Sitting this one out

Renegade Craft Fair Chicago

(above photo credit)

After four years of participating in the Summer Renegade Craft Fair Chicago, the biggest and BEST of them all, I am sad to say I will be sitting this year out.   The truth is, I totally forgot to apply!  What with the National Stationery Show , buying my first home with my husband, plus our two week trip to Argentina in the Spring, by the time I realized applications were due, I was already too late.  And, to be honest, I’m kind of relieved.  I had a crazy busy August, I’m low on all my inventory, totally out of business cards, feeling run down, fighting off a head cold and in serious need of some R and R.

The fair has always been a really big money maker for me, and such a big part of the growth of my business over the last few years, so I definitely feel like something is missing from my September. I still plan on heading over for some walking / shopping / socializing so it won’t be totally missing from my life.

Below are a few shots of my booth set up over the years. The craziest thing to see is how much my card line has evolved and changed.  2010 was the very beginning of it all, and almost a little embarrassing to share.  You can also blog read my recaps of 2011, 2012, 2013.

Booth Renegade Craft Fair

2013 Chicago RCF Booth



2012 Booth


RCF 2011

2011 Booth



2010 Booth

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

A few weekends ago I took a metal type class with Starshaped Press. I really appreciated the time to get my hands a little dirty and practice my typesetting skills and learn a little bit more about the history of type.

Although I do have some metal type in my own letterpress collection, and I occasionally use it in my work, my personal resources are incredibly limited which greatly inhibits my capacity to do much of anything with my collection.

It was a small class of 4 students.  We spent our time setting a simple calling card with our name, phone number and email address.  You can see my work in the photo at the top, before printed.

Below are a few more photos of the day, taken with my crappy camera on my phone.  Overall a relaxing way to spend a Saturday afternoon.

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press

Metal Type Class with Starshaped Press



August was soooo BUSY


happy Friday people! It’s almost labor day weekend.  I will be staying in town, catching up on rest and working on my house. It’s also almost the end of August. I can’t even believe how quickly this month just flew by.  SO MANY THINGS happened this past month, I don’t even know where to start. It’s like the whole year up until August was just business as usual, and then all of a sudden BAM everything happened all at once.

I would love to dedicate a separate post to each of the exciting things I’m about to share with you, but for now the bullet points will have to do until I have more free time.

- Abigail ended her summer internship and she bought me a “thank you” cake. What?! No, no…. thank YOU!

- I posted an ad on craigstlist for a part time employee and went through the interviewing and hiring process (I could write at least 3 blog posts on this topic, good gravy!)  I  have now officially hired my first part time employee! (Lisa doesn’t count, she started as an intern almost 2.5 years ago)  I will definitely share more on the new girl soon – her name is Maranda,

- Because of the new hire, I had to find an accountant and I worked with a lawyer to switch from a sole proprietorship to a corporation.  I am now officially “Steel Petal Press Inc” !

- I also set up payroll for the first time

- I had several very awesome, custom but rush orders this month. They turned out gorgeous and were very satisfying BUT did not make my life any easier

- I worked on my first CELEBRITY wedding

- I got my first order from Paper Source at the beginning of August, and now they’ve already placed a re-order (going out next week, so technically September – but I printed everything yesterday)

- Oh, and sometime last week my computer totally died. It spent 6 days at the Apple Store being repaired.  It had been a month since my last back up which was super annoying, and I kept finding all these things that were missing from my back ups (ugh!) During that time I borrowed my hubby’s computer (I would not have been able to function otherwise) And Yes, my computer was eventually repaired for only $300!  AND it was returned with my hard drive in tact.  (double wheeeew!)  I am now implementing a 3 way storage system.  Computer, DropBox and External Hard drive.

So those are my updates for now! Have a great weekend everyone!

xo, shayna


Steel Petal Press at Paper Source!

Paper Source

I’m proud to announce that Steel Petal Press letterpress greeting cards are now available nationwide at Paper Source!

While at the National Stationery Show this past year I got the buyer’s contact information from Paper Source and after the show I sent in samples for consideration.  This was actually my third time sending in samples to Paper Source.  I had been in contact with a different buyer last year and sent in samples twice in 2013 but nothing came of it. This time I got an email back asking to send in a few more cards for review! It turns out the newest buyer had recently gotten married a few weeks earlier and received one of my wedding cards from a friend on her wedding day.  Anyways, this card is now available at Paper Source locations across the country.  Hooray!

Notes from Abigail, the Summer Intern

Abigail Ham was the summer intern at Steel Petal Press.  She just finished up her internship and was kind enough to share some of her thoughts and experiences below.
Hey folks!   I’m Abby the Intern, and I’m in my fourth undergraduate year as a Visual Critical Studies and Print Media student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Before this summer, I had no experience with letterpress, but working for ~the fabulous~ Shayna Norwood changed that. I’ve always been interested in typography and graphic design, and letterpress was a great way for me to learn design while also sharpening my skills as a printmaker. 
My primary job was to count, package, and ship out orders to lovely customers from Etsy, Shopify, and Steel Petal Press’s wonderful stockists. This was great, because it gave me a better idea of how to manage a business, what tools and websites to use to be a successful business owner, and how to make a coherent (and attractive) brand theme. I was also allowed to print cards (which was difficult, but I loved the challenge) and stationary for a variety of orders this summer. It felt great to help out in that regard. 
I really enjoyed the learning experience, above all. I had no idea how businesses worked, and I was completely inexperienced with the minutiae of design and letterpress. I loved learning about registration and color matching (that stuff is hard!), and I owe many of my newest ideas to this internship. Future interns should know that Shayna settles for nothing less than the best, so be prepared for that– it’s contagious. 
I think the only thing I did not like at this internship was scoring cards. I was not a fan of that. Pre-scored paper is the best invention ever.
Learning more about standard printing techniques has certainly been valuable, but I think the most important thing I’ve learned is how to even begin to start a business. After working at Steel Petal press, I’ve been inspired to start planning for my own press, which is currently just a few scribbles in a sketchbook. Something that, until now, has seemed mysterious and far off now feels more tangible and manageable. I’m excited to get started and get involved in the printing community. Hopefully in the next few years, I’ll have a thriving publishing house and/or press for handmade books that utilize a variety of printing techniques… but who knows? 
Either way, I’m excited.

Letterpress Intern in Chicago

Chicago Letterpress Intern Wanted

It’s that time of year again! It’s Abigail‘s last week of her summer internship and I’m looking for a new letterpress intern in Chicago for the fall.

1 day 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. Shipping orders. You will also learn some presswork.

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

and feel free to pass on to interested parties.

Thanks! shayna

Typesetting with Starshaped Press


This weekend I’m excited to be taking a typesetting class at Starshaped Press! Although I know the very basics of type setting and I do some in my studio from time to time, I always find myself greatly limited by my lack of materials.  I’m looking forward to learning some more advanced techniques, and also having the freedom to create more than 1 line of stationery with my limited type selection.

I will be sure to post more photos and updates once I’ve completed the one day class.

10 years ago..

Chad and Shayna

10 years ago I met a boy through a mutual friend and I started seeing him at all the same parties all over San Francisco.  He had bleach blond hair and gave great hugs.   Who knew that 10 years later, we’d be celebrating four years of marriage?

Happy Anniversary CHAD – you still give the best hugs around

chad and shayna wedding

Etsy Favs | Gouttedeterre Porcelain Jewelry

Just cruising around etsy last weekend, I came across this amazing shop: Gouttedeterre from Paris who makes amazing porcelain jewelry.  Holy gorgeousness. I love the white with specs of gold, the one of a kind shapes and patterns.  So unique and beautiful.  He makes all types of jewelry, but his rings really caught my attention.

Here are a few of my favorites from Gouttedeterre Porcelain Jewelry.

Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings Gouttedeterre rings


We're Hiring

Steel Petal Press is hiring! We are a small boutique stationery company specializing in handmade greeting cards and wedding invitations.  I am looking for a permanent part-time administrative assistant with potential for growth.
** This is an office job, not a creative position.

commitment: 1-2 days a week, no weekends.
compensation: DOE
location: Pilsen, Chicago

Tasks include:
- inventory tracking
- 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 

- hard working
- ability to work independently
- keen attention to detail
- highly organized
- OK with performing repetitive tasks
- great communication skills
- previous office experience

Ideally I’m looking for someone who is interested in staying for a while and growing with the company. My studio is in Pilsen, so you have to be close or willing to travel.

Please contact me with cover letter, resume or any questions – shayna (at) steelpetalpress (dot) com