Father’s Day Gift Guide from Steel Petal Press

Father's Day Gift Guide

Father’s Day is coming up and we wanted to make sure you’re ready with a unique letterpress father’s day card and a hilarious gift or two to keep him laughing so we created this Father’s Day Gift Guide to help you on your quest for the perfect gift!

At Steel Petal Press we got you covered with BOTH funny cards, and one of a kind gifts for you dad or baby daddy on Father’s Day.  Below is a quick gift guide of the best items we recommend for your dad.

You can find all of these awesome gifts below at our Brick and Mortar Retail shop in Logan Square Chicago!

Blue Q men’s socks are always a big hit!  We have a great selection of socks for baseball lovers, for mr fix it, for sports lovers or handymen.

Father's Day Socks

We also have mugs for dad, dog dads, cat dads or anyone who loves hot liquids, coffee or tea
Finally, Gentleman’s Hardware is always a big hit.  They offer an array of tools for men, outdoor tools and useful well designed items for the Gentleman in your life.

Father's Day Gift Guide Father's Day Gift Guide

Visit us as anytime!!

Steel Petal Press  2321 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago 60647
You can find all the Father’s Day cards for sale on our website!

Father’s Day is June 17th – We got you covered!

Father's Day Card Star Wars

Father’s Day is less than a month away, and Steel Petal Press has got you covered with funny and sweet Father’s Day Cards for all kinds of dads.

Does your dad like Star Wars? We recommend this card.
Is he more into beer? What about this card.
Is he a sports fan? This card should do the trick.

Visit our website today and pick out the perfect snarky, sassy or sweet card for your dad (or your baby daddy)

Father’s Day is Sunday June 17th!

Letterpress Father's Day Cards

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 13th!

mother's day gifts steel petal press

Listen, we’re not trying to nag you but Mother’s Day is a little over a week away:  SUNDAY May 13th which means you’re running out of time to pick the perfect card to celebrate your mom!

Steel Petal Press has got a variety of Mother’s Day cards which range from funny to sentimental so you can pick just the right one to show your mom you care!

Visit us as Steel Petal Press
2321 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago 60647

cards for mom and dad

But, let’s be honest, after all the shit you probably put her through it might be nice to get her a little something else. No worries, we’ve got plenty of perfect little something else’s that Mom’s are bound to love!

Maybe a mug to put all her coffee in (which she needs now thanks to you)? Or even a magnet to hang up your old artwork she still keeps on the fridge?

mother's day gifts steel petal press

Regardless, she’s bound to love whatever you pick out for her…so just make sure to pick her out something before Sunday!  After all, she did go through hours of labor to birth you, so why wait ‘til the last minute!

mother's day cards

Steel Petal Press at the Spring One of a Kind Show

one of a kind show chicago

We’re so excited to be participating in the One of a Kind Spring Show this Friday – Sunday! We’ll be on the 7th floor of The Merchandise Mart In BOOTH 1035!

We’ll be there with a brand new release of SO MANY NEW NEW NEW cards and products. We’re excited to share them all with you!

ALSO – Mother’s Day is just a few weeks away (Sunday May 13th) so don’t forget to pick up a card for mom while you shop.

Of if you can’t make the show, you can always pick up a Mother’s Day card through our online shop
We can’t wait to see you guys there!

St Patty’s Day Glassware SALE!!!

Glassware Sale

We are gearing up for St Patrick’s Day this Saturday! To help you celebrate we’re offering 20% off glassware at our brick and mortar location. Come by and grab a glass, have a drink and let’s get classy for the weekend!

All Glassware is 20% off Monday 3/12 – Saturday 3/17

Steel Petal Press
2321 N Milwaukee Avenue
Chicago, IL 60647

M-F 11-7 | Sat 10-6 | Sun 11-4

Stay safe this weekend, and please drink responsibly!

Glassware Sale
Glassware Sale

Your Mom deserves a Funny Mother’s Day Card

Mother's Day Card

Mother’s Day is Sunday May 13th and we got you covered!

Don’t forget the lady that birthed you, changed your poopy diapers and the one who made you awesome. She deserves a gold medal, or at least a funny card. Show mom how much you appreciate her on Mother’s Day. The least you could is give her a good chuckle.


Letterpress Mother's Day Card

letterpress mothers day card

Don’t forget Dad too!

Star Wars Father's Day Card

How I got into Letterpress

Steel Petal Press - Chicago Letterpress Demo

I recently had someone ask me via social media how I got into letterpress and what advice I had for someone looking to learn.  I thought I’d share my thoughts here too!

I’ve had a lot of formal training in letterpress.  I first learned while in my undergrad degree I took a book making class for 1 year.  After graduating with a BFA in I was immediately accepted to a six-month internship at Women’s Studio Workshop in Rosendale, NY. There I studied silk screening, letterpress, and papermaking, while maintaining the studios and assisting the artists-in-residence and staff. I went on to assist various artists and curators in Washington DC and the San Francisco Bay Area. I also continued to volunteer regularly at Pyramid Atlantic Art Center and the San Francisco Center for Book Arts.

Steel Petal Press - Chicago Letterpress Demo

Later on I relocated to Chicago to work towards my MFA in book and paper art at Columbia College Chicago.  (I never finished my degree but that’s where Steel Petal Press was born)
My first semester in Chicago I Steel Petal Press as a side project from my classwork.  I started by printing holiday cards to send to friends and family living far away. After printing my letterpress projects for school, I would use the school’s studios to print personal work in my spare time. I found stores to sell any extra cards I had printed, and the company grew from there.
For someone looking to get into letterpress, I would start by looking into print shops in your area that might offer workshops or dabble classes.  This is a good way to get your feet wet without committing to school tuition or more competitive internships. If you’re looking for more community and immersion into letterpress try reaching out to a letterpress shop and see if they take apprentices or interns.
Below are a few resources to get you started.
Ladies of Letterpress
Briar Press: (the craigslist of letterpress)

Steel Petal Press - Chicago Letterpress Demo


Love is always in The Cards at Steel Petal Press!

Naughty Funny Valentine Card

It’s shocking enough January is almost over but NOW VALENTINE’S DAY IS ALMOST HERE!
Before you start cursing in vain (although we always promote cursing for fun), Steel Petal Press can help!
We’ve got love and Valentine’s day cards ranging from sexy, to snarky, to silly so you can find the perfect sentiment for your sweetie!
Now before the panic truly sets in, pick a favorite card and start spreading the love this Valentine’s! (ps, glad we could help. you’re welcome!) . (click on the images below to access the shop!)

Meet Shelby! Retail Lady @ Steel Petal Press


Shelby joined the Steel Petal Press team in August of 2017 and quickly dazzled us with her enthusiasm for retail and merchandising while cursing and laughing with us. She has been a great fit for our small team.  As we geared up for the holidays she became our first full time employee (outside of me, Shayna) If you’ve come into the retail shop 5 times out of 7 you’ll interact with her.  We’re happy to have  her as a part of Steel Petal Press!
What kinds of things do you do at the studio? What do you enjoy most?
The primary focus of my job here at the studio is the retail space so I like to jokingly say that the sales floor is my baby. I handle every product from the moment it is delivered to us to the moment it goes on the sales floor to the moment a customer purchases it. The process of “checking in” products is a primary role and this simply means that it is input into our computer system and can be found on the register at the time of the sale. Another large portion of my job, and my favorite, is merchandising the sales floor. I truly get creative fulfillment out of making products look fun and inviting for people to shop and I feel proud to make our store look the best it can at all times! While there are lots of additional tasks I do behind the scenes, I would say the last, but certainly not least, main part of my job is customer service. Everyone defines this differently, but for me, it just means making people feel welcome (as we welcome EVERYONE in our space) and that they leave having had a laugh and finding exactly what they came in looking for (and maybe a little bit more).
What do you enjoy doing outside of the studio?
Once I step out of the studio, my favorite way to be is in the company of my amazing friends. We spend most of our time enjoying Logan Square (and other great neighborhoods) appreciating the great food, booze, and arts that our community has to offer! I also enjoy smothering my fur baby, Kitten, with undying love, doing crossword puzzles in PEN (how wild), and binge watching tv shows until my brain melts.
What is your favorite Steel Petal Press card/product and why?
My favorite Steel Petal Press card is the “Even When I Hate You I Still Fucking Love You Dammit” love card because it perfectly sums up how I feel about every single person in my life that I love and it says “fucking”…which is my favorite word…so, it’s perfect.

Screenshot 2018-01-17 at 12.14.14 PM

What would your perfect day in Chicago look like? 
Honestly, I am lucky enough to be able to live my perfect day in this city on a pretty regular basis..but it would probably involve hanging out with my best friends, eating delicious food from the neighborhood (I’m partial to Parson’s or Boiler Room), getting drunk at one of our favorite places like Estero or Ez Inn, and then catching some live music at The Empty Bottle or Cole’s. It’s nothing fancy but it’s got everything I need and want in a perfect day! 🙂

2017 in Review

Happy New Year!  I’m excited to have finished up 2017 on a much better note than 2016.  The end of 2016 for me was brutal. As I said in last years recap in 2017 I was really hoping to take better care of myself, and let go of toxic feelings (like anger, hopelessness) which included minimizing intake of politic and news for the time being.  I’m too sensitive and my involvement in the current news cycle was bringing me down.

I successfully got through the year much more cognizant of my mental health and taking strides to minimize stresses where I could.  I greatly reduced my news intake and intentionally carved out time for myself and with friends.  Below is my recap of some of the highlights from the past year.

Full Year as Retail Shop!
In June we successfully completed one year as a brick and mortar retail shop. It was a huge learning experience that really paid off in the end.  I love my shop; I love having a closer connection with the public, particularly my Logan Square neighborhood; and I even really enjoy the curation process of buying and merchandising other small card lines and gift items that complement the Steel Petal Press brand.

1 year anniversary party Steel Petal Press

2017 was the year of employees.  The last half of the year we had lots of coming and going of staff. Even though almost everyone left on good terms  it was still the year of  turnover.  In 2017 we hired 7 people throughout the year, and had five people leave for a variety of reasons (moving, full time jobs, work changes, time etc) Most of the turnover happened in the last six months of the year, which took up a ton of my time.  Hiring is time consuming and exhausting.  Starting in 2018 we have a really solid team in place.  I hope for staffing to be stable for at least a little while.

Hiring in Chicago

New Products
We did three big releases this year including 40+ new cards, bookmarks, magnets and wrap.

Taco Gift Wrap Wrapping Paper

Wedding Card

Wholesale Accounts
Even though I took a break from exhibiting at tradeshows to focus on opening the brick and mortar shop, we’ve still had the pleasure of picking up quite a few shops this year.  We are now in over 180 independent retail shops all across the US plus paper source which has 120 shops nationwide.  Etsy Wholesale was a great source of new leads for us this year plus our sales reps worked hard to get us into new shops.  It feels good to know we can still grow our wholesale line without attending tradeshows.

I was interviewed for the Proof to Product Podcast hosted Katie Hunt of Tradeshow Bootcamp (and you know how much I LOVE TSBC).  Steel Petal Press was in several magazines include Monocle Magazine and Voyage Chicago, and you can view the full press list here.

I spent 3 days in Palm Spring attending the PaperCamp+ conference, a business-focused conference for smaller mid-career, stationery companies looking for ways to improve their businesses.  You can read my blog post on that experience HERE.

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

Steel Petal Press shows at both the Spring and Winter One of A Kind Shows in Chicago. And my favorite show of the year Summer Renegade Craft Fair in Chicago.  I plan on exhibiting at all three shows again next year.  Luckily they’re all in Chicago and I don’t need to travel.

Giving Back
We had a full year of giving back to organizations we believe in.  Every three months we donated money to a different charity based on our sales for that quarter.  We were able to give money to Chicago Women’s Health Center, ACLU, Planned Parenthood and Direct Relief Disaster Support (for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria)

Personally and professionally 2017 was way better than 2016.  I started off the year by finally seeking professional help for my anxiety, leading me to the proper medication and resulted in huge improvement in my mental health and on the rest of my life.  We finally got through all the transition in the shop and I feel like everything is finally settled in our brick and mortar over all.  For the first time in three years since I thought about opening the shop, I now have time to look forward to new ideas and future projects with Steel Petal Press

Below are some of my goals and action items for the next 1-3 years
– I have officially put my wedding shop on a limited access basis.  Although I love working with brides on wedding stationery,  I’m hoping to free up time to focus on other creative ventures that are less deadline driven and more creatively rewarding.
– With that in mind, I would really love to focus more on the wholesale side of the business:
– I would love to get Steel Petal Press cards represented in all 50 states
– I want to focus on building my relationships with my current sales reps
– I’d also love to work on finding more sales representation in more regions around the country
– I would like to get back to exhibiting at a tradeshow this year.  I’ve got my eye on NYNow (switching it up from NSS) in the summer.
– I also want to focus on refining and adding more products and styles to my line.
– Less work on wedding invitations will also free up more time for me to take vacations that are longer than a weekend.  Because I’ll be less tied down to specific client work.

LONG TERM 5 year plan – I would like to open up a 2nd or 3rd SPP brick and mortar location.
another neighborhood, or even SF, LA or NYC.

So there you have it, new goals for 2018 and a great recap of 2017