Letterpress Demos at Steel Petal Press

Steel Petal Press Letterpress Studio and Shop Chicago

Steel Petal Press - Chicago Letterpress Demo Steel Petal Press - Chicago Letterpress Demo Steel Petal Press - Chicago Letterpress Demo

The second saturday of every month Steel Petal Press will be hostly a Letterpress Demonstration and Q&A as a part of the City of Chicago’s Year of Public Art. You can find more information on the multi-location, year long event HERE.

The event will be Free and Open to the public 2-3pm on the following dates:

Chicago has a long and rich printing history; from printers row on the nations register of historic landmarks, to Vandercook inventing the flatbed press in Chicago over 100 years ago. But how often the public get to see these historic machines in person and watch them in action? Steel Petal Press will host monthly 1 hour long letterpress printing demos on the Second Saturday of every month. At the demos we will go through the printing process from start to finish and be available to answer questions regarding the printing process and the history of printing.

2016 in Review + Looking Forward


At the beginning of each new year, I like to do a summary of the year before.  It’s nice to look back at the bigger picture and take stock of what was accomplished. I spend so much of my time, heads down working on smaller projects it’s nice to take some time to get better perspective and set goals for the future.

(you can read all my past yearly recaps HERE)

Studio Move / Retail Show
By far, the biggest event of 2016 was our studio move and opening a retail shop. This was a huge and expensive endeavor that took months and months of planing and tens of thousands of dollars.  I started the process of looking for a new space in April of 2015.  We finally moved studios in March of 2016.  Our new studio is more than 2x the size of our previous shop at Lacuna, where we were busting out at the seems. It’s a storefront on the street level and open to the public.  The ten minute walk to work has made my commute so much more enjoyable. And the retail shop has really changed the game for Steel Petal Press. Scroll down to the bottom of our about page to view photos of the new space.

7-12-16 Steel Petal Press Studio Tour Chicago, IL ©2016 Jennifer Kathryn Photography

I hired two new employees this year: Matt is our shipping lead and Lindsay helps with retail and post production of our greeting cards.

7-12-16 Steel Petal Press Studio Tour Chicago, IL ©2016 Jennifer Kathryn Photography

7-12-16 Steel Petal Press Studio Tour Chicago, IL ©2016 Jennifer Kathryn Photography

New Products!
I released lots of new products this year including Gift Wrap, Fortune Cookie Pull out cards, bookmarks and more.

Birthday Fortune Cookie Card Funny Letterpress Birthday Card Fuck Mug Letterpress Bookmark Awesome People Read

I picked up lots of new retailers. And am excited to have Steel Petal Press carried in 38 states plus Paper Source who has 120+ locations around the country. View our full list of retailers here.

I hosted 3 amazing interns this year: Jane, Laura and Sarah.

Steel Petal Press internship

Opening the retail shop I got a lot of great press. I was featured in Chicago Magazine as the best stationery shop! Plus Chicago Style weddings, Logan Squarist, DNA Info and so many more.  You can view a mostly up-to-date list of recent press here.

Best of Chicago Magazine 2016

Renegade Craft Fair + One of Kind Show
I returned to sell at the summer Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago and also at the December One of a Kind Show. The shows are intense and busy, but a fun change of pace.

Steel Petal Press at One of a Kind Show

NSS and NYNow
This year I attended the National Stationery Show and NYNow on the other side of the field as a buyer for the retail shop. It’s fun and get overwhelming figuring out what to buy for the shop. It’s a task I’ve enjoyed learning and am still improving on regularly.

Giving Back
Something I’ve been wanting to do for a while is implement some sort of charitable donation program.  At the end of this 2016 I was able to give a sizable donation to NRDC to help protect the environment.  In 2017 I plan on giving quarterly donations to different organizations I believe in.

This year also came with some pretty big lows.  The election was pretty devastating to me and Trumps impending inauguration still makes me sick to my stomach.  Around the same time one of my employees got really sick and was out of work for almost two months. It not only put strain on me emotionally, but also stretched me and my staff thin covering her shifts, working the One of A Kind Show and dealing with our first holiday season as a retail gift shop.  I spent the end of the year doing what I could to survive and was forced to let a lot of things go.  It was a challenge for my type-A personality.  I am thankful for my husband and my team who all stepped up with support and helped me and Steel Petal Press get through the last two months.

I’m starting the new year with a new perspective: take better care of myself, let go of toxic feelings, let go of perfectionism and carve out more personal time for myself. I’m trying not to let the current political state get to me (which includes limiting my news) and I hope to give back where I can.

I usually end these posts with bigger professional goals for the upcoming year.  But this year, I don’t have many huge aspirations. I feel like I have my hands full with business as it is and my only hope is to keep building on what I’ve started:
– keep the retail shop running and improving
– keep releasing great product
– keep adding retailers to our list of vendors
– do more press out reach
– hire an additional person – right now if anyone gets sick or needs vacation time we all feel stretched thin
– maybe at the end of next year, I’ll consider heading back to exhibit at a tradeshow

Other than that I feel pretty good at where I’m at, and it definitely keeps me plenty busy.

Steel Petal Press Holiday Sales!

Steel Petal Press Small Business Saturday Sale

Please help support small, local businesses this holiday season!!

Why is it so important to shop local? Independent, locally owned shops keep three times as many dollars in the local economy than nationally owned chains and give more back to local needs… on average, non-profits receive 250% more support from smaller business owners than they do from large businesses.

Locally-made products help build local economies, provide better paying jobs for local residents and add character and culture to communities. Locally-made products are typically more uniquely designed and more carefully crafted than those made in mass.

We will be hosting a STORE-WIDE SALE.
25% off all regularly priced items!!

Our Black Friday & Small Business Saturday sales will be offered
only at our retail location in Logan Square
2321 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago IL 60647

Black Friday | Friday, November 25
11am – 7pm

Small Business Saturday | Saturday, November 26
10am – 6pm

Fine Print
the sale does not extend to already discounted items.
purchases made during the sale will not go towards frequent buyer punch cards

Shop Small Black Friday Chicago Sale

Shop Local – Steel Petal Press and Gift Chicago!

Shop Local Gift Chicago

At Steel Petal Press we’re proud to be a locally owned business and we love supporting other small businesses within Chicago.

We are thrilled to be participating in GIFT CHICAGO. Gift Chicago is a collaborative event to connect likeminded shops across the city of Chicago that, in turn, support local makers and artists.

During the weekend of December 3-4, 2016, these participating shops will be offering special promotions and giveaways as a “thank you” for supporting small business and local artisans. Give the gift of locally-made & locally-bought this holiday season!

During this weekend we will also be offering a 15% discount to shoppers who mention“Gift Chicago”

Fine Print
the sale does not extend to already discounted items.
purchases made during the sale will not go towards frequent buyer punch cards

Steel Petal Press at the One of a Kind Show Chicago

one of a kind show chicago

At Steel Petal Press we are thrilled to be back at the One of a Kind show in Chicago the weekend after Thanksgiving.

Thursday, December 1st – Sunday December 4th

Thur, Dec 4, 11a-8p
Fri, Dec 5, 11a-8p
Sat, Dec 6, 10a-7p
Sun, Dec 7 , 10a-5p


I had so much fun last year. I hope to see you there!!

XO, shayna

Holidays on the Square with Steel Petal Press

Holidays on the Square - Logan Square

I will be are first year having a retail shop during the holidays and we’re gearing up for some fun events in December. We’re thrilled to be participating in Holidays on the Square, a local Logan Square event along side other kick ass Logan Square establishments.

In its fifth year, Holidays on the Square is a multi-location kick-off to the winter holidays, featuring special events, promotions and activities offered by Logan Square small businesses and NFP organizations. The event is organized by Logan Square Chamber of Arts/Hairpin Arts Center, local business owners and volunteers to encourage residents to shop locally and strengthen community ties.

Holidays on the Square (HOTS) was created to give small businesses and NFP’s of Logan Square the opportunity showcase their wares and services.

Shop Windows at Steel Petal Press

We’ve been having a lot of fun coming up with creative seasonal shop windows at Steel Petal Press.  Here’s an image of our spring and fall windows for our first few months open 🙂

Fall Window Steel Petal Press

Stationery and Gift Shop Logan Square Chicago

At the end of November we’ll be switching it up for a more winter holiday feel.  Below is a little inspiration I’ve been drawing from.  Or you can also check out my Shop Window Inspiration Pinterest Board.  (What did we do before pinterest?) 🙂

holiday window holiday window holiday window

All New Gift Wrap and Gift Tags

Just in time for the holidays we have some great gift wrap ideas to make your gifts one of a kind.  We just released 2 new gift tags and 3 new styles of gift wrap.

You can find them for purchase online or in our retail shop!

For You Letterpress Gift Tag Hooray Letterpress Gift Tag Fun Unique Gift Wrap Neon Heart Gift Wrap unicorn gift Wrap

Newest Holiday and Christmas Card Releases

It’s not even Halloween yet, but we’ve already been preparing for the holidays since summer.  I’m happy to announce our newest holiday card releases for 2016.

We have some fun new money holders and funny letterpress christmas cards to make you laugh 🙂  You can view all the new releases below.  And stay tuned for more new releases coming your way soon!

hanukkah gelt money holder my treat shot glass money holder greeting card stocking money holder greeting card Christmas  treat yo self money holder greeting card

Dick in a Box Christmas Card Dick in a Box Christmas Card Jolly Drunk Santa Christmas Card merry whatever Santa Christmas Card Something Special Letterpress Christmas Card

Steel Petal Press was nominated for a Brassy Award!


7-12-16 Steel Petal Press Studio Tour Chicago, IL ©2016 Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Steel Petal Press was nominated for a Brassy Award!

An entrepreneur is “one who undertakes significant financial risk.” So, really, all sellers are brave. You’re all bold. You’re all crazy enough to ignore the odds and tough enough to stick it out.

Square hears a lot of these stories, and some stand out. Stories of extraordinary vision and extreme perseverance. Of building your community while you build your business. Of turning an idea into a livelihood into an unstoppable force.

Square created the BRASSYs—their first-ever awards program—because they want to recognize these sellers. Five BRASSY winners will receive mentorship from business luminaries at a special one-day Seller Summit, a $10,000 cash prize, Square hardware, and more.

Please help by voting:

What is your company’s vision?

Steel Petal Press shares beauty and humor with the world through handmade, letterpress stationery. We create letterpress greeting cards that help people celebrate and connect through life’s important moments. Our brick and mortar retail shop supports local and independent makers with a focus on beautifully designed products that help spread joy and laughter.

What makes your product or business unique and innovative?

At Steel Petal Press we use the historic craft of letterpress printing everyday in our studio. All our greeting cards are 100% letterpress printed in house. We custom mix all our inks by hand and hand-feed each sheet of paper one at a time through our vintage printing presses from the 1960s. We are committed to preserving the history of letterpress by educating the public on the process and craft of letterpress printing. Our retail location provides a unique experience to customers because the print shop, printing presses, machines and processes are visible to the public from the shop.

How has your business made a positive impact to your customers, neighborhood, and/or community?

Steel Petal Press has positively impacted our community by providing a one-of-a-kind shopping experience, beautiful products, education on the craft of letterpress and support of other small local businesses. Our greeting cards are handmade in house, while also exuding beauty and humor. Our retail shop has a curated, unique selection of gift items that support other independent business. Most importantly, our vintage printing presses and the craft of letterpress is on display so neighbors, tourists and visitors to the shop are exposed to the unique and historic craft of letterpress.