HIRING!! Retail Associate and Shipping Clerk

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Steel Petal Press is hiring and we’re looking for you!
Read more about our company here: http://www.steelpetalpress.com/

We are a small boutique stationery company specializing in handmade greeting cards and wedding invitations. Our retail store will be opening on Milwaukee Avenue (California Blue Line Stop) in Logan Square in the next few months. We are looking for a permanent part-time (20-25 hours/week) retail sales and shipping clerk with potential for growth. This position has set hours and could fit well for a person with an open schedule.

We would also consider two individuals with less hourly commitment. This position does NOT start until the late Spring, however we are filtering through potential candidates now to be able to secure the position before our move is complete.

The ideal candidate(s) is(are) a person with great retail experience, keen attention to detail and who will fit in well with our small team. A passion for stationery is a bonus.

Retail Sales Tasks include:
-Customer interaction and service
-Retail store maintenance
-Helping with window displays and merchandising
-Helping with misc. tasks as needed

Shipping Clerk Tasks include:
-Processing, shipping and packing online and wholesale orders
-Counting inventory, and keeping inventory organized
-Folding, sleeving and packaging product

The ideal candidate(s) would possess the following skills & attributes:
-Eagerness to learn, very reliable and hardworking
-Has retail and sales experience, especially in a boutique setting
-Enjoys working with customers
-Has a fun personality and positive attitude
-Gets excited about crafty, artistic goods, and a love of stationery
-Enjoys repetitive tasks
-Has experience shipping via various shipping platforms
-Knows how to process online orders via Etsy, Shopify, Amazon Handmade, etc.
-Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
-Can learn detailed tasks quickly and minimize errors
-Fairly open availability for the set schedule we desire
-Must be available work weekends

It’s a bonus but not required if you have:
-Social Media, marketing, writing experience
-Familiarity with Photoshop, InDesign, Illustrator
-Creative problem solving skills

We are interested in hiring the right person and training them to fit our business. Resumes without the ideal experience will still be considered.

To apply, please follow these steps. If steps are not followed as listed, your application will not be accepted:
-Research our company
-Email your cover letter explaining why you feel you would be a great fit for this position
-Email your resume or work history
-Use this email: kat(at)steelpetalpress(dot)com

If it seems that initially you may be a fit for our company, we will first conduct short phone interviews. Some candidates may then be called in for in person interviews.

Handmade Chicago Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Handmade in Chicago Valentine's Day Gift Guide

Here at Steel Petal Press®, we love all things handmade. How better to share that love than to put together a list of our favorite local and handmade Valentine’s Day gift ideas? If you’re looking for the perfect gift for your sweetie, read on.


1. Handmade Men’s Gifts

Not sure what to get your guy? Check out the oh-so cool handmade art from LuciusArt. You can score woodblock prints and digital artwork made by graphic designer and artist Kevin Lucius.

2. Handmade Chocolate

Katherine Anne Confections gives you tasty selection of handcrafted truffles, chocolates, caramels, drinking chocolate that use local and organic ingredients. While you’re there picking up your sweetie’s, gift, be sure to try to ridiculously delish hot chocolate.

3. Handmade Cards

And what’s the perfect handmade finishing touch for the perfect handmade V-Day gift? A handmade letterpress valentine’s day card, of course! Plus, nothing says “I love you” like a heartfelt, handwritten note.

Plus, letterpress Valentine’s Day cards are perfect for loved ones near or far. You can let your besties on the other side of the country know you’re thinking of them. Or your Aunt Velma or your Grandpa Mo.

4. Handmade Jewelry

You can find the perfect ring, earrings or necklace for your honey at Moira K. Lime. Handmade by Chicago artist Katie Carder, this one-of-a-kind jewelry is inspired by the beautiful and organic shapes and patterns found in the natural world.

5. Handmade Spirits

The first distillery to open in Chicago since Prohibition, Koval Distillery makes organic whiskey, liqueurs and specialty spirits. This urban craft distiller also offers classes and tours if you want to go all out. You can find Koval offerings in their online store, at the distillery and other stores around the city.

Handmade Cupcakes

Satisfy your sweetie’s cupcake cravings at Swirlz Cupcakes. They make scrumptious flavors like classic red velvet or the amazing carmelita. Plus, they offer gluten-free and vegan options. YUM!

Handmade Hats

For a unique V-Day gift, check out Squasht Boutique’s reversible hats. They come in tons of chic prints and trendy colors, so you’re sure to find one that suits your main squeeze. Squasht designer Lesley Timpe also creates dresses, skirts, tops, tunics and headbands, which you can find at her brisk-and-mortar store in Ukrainian Village or online.

Local Gifts

We have a few favorite places for local art, crafts, home goods, bath and body products, and more: Wolfbait and B-Girls in Logan Square, Paperish Mess in West Town, and Sacred Art in Lincoln Park

Here are a few more of our favorite letterpress valentine’s day cards from Steel Petal Press®

letterpress valentine's day card - I fucking love you card

So Much Love Gold Foil Card

Check out the entire selection of Steel Petal Press’s letterpress valentine’s day cards to be ready for Valentine’s Day 2016.

Martin Luther King Jr

Martin Luther King Quotes

Let’s take a moment today to honor the life of a wonderful and courageous man. Happy Martin Luther King day!

Save the Dates Explained

  Save the Date Etiquette


So, you’re planning a big celebration and you want your favorite people to show up, right? That means you’ll probably want to send out save-the-date cards. What exactly is a save the date, also known as an STD (no joke, friends)? Save the dates are pre-invitation mailings that announce your wedding (or other celebration) and let guests know they’ll be one of the lucky ones to be invited. They come in all shapes and sizes and colors and styles. There are save-the-date postcards, photo save the dates, cards mailed in envelopes, and even save-the-date videos.

Save the Date Etiquette

When it comes to wedding save the dates, lots of questions arise about if they’re needed, when you send them, who to send them to, and beyond. We’ve answered a few of the most frequently answered questions below:

To Send Or Not To Send:

According to Offbeat Bride, there’s only one situation in which you are required to send a save the date: you’re having a destination or holiday wedding AND you want people to show up. Why? People need time to save money and make plans to get there.

You should also consider sending save-the-date wedding cards if you’re planning your celebration in a location that gets a lot of visitors at the time you’re having your wedding, like a summer wedding in beach town, or if you’re inviting a lot of out-of-town guests. Sending a save the date will increase your guests’ chances of attending.

That said, you just might want to send them out anyway because they’re super fun.

Destination Save the Date

When To Send:

For destination and holiday weddings, send your save the dates 6 months before the ceremony. For faraway destinations, up that to 8 months. You want to give your nearest and dearest plenty of time to book travel, request time off, and plan hotel room shares.

Who To Send To:

Send them to the people you really, really want to come to your wedding.

The Knot also suggests being clear and specific about whom the wedding save the date includes by writing out the actual name of every intended guest on the envelope. This strategy will help prevent confusion about whether kids are invited and stray plus-ones, e.g. your third cousin’s new boyfriend. If kids aren’t included on the envelope, this also gives parent’s time to find a sitter.


Save-the-Date Wording

The basics: Include your names, the date (duh!), and the event.

You can also add other useful info (if you have it) to help your guests with their travel plans, such as hotel info, local area details, and your wedding website.

Lastly, you’ll often see a note that says “invitation to follow” just so recipients know that the save the date is not the formal invitation.


Save-the-Date Ideas

Looking for one-of-a-kind save-the-date ideas? Check out Steel Petal Press’s offerings. We can make custom letterpress save-the-date cards with your colors or themes—if you know them that far in advance. If you don’t, no worries. Your save the dates don’t have to match your invitations.

You can also pick from our already-created and gorgeous save-the-date designs, including destination wedding save-the-date cards.

Cape Cod Save the Date

Chicago Skyline Letterpress Save the Date


Calligraphy Letterpress Save the Date


Think Outside the Card

Save-the-date cards can be used for events beyond wedding, too. People send save the dates for anniversaries, birthdays, family reunions, bar and bat mitzvahs, storefront openings and any other event that might require advance planning on the part of your guests. If you really want people to be there and you think they might need to do some advance planning to help them get there, send a custom save the date.

Get in touch with Steel Petal Press® to create the perfect letterpress save-the-date card for your special celebration.

All New Valentine’s Day Cards 2016

I’m excited to share some of my newest letterpress valentine’s day card releases for 2016 !  These card are all for sale in my online shop and in stores at retail locations across the country.  (click each image to purchase the card)

Below is one of my new favorites: “F*ing Love You” — or do you read it “I Love F*ing” you ? This card debuted at the One of A Kind Show last month and turned into a new best seller.  You people just love dirty words, don’t you?

letterpress valentine's day card I fucking love you card

I also introduced a few new gold foil Valentine’s Day cards on red paper.  I just love the pop of gold against the red.

So Much Love Gold Foil Card

Valentine's Day Card

I also created a variation on one of my best selling cards “You’re My Favorite” which is one of my first designs from four years ago, and still a crowd favorite.  This card is for couples who have been together a little longer and are STILL each other’s favorite.

My Favorite Valentine's Day Card

Finally inspired by Quentin Tarantino’s move True Romance with Christian Slater and Patricia Arquette, I created the “You’re So Cool” card.  It might be more of an “inside joke” for people who’ve seen the movie, but those of you who have, you know what I’m talking about. If you haven’t yet seen the film, you should. I love Tarantino, and True Romance is one of his earlier works, but also one of my favorites.

Letterpress Valentine's Day Card


2015 in Review

2015 Year in Review

Happy 2016!   I hope everyone enjoyed a nice holiday break and had some time to unwind and relax with family and friends.  I always like to start each new year by taking a moment to pause and look back over acheivements and milestones of the year before.  After that I set goals both short and long-term for both personal and professional growth.  It’s a ritual I’ve come to appreciate over the years.   Looking back at the recaps over the years make it easier to put things in perspective.  Most of my days I spend head-down in day-to-day tasks, but taking time to really see the big picture really helps me put more intentionality into envisioning my future.

(you can read all my past yearly recaps HERE)

Below are my highlights from 2015

Sales Reps
It was a goal of mine to pick up a sales rep in 2015.  I was fortunate enough to sign with two last year!  The first reached out to me in February, and the second reached out over the summer.  They have definitely helped me get Steel Petal Press® cards out to more retailers than I would have been able to reach on my own.

Paper Source
In the summer of 2014 Paper Source picked up one of my cards and started placing large orders regularly.  In July 2015 they picked up another style, and in the last few weeks of 2015, they picked up 3 more styles!  Paper Source already contributes to a significant chunk of my income, I’m looking forward to that increasing in 2016.

congratulations baby card

I doubled the number of shops that carry Steel Petal Press® cards.  These new shops found me through a variety of venues: sales reps, Etsy Wholesale, at the National Stationery Show, or just randomly reaching out online. I definitely beat my goal of adding 20 more retailers. View my full list of current stockists HERE.

National Stationery Show
I attended the National Stationery Show for my third year in 2015.  I learned a lot from the experience and came out with new ideas for when I exhibit again. I’m taking 2016 off, but that doesn’t mean I’m done with NSS for good.

Steel Petal Press National Stationery Show 2015

Continuing Education
– In June I attended the APA Wayzgoose in Chicago, connecting with letterpress printers from all over.
– And then in July, I flew to LA to be a part of first 1-day Business Camp put on by Tradeshow Bootcamp.
Both were amazing experiences.

I was happy to host three wonderful interns this year.  My internship program is something I’ve been developing since 2012, and I feel great about how it’s evolved.  The program is now a “well-oiled machine” that ensures the experience is fulfilling and worthwhile for everyone involved.  I also love being able to pass on the hands-on knowledge of letterpress to people and students interested in learning the ancient craft.

My first employee, Maranda, left to pursue her own endeavors in the summer of 2015, and I hired Kat to take her place.  And in the last quarter of 2015 I reached another goal of hiring additional part-time employees to come in as-needed to help with shipping, packaging and inventory management.

Studio Move and Retail Space
Last April I started the search to move into a larger studio space.  A studio move was a longer-term goal of mine that quickly became more pressing as I am running out of space in my current space. Last June I negotiated and signed the lease, in July I met with architects to help plan the space, then we waited for city permits to begin construction.  The permits finally came through in the end of November, construction has started and my projected move-in date for the new space is slated for March 2016.  This new space is a huge new endeavor and deserves it’s own blog post.  (To be continued….)

Craft Fairs
I only did two craft fairs this year; Summer Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago, and One of a Kind Show Chicago.  I stuck with local fairs (less travel fees) and only chose to participate where I knew sales would make the weekend worth my while.  I broke sales records at both the shows and was able to do some great in-person promotion for the new shop.

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

And onto Goals and Plans for 2016
– successfully move to a new location and open a retail shop (that alone should take up most of my year)
– hire additional sales associates for the shop
– get Steel Petal Press® on TV (somehow)
– add more sales reps to my team
– add even more shops to my list of stockists.

Send New Years Cards instead

With all the shopping, wrapping, cooking, baking, traveling, and visiting that happens from November to December, it can be tough to find the time to sit down and write holiday cards. If you feel this way, you’re not alone. More and more, people are turning to New Years cards instead of traditional holiday greeting cards. Let’s consider a few reasons why you might want to make the switch, too.

First of all, December is hella busy. The weeks leading up to Hanukkah and Christmas don’t leave a lot of time for writing out holiday cards in the way one would like. Instead, give yourself a break and sit down to write your cards after Hanukkah or Christmas when you have less going on.

Secondly, with new year greeting cards, you have more time to get your cards written and sent out since there’s no hard-and-fast rule about when people are supposed to receive these cards. You have at least a week or two into the new year for sending your greeting.

Thirdly, who doesn’t love the idea of starting out fresh? New Year cards are a fun way to emphasize that.

Last but not least, there are tons of beautiful letterpress New Year’s cards out there that let you keep in touch with the ones you love and wish them all the best in the new year. Here are a few of our favorites from around the interwebs:

Letterpress New Years Cards

(Source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Not sure about sending New Year’s Cards? Why not try both? You can send Christmas cards to half the people on your list and New Year’s cards to the other half. This should help take some of the deadline pressure off your shoulders.

If you’re still feeling unsure about sending happy new year greeting cards instead of Hanukkah or Christmas cards, you might consider sending New Year’s photo cards, which are reminiscent of traditional holiday photo cards, or New Year’s letterpress cards, which can add some elegance to your greetings.

Happy New Year Custom Holiday Photo Card

Gifts for the Mountain Lover

Gift guide for the mountain lover

Gift Ideas for the Mountain Lover

(source: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7)

Letterpress Internship Chicago

Chicago Letterpress Internship

Letterpress Internship Chicago
Starting in January Steel Petal Press is looking for another letterpress intern.  Details on the position and how to apply are listed below.

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 “Spring Letterpress Intern”

and feel free to pass on to interested parties.

Thanks! shayna

One of A Kind Show Chicago – 2015 Recap

It was another great year for Steel Petal Press at One of A Kind Show Chicago!  This was my second year at the show and I had a better idea of what I was getting into and went into the show much more prepared than last year.

We set up on Tuesday and Wednesday and the show went Thursday-Sunday.

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Here’s what the booth set up looked like:

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Everyone loved the Whiskey Print and Whiskey Coasters.

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Traffic came in waves, but it seemed like there was almost always someone in the booth laughing out loud as they picked out cards.  It always makes me happy knowing I’ve made someone smile.

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

The shot glasses were a new addition to my inventory this year.  And the Lips Shot glass did well.  The letterpress coasters and the Merry Christmas Gift Tags are also always a favorite.

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

Shayna Norwood

Another new release and new addition to the “best seller list” was my I F*ING LOVE YOU / I LOVE F*ING YOU card.  Which way do you read it?

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show Chicago 2015

All in all it was another great year at the show! I’ve already signed up again for next year.