, Chicago (with relocation to Logan Square this Fall)

Tasks include:
— supply and inventory management
— data entry
— fulfillment
— packing and shipping orders
— managing wholesale accounts, etsy orders and online shops (shopify, etsy)
— possibly some research and marketing assistance
— some general studio maintenance

– organized
– online selling/shipping experience
— hard working
— ability to work independently
— keen attention to detail, with ability to understand the ‘Big Picture’
— highly organized
— OK with performing repetitive tasks
— great communication skills
— previous office management experience
— Flexible schedule

Bonus if you have:
– Love of stationery
– Small Boutique experience
– visual merchandising and buying experience

To be considered:

Spring SALE!

Greeting Card Sale Steel Petal Press


It’s been a few months since I last offered you all a discount, so here it is!

In honor of SPRING
a HUGE 30% off EVERYTHING in
my Online Shop and Etsy
with the coupon code: SPRING30
(excluding wedding deposits)

TODAY ONLY (Friday, June 5th) and tomorrow.

Online Shop
From your cart
1 – Click “Check Out”
2 – Enter shipping info and “Continue to Next Step”
3- enter the code: “SPRING30″ for the 30% discount on the last page
(just before you insert your payment info.)

From your cart
1 – Top right corner below “how you’ll pay” click “Apply Shop Coupon Code”
2 – Proceed to Checkout

NSS Recap 2015

I’m finally back from the National Stationery Show and getting caught in the studio up after being gone for almost 10 days.  It was a whirlwind, fun-filled, work-filled, STATIONERY-filled trip.  Both super fun, and super tiring at the same time. I’m so glad to finally be home and making headway in the studio.
We got in on Thursday night to attend my cousin’s wedding in Brooklyn, and then spent all day Friday and Saturday setting up the booth:
Every year at the Stationery Show (this is my 3rd year) I always look forward to seeing all my stationery friends. These are friends I know through the stationery industry, mostly online, through Facebook, Instagram, the TSBC community, or through friends of other stationery friends.   This industry is amazingly talented, social, friendly, open, supportive and welcoming.  Stationery People are the BEST. We trade biz stories, traumas, triumphs and heartaches.  Most of these (mostly ladies) don’t know me at all outside of the stationery world, but still know the business side of me better than almost anyone else. I always love reconnecting with these amazing folks even if it is just once a year. It feels magical and special. A shout out to some of my lovely stationery friends (in no particular order) are Grey Moggie, Penelope’s Press, Ink Meets Paper, Blackbird Letterpress, Power and Light Press, Paper Lovely, Parrot Design Studio, Thimble Press, The Paper Cub, Noteworthy Paper and Press (and I could keep going.)
  Steel Petal Press National Stationery Show 2015
Aside from the social aspect, the main reason to head to the Stationery Show is to showcase and sell my work to shops all over the country.  Every year has been a different experience for me and this year was no different. I felt like I got a ton more traffic this year, but not as many orders as years past. It was a little disappointing considering how much time and money goes into exhibiting.  However I was super happy with the orders I got, and I am always thrilled to add new and awesome retails to our list of stockists.  (check out or growing list HERE) From experience so much of the show is about the connections you make, and follow up after the show.  Some of my biggest accounts and best orders came after the show, so I know it’s hard to quantify purely based on performance at the show.
I was most excited about debuting my selection of SHOT GLASSES. Maybe I’m friends with too many bar tenders, but I know at least a dozen people I want to give these to! People have been ordering them too :)
I had a surprise best seller this year.  Almost every order I wrote at the show (and all the follow up orders) has included the YODA encouragement card:
I am not entirely sure if I will go back next year.  (But  that doesn’t mean I’m done for good!) At this point I have many ways of finding new shops to carry my work.  I have started working with two sales reps, I get consistent orders through etsy wholesale AND I have shop owners reaching out to me independently on a regular basis.  With this in mind, it is hard to justify the cost to attend, especially when I have other exciting new projects on the horizon! (it’s still not official but I am planning on opening a retail shop in the next 6 months or so. I’m still in the process of negotiating the lease, so nothing is official yet and I don’t want to jinx it!) With the new shop on deck, I’m really not sure what my time or financial situation will be looking like next year.
When/if I ever do go back to the show I really want to focus on refining my brand and my image.  Although I thought my booth this year looked pretty, I didn’t feel like it was the best reflection of me or my work.  I wonder if that could have contributed to my slower sales. Last year I loved my pink walls, this year I wasn’t feeling them as much.  My work is a little edgier and a little more humorous and fun, and I’m not sure if that came through in my booth or in my pre-show mailer and marketing material.  In the upcoming months I really want to work on getting a stronger handle on Steel Petal Press, what we do, why we do it, and the image that best portrays who we are and what we stand for.

Behind the Scenes – NSS 2015 Prep

NSS 2015

NSS 2015

You GUYS! Next week I will be in NYC for my third time exhibiting at The National Stationery Show!  I have been meaning to write an update, but I’ve been trying to focus more on my mental and physical health and blogging has been put on the back burner.

This year I have definitely felt the most prepared and most calm during my NSS Prep. I didn’t have to create a catalog from scratch, come up with product numbers, figure out flooring, lighting and walls etc.  That’s all already been done at least once.  This year I focused on my making some great new products and tweaking and perfecting all the tools I already have in place.  This year I am also not right in the middle buying a house (like last year) so that has taken off a lot of added pressure.

I’m starting to get really EXCITED! One of the things I love best about the Stationery Show is the community of amazing people you meet and how nice and friendly and supportive everyone is.  Not just other exhibitors, but shop owners and all the industry people. You really feel like you’re a part of something that is bigger than you are.  And it’s special.

Before heading to the show I always connect with other shop owners and designers through instagram.  My favorite thing to do these days  is search the hashtag #nss2015 <— check it out yourself!  How could you not get excited looking through all the wonderful new work being made, or seeing all the pre-show mailers filling retailers’ mail boxes, or all the behind-the-scenes looks at your colleagues near and far as they prep for the show.

People in the industry call it “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year!”  And if you’re a stationery fiend, or maker, or buyer, it’s true.  I just loved this photo from Shindig Paperie in Arkansas of all her NSS mail:

NSS 2015

Or read this blog post from Crumple and Toss on NSS Mailers.

Aside from mailers, I’ve been working on booth set up, catalogs and all that other good stuff.  Below are a few highlights from my instagram feed.

My new catalog is here! 32 pages this year. Along with my “write on” mini journal booth giveaway.  You can view the digital version of my catalog HERE, or if you’re a retailer interested in receive a catalog and you won’t be at the show, shoot me an email and I’ll send one your way!
orders (at) steelpetalpress (dot) com

New Steel Petal Press Catalog

Also my pre-show mailer, A9 size, gold foil, pink envelopes. yum!

Pre Show Mailer NSS

This year I had one of my is a finalist for a Louie Award!  The Louie Awards is the award show for greeting cards. Submissions are blind-judged by a panel of industry experts over a two-day, on the criteria of originality, impact, design excellence, sendability, and value.

Watch this fun video about the Louie Awards for more info:

My Big Gay Wedding Card is a finalist for LGBQT Above $4 category:
Big Gay Wedding Greeting Card
Finalists in each category are announced in March, with winners revealed at the annual LOUIE Awards gala, held every May in New York City during the National Stationery Show. And you can view a list all the finalists and categories HERE.

On the Sunday night of the show, I will be attending the Louie Award Gala and dragging hubby along with me.  I’m actually also super nerdy excited about that event too.

Also these two products are finalists for Best New Product Awards. (Different than the Louie Awards).  The new Astrology birthday card series (below) is a finalist in the Paper Love category:

Astrology Birthday Card Series

And this HOT STUFF typographic ceramic mug is a finalist for the Lifestyle category:

Hot Stuff Typographic Mug

So here’s my a look at my schedule for the next two weeks:
Wed 5/13 (5 days?!) Chad and I leave to drive to NYC from Chicago
Thur 5/14 – It’s my cousin’s wedding in Brooklyn.  Convenient, but I also wish It wasn’t right before NSS so I could enjoy myself a little more.
Fri 5/15 – Post-Wedding family brunch then Start set up at NSS
Sat 5/16 – Finish set up at NSS
Sun 5/17 – SHOW OPENS!!! Evening Louie Awards Gala (more on that below)
Mon 5/18-Tues 5/19 – More standing around the booth, smiling, writing up orders
Wed 5/21 – Show closes, drive with hubby to Niagara Falls
Thur 5/22 – Relax and explore Niagara Falls
Fri 5/23 – Drive to Toronto, spend the night
Sat 5/24 – Drive home

Did you notice that little mini-vaca detour at the end of my trip? Yes! We will be taking a few extra days to drive home after the show and explore some parts of the country/Canada that we have never visited before.  It will be nice to take a few days to relax before I head back into work.

Please follow along my journey on my instagram feed!  And I will be back after the show to touch on highlights and a recap of NSS 2015.

Chicago Letterpress Internship

Chicago Letterpress Internship

1-2 days a week, 12 week minimum

Must be:
Hard-working and very reliable, clean, with meticulous attention to detail and ability to work on repetitive tasks.
Letterpress experience, printing or other detail oriented and meticulous hands on experience very beneficial (but not required).

Tasks include:
Packaging and folding inventory, labeling, trimming paper and other production work. You will also learn some presswork including,press maintenance, ink mixing and custom pantone color matching, registration, press set up and production.

This internship is unpaid but I will train you on the press or trade for press time (if you have the right experience) This can be a great opportunity for someone willing to work hard and learn.

Please email me with a resume and cover letter.
shayna (at) steelpetalpress (dot) com / subject line “Summer Letterpress Intern”

and feel free to pass on to interested parties.

Thanks! shayna