2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!

Valentine’s Day is almost upon us which means love is in the air…and in the cards and gifts here at Steel Petal Press! Whether you want to get something sexy, snarky, or just plain sweet, we’ve got what you need to show your special person how much you love them! Check out our 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide below!

Valentine's Day Gift Guide 2019

“Kinky” and “Ladies Night” Truth or Dare Game ($14.95)
Who doesn’t love a good game of Truth or Dare? These fun (and sexy) versions of an old classic make the perfect Valentine’s (or Galentine’s) day gift!

“Horny For Food” Oven Mitt ($13)
This is more of a tongue-and-cheek gift.  Give it to a special person with a great sense of humor and an affinity for cooking! Because, let’s be honest, who out there doesn’t TOTALLY relate to this oven mitt? (No one, that’s who).

“Love and Happiness” Crystals and Stones Set ($20)
This beautifully packaged set contains Rose Quartz, Amethyst, and Quartz Crystal. It has an attached affirmation that states: “Happiness is my choice and love is abundant in my life”. What a perfect sentiment to share with whoever you love this Valentine’s Day!

The “Movie Kama Sutra” Book ($12.99)
This book makes an “sex”-cellent gift for those with an affinity for movies, pop culture, and boning in hilarious and weird ways!

“Junk Food” Tattoos and Love Notes ($20)
This set of 24 adorable Valentine’s cards in the shape of pizza, soda, popcorn, and french fries come with little temporary tattoos and cute-sy love notes! These work well as little V-day gifts in your office or in a child’s classroom!

Steel Petal Press Valentine’s Cards ($3.33-$6)
We’ve created a line of cards that are sure to make your Valentine smile; from laughing or sweetness, you choose! We have classic favorites, like “Hate You/Love You” and “Tinder Love” and new best sellers “Bear Lets Fuck” and “Cheesy Valentine Day“, you’ll find the perfect card here!

We hope you enjoyed our 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!
Be sure to stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse these awesome products AND MORE!

Clearance Sale at Steel Petal Press!

clearance Sale at Steel Petal Press

It’s a new year and at Steel Petal Press we need to make room for all the new inventory coming in.
Come visit our brick and mortar and check out our clearance section.

Everything on clearance is 75% off!

We have everything from holiday stuff to mugs, desk accessories, fun gifts and more at MEGA DISCOUNTS.
Only at our retail location in Logan Square.

Steel Petal Press Shop location:
2321 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647
M-F 11-7 | Sat 10-6 | Sun 11-4

We hope to see you soon!

2018 In Review

First of all, I can’t believe I’ve been doing yearly reviews since 2012 (meaning my first review recapped 2011).  That’s just crazy! This is my seventh year and it’s so interesting to look back on each year and how Steel Petal Press has changed. It’s also so interesting to look at my goals for the year including short term and long term goals. Especially now that I’m at the 5 year point of some of my 5 year goals from 2011.  After years of goal setting, I do firmly believe that writing things down and saying them out loud makes you more accountable

(You can see past year reviews here: 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017)

Anyways! On to the highlights of the year.

Custom Work

At the beginning of 2018 I started really slowing down taking on new custom and wedding invitation clients.  It was something I had been thinking about for some time (and had even stated in my goals at the end of last year.)   I love working with custom clients, but since the opening of the retail shop I felt like I was getting pulled in too many directions. Ultimately I feel more fulfilled creating my own designs for Steel Petal Press and curating the retail shop, so I decided to stop custom wedding invitations all together.  It’s interesting looking back on the years, at how much time I spent developing the wedding invitation line.  It was what helped grow the business while I was just starting out and still finding my voice.  In the end, I am thankful for what I was able to accomplish and I know the time was right for me to move on.

Employees

Staffing has continued to be a challenge at the shop.  This year I was particularly sad to see Kat leave after working for me for three years almost exactly to the day.  The good news it brought us Rachel our second full time employee to take her place as Studio Manager.   Now Steel Petal Press employs two full time-ers (not including myself) Plus a great part time staff of 3, including Matt (who has been with us since 2016) and Dan our newest printing assistant.

Steel Petal Press Team

Tradeshows

With custom work on the back burner, I had more time to focus on growing the wholesale line again (a goal from 2017). I signed up to exhibit at NYNow in August as my first Tradeshow since NSS 2015.  Shelby helped work the booth while I was able to walk the show and place orders for the retail shop.  We wrote 25 orders at the show and picked up some exciting new accounts.  Overall a successful show!   We plan on going back to exhibit next year NYNow’s summer show.  We are also heading out to Atlanta the first week in January 2019 to exhibit at America’sMart, a brand new show for us! Hopefully that goes well.

NYNow Tradeshow Booth

Sales Reps / FAIRE (formerly Indigo Fair)

We reached another goal for the year by reaching out to several more sales rep groups. We got picked up by a rep in the South East, a Rep Group in LA, and another in San Francisco.  They have also really helped up grow our wholesale presence around the country.   After much pursuing, FAIRE finally accepted us to sell wholesale on their platform, which gave us exposure to even more small independent retailers around the country.

Wholesale Overall

Our focus on growing our wholesale reach really paid off.  Combining our new accounts from Tradeshows, Sales Reps and Indigo Fair, we were able to add over 100 new wholesale accounts to our roster.  Our wholesale business is up 20% over last year.  It definitely has made up for the missing income from wedding invitations.

Windmill

To make a long story short, I finally was able to acquire a Heidelberg Windmill Press over the summer.  You can read the blog post of how it came to be here.   This was a long term goal of mine since 2011 which finally came to fruition.  It is a total game changer, especially with the increase in bulk orders from wholesale.

Heidelberg Windmill Press Steel Petal Press

New Products

We had three big releases this year with 60+ new products. Greeting cards are our biggest seller, and many of our newest designs have already garnered themselves as best sellers. In addition, we added new mug, magnet, gift wrap and bookmark styles.  After much research I was most excited about our newest line of Gift Bags.

foil printed funny gift bags

Press

I didn’t get as much press this year as in year’s past, but the highlight came at the very end of the year. I was quoted as an expert for this article for the Chicago Tribune about Christmas cards. After 10 years making greeting cards, I guess I am finally an expert of sorts 🙂

Giving Back

We were able to continue giving back to organizations we believe in.   Steel Petal Press donated money to Direct Relief, Trevor Project, Every Town and Greater Chicago Food Depository.

Goals for 2019

– re-do the website! It’s 5 years old and in need of a major overhaul
– continue on the tradeshow circuit and expanding wholesale reach
– really what refine what we are looking for and hire another permanent part time employee with the ultimate goal to find stable staffing at the shop
– have more freedom to travel to more offsite events (like conferences, tradeshows, craft fairs, pop up shops etc)

Other than that, it’s hard to think of any more real reach goals.  So many things changed this past year, the goal is to keep going with what we’re doing.

2-3 year goals

I would still eventually love to open a second retail location in Chicago, and then think about expanding to other cities like San Francisco or NYC. The logistics of a second location alone (finding space, purchasing, hiring staff, training etc is enough to make my head spin.  So I think that one goal is big enough to shoot for.

Thanks for reading this far, and happy new year!

Holiday Gift Guide For Pet People!

Christmas gifts are all about buying something your friends, family, and loved ones are sure to enjoy. However, what do you get a person who considers their furry family as important as their human one (which is pretty easy to do, let’s be honest!). Here’s a simple solution: check out our Holiday Gift Guide For Pet People! It’s sure to have the perfect gift for any cat and/or dog (or BOTH) lovers in your life!

Pet Lover Gift Guide

Socks:
Socks make a great gift for anyone but we have some hilarious styles that feature hilarious sentiments for feline or canine fans! Better yet, they come in at only $10.50-$11.50!

Puzzles:
Puzzles make the perfect cold weather activity because you don’t have the leave the comfort of your warm home to do it! However, a puzzle fit for a pet person must include cats or dogs, of course! No worries, we have both! 🙂

Tea Towels:
Tea Towels make can make a fun and funny home decor statement. Steel Petal Press carries a variety of styles from Blue Q with laughable cat and dog quotes. Better yet, they’re only $14!

Cat Mug Garden:
These are new to our brick & mortar location this year but make a great for cat lovers (or plant lovers!) This mug is a small hydroponic garden which can then be used to enjoy a favorite beverage once the plant removed. Plus, look at that cute kitty design…what’s not to like!

Cat/Dog Butt Magnets:
These funny butt magnets, featuring both dog and cat butts, have been a fan favorite every holiday season at our store!

Cards:
Steel Petal Press makes a variety of awesome holiday cards but our “Meowy Catmus“, which comes in singles ($6) or boxed ($16) is the perfect combination of punny and kitty.

We are at the end of the Holiday Gift Guide For Pet People which means you have the difficult task of picking which awesome suggestion you want to buy (sorry, not sorry!) But, on the bright side, you know your favorite pet person is sure to love it no matter what!

Happy shopping!

Be sure to stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse these awesome products AND MORE!

Holiday Gift Guide For Book Worms!

A good book warms the soul which can be a difficult task to do during the cold temperatures of the holiday season. Steel Petal Press knows how awesome reading is but how difficult it can be to shop for a loved one who is always nose deep in a book! Check out our Holiday Gift Guide For Book Worms for gift ideas that are sure to capture the attention of your favorite reader 🙂

Bookmarks:
We here at Steel Petal Press love reading so much that we created our very own collection of letterpressed bookmarks ($3)! Witty and sassy (like all things SPP), these bookmarks make perfect stocking stuffers for any book fanatic! Some of the top sellers are the “John Waters”, “Awesome People Read”, and our new “Stopping Point” bookmarks!

Magnets:
As you may have seen in our previous gift guides, Steel Petal Press makes some pretty kick ass magnets for some pretty kick ass types of people and book lovers are no different! Our “Awesome People Read” magnet ($6) matches with our top selling bookmark style but also makes a great addition to any gift for someone who just thinks reading is awesome (like us!)

Socks:
The perfect way to read a book is making sure you’re cozy as heck, right? RIGHT. So, picking out a perfect (and hilarious) pair of socks for your favorite bookworm is a great gift idea! Blue Q socks are our personal favorites here at Steel Petal Press and at only $10.50-$11.50 they won’t break the bank! Heck, they even made some specifically for this occasion (“Fuck off, I’m Reading” socks!!)

Mugs & Tea Infusers:
Another perfect pairing for reading books is…tea, of course! We’ve got a large selection of mugs that are sure to get a laugh including a “Book Nerd” mug ($16) which is fitting for any loud and proud book nerd. In addition to that, Steel Petal Press has plenty of hilarious tea infusers from cats, to dogs, to even flamingos and all with a $10-$15 price range. We believe that even the simplest tasks like making tea and reading a book should be fun!

Hopefully our Holiday Gift Guide for Book Worms inspired some gift-giving ideas. Rest assured that with these gifts from Steel Petal Press, your beloved book worm will be filled with holiday joy!

Be sure to stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse these awesome products AND MORE!

One of A Kind Show Chicago | 2018 Recap

We just finished up our 5th year exhibiting at One of a Kind Show Chicago.  It’s a four day sale located on the 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart in down town Chicago. There’s so many vendors a great handmade items from small nick knacks to beautiful (and pricey) works of art.

I’ve slowed down doing off site shows quite a bit since opening the SPP retail shop.  It’s not easy find staffing for outside events while also making sure the shop fully staffed (especially during the holidays).  But because the One of A Kind Show is in Chicago, it makes it easier to set up and man while still in Chicago.

The booth provided comes with hard walls and lights.  Tuesday and Wednesday before the show vendors bring in displays to showcase their work and make everything look pretty.  This is what our blank booth looked like before we started setting up:

We put up shelves, pegs and other table displays for all our product. Our white shelving is from Ikea, originally purchased for our first One of a Kind Show in 2014, which we have used every year since. We also have a table for boxed sets and home goods. Plus a little table to serve as our mini temporary cash wrap.

I always choose to power through set up on Tuesday so that if there are any last minute items I forgot or changes to the display, I can take care of those on Wednesday before the show opens. It also gives me some extra time to chill (if possible) before the show opens first thing on Thursday morning.  It’s a really long show, with 9-10 hour days for 4 days in a row. Any extra hours to rest are always helpful!

This year’s show was for the most part a success! We set up with enough time and have perfected our display (four years of practice, trial and error definitely help.)

The one major disappointment came on both Thursday and Friday mornings. Thursday morning I came into the show to find our singles and fives plus some rolls of quarters missing from our cash box.  Over $400 worth of change! 🙁

At the end of the first day of set up Tuesday evening I had accidentally left the cash box in sight.  It was at the back of my booth and on my bottom shelf, but still visible to passers by.  I didn’t realize it until I was already home for the night, but figured it would be OK. The Merchandise Mart has security and the seventh floor is closed to the public during when not show hours.  I got back in on Thursday morning I realized all my ones, fives and a few rolls of quarters were missing. It sucked.  I had Shelby to come in early to watch the booth while I ran to the bank to withdraw more change for the show. That night I made sure to take all the bills with me. I hid the cash box under the table and left the rolls of coins.

I arrived Friday morning to find that all my quarters were missing (again!!) .   Obviously someone targeting me the second time. Not only did they take my rolls of quarters, they also took our square reader so I couldn’t take any Credit Card payments for the first two hours of the show.  Luckily, my husband was able to drop off a backup square reader a few hours later.  It was stressful and unfortunate, but eventually resolved.

Aside from those two incidents, the show was really great! It was nice to see some familiar faces and repeat customers throughout the years. It’s always nice to hear laughter and see people connect with the work we make at Steel Petal Press.  In addition, we had our best year in sales.  So despite the thefts, overall I came out feeling really positive about the experience and have already signed up for next year.

Until then Chicago. Happy Holidays!!

 a

Holiday Gift Guide For Guys!

Holiday shopping can be stressful enough with all the crowds and money you’re spending but it can be even more stressful when you don’t know what to get someone (DUDES, WE’RE LOOKIN’ AT YOU!) Men can hold a lot of important roles in our lives such as: Dads, Sons, Grandpas, Brothers, Boyfriends, Husbands, and many more…and they can all be a pain in the ass to shop for. But, no worries, Steel Petal Press has put together a little Holiday Gift Guide For Guys that’ll help you find the perfect present without breaking the bank (you can thank us later!):

Gift Guide For Men

Mug:
Mugs make the perfect gift for anyone really and that includes dudes! The “Fresh Out Of Fucks” ($16) mug is a new release from Steel Petal Press and has been flying off the shelf. It’s perfect if your man enjoys coffee, tea, and/or curse words! (There’s also a matching magnet ($6))

Socks:
Let’s get straight to the point: socks rule! We have a large (and hilarious) selection of men’s socks from our favorite vendor Blue Q ($11.50). These make great stocking stuffers and a fun addition to any guys’ cozy and casual wardrobe!

Outdoorsy Books:
Is there a man in your life that thrives in the outdoors? Well, when it’s wintertime in the city it can be really hard to find some nature to enjoy…but look no further! We have stocked some awesome outdoors books like “See America” ($19.95) and “50 Places To Camp Before You Die” ($24.95) that’ll fill the nature-sized hole in their heart until Springtime is upon us!

Gentleman’s Hardware:
This is an awesome line of products we carry from a brand named Wild & Wolf Inc. that creates things with a wide variety of men in mind! We have a Flight Ready Kit ($20) which has travel sized bath needs or the Shoe Shine Kit ($22) which helps keep a guy on the go lookin’ (and smelling) fresh and spiffy! Gentleman’s Hardware also makes some handy tools for those handy men in your life. The Keychain Tool Kit ($20) and Hammer Multi-Tool ($25) are great gadgets that are also functional!

Stationery Sets:
Steel Petal Press is ALL about snail mail and maybe there’s a man in your life that is too, in which case, hell yeah! We have a large variety of stationery sets he’ll love including one of our most popular styles, “Thanks, Dude” ($16) that is made by hand right here in our studio!

Drinking Accessories:
Know a boy who likes to booze? Who doesn’t, right!? We’ve got lots of fun drinking things that make perfect gifts – and better yet – are under $10! The Luchador Bottle Opener ($8) is always a popular purchase every holiday because it’s funny as heck! We’ve also got a variety of drink coasters including the Gear Coasters ($6) that we make ourselves!

We hope our Holiday Gift Guide For Guys helps take some pressure off the season’s shopping and brings some laughter to the holidays.

Be sure to stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse these awesome products AND MORE!

Extended Holiday Hours at Steel Petal Press

extended holiday gift shopping hours We are quickly popping in to share our holiday hours for Steel Petal Press Brick and Mortar Retail Shop.

We know, preparing for family, shopping, cooking and Christmas break can get hectic: and we at Steel Petal Press is here to help!! The shop is staying open until 8pm the week before Christmas, giving you a little extra time to check off everything on your list.

Make note of our holiday hours are listed below:

Holiday HOURS:
Monday, December 17th – Friday December 21st: 11am – 8pm
Saturday, December 22nd: 10am – 8pm
Sunday, December 23rd: 11am – 8pm
Monday, December 24th: 11am – 3pm
Tuesday, December 25th: CLOSED
Monday, December 31st – Friday, December 4th: CLOSED

Steel Petal Press Chicago Stationery shop Steel Petal Press Gift Chicago Steel Petal Press Chicago Gift Shop

November Rewind – No Way…November Is Over!

Holy shit…November is over! Who knew!? Sure, there are calendars but, with how busy Steel Petal Press has been, who has time to look at them!

November kick starts the holiday season with Thanksgiving AND Christmas shopping which means it’s all-hands-on-deck at our retail location, however, there’s still plenty going on behind the scenes, too!

Keep scrolling to see what we did this past month:

Thanksgiving:
Steel Petal Press closes its’ doors on Thanksgiving so all the employees can spend time with their families (which is really what Thanksgiving is all about, right!) This year, even Shayna (our owner) got to go home to Washington, DC! Owning and working at a small business is very rewarding but it’s also SO MUCH WORK which means it is important to allow time for everyone to pause, take a breath, and enjoy friends and family. It’s also an important time for Steel Petal Press to reflect on what WE are thankful for: our loyal patrons! Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are and have the visions of where we are going… so thank you so much!

Small Business Saturday:
Now, while most retail businesses plan ALL YEAR ROUND for Black Friday, us small business folks are buckling down for Small Business Saturday. This day highlights the importance of shopping local and celebrates the big impact shopping small has on communities across the country. Our staff worked tirelessly to prepare and we were completely ecstatic about the turnout. It really does makes all the stress and long hours worth it 🙂

Cyber Monday:
November does kick off the busy season for shopping in our brick & mortar location but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a lot of online retail shopping, too! Steel Petal Press also had a huge push during Cyber Monday which was awesome! We had roughly 60-70 orders placed and our shipping woman was able to get them all shipped out by the next day.

Q3 Donations:
Did you know that Steel Petal Press donates a portion of our quarterly revenue to a non-profit of our choice?! Well now you do!  This past month, Q3 wrapped up which meant it was donation time, woohoo! As Chicagoans AND Americans, we know that gun violence is a serious epidemic that is impacting communities across our country. Because of this, we chose to donate to a non-profit called Everytown For Gun Safety. This incredible organization work to promote gun safety through strengthening background checks, advocating stricter laws which crack down on gun trafficking, and so much more. Steel Petal Press is so proud to have contributed to such an important issue and to be apart of the change we want to see in the world!

Winter Window Display:
It was also time to get our big, beautiful window into the Holiday Spirit with a little Christmas makeover! Our retail manager, Shelby, spend about a whole day getting all the ornaments hung up and the items re-merchandised but it was all worth it! It turned out beautiful and is a great piece of “eye-candy” for Milwaukee Ave. Check it out below:

Thanks for following our journey 🙂
Keep checking in to see all the Steel Petal Press shenanigans we get in too!

 

Holiday Gift Guide For Your Booze Buddy!

There’s no better way to get into the Holiday Spirit than with some Holiday “spirits”, are we right?! (DUH, of course we are!) That’s why Steel Petal Press is always fully stocked with funny and functional drinking gifts perfect for that friend (or friends) that gets down while boozin’ up! Check out our Holiday Gift Guide for your Booze Buddy:

Mug:
The “Hungover” Mug ($16) is designed by Steel Petal Press and is perfect for those mornings that follow a night of “too much” fun (if there is such a thing)!

Magnet:
The Whiskey Magnet ($6) is also designed here at Steel Petal Press and is inspired by a quote from a very famous fan of alcohol, Mark Twain! It adds a bit of attitude to any magnetic surface and we are all about attitude 😉

Soaps:
Soap Distillery is Chicago-based company that makes unique soaps based on alcohol. Some of the most popular scents include Whiskey, Bourbon, Gin, and the strange sounding but awesome smelling, Beer & Cigarettes. For only $7 a bar, these soaps make awesome gifts for men or women. They also add a little boozy charm to their self-care routine which never hurt anyone.

“True Stack” Drinking Game:
I’m sure your favorite boozing buddy didn’t think that drinking could get anymore fun…and they would be wrong! The “True Stacks” Drinking Game ($20) puts a spin on the classic Jenga game aka it just adds alcohol, but ya know, hell yeah!

Drinking Accessories:
It’s always important to accessorize even when it comes to drinking. Your booze buddy is sure to love some “In The Buff” drink markers ($13) or an Army Man bottle opener ($10)! We also carry a line of ice cube trays from Peak which come in Sphere and Cube form ($15). These make a perfect addition to any liquor lover’s freezer!

Winter Cocktail Book:
For that cocktail connoisseur in your life, this Winter Cocktail Book ($22.95) provides lots of great new recipes. Like we said, nothing makes getting into the holiday spirit easier than some holiday-themed spirits!

Christmas Cards:
We here at Steel Petal Press are big fans of greeting cards (duh) and also of booze (double duh) so we designed a Christmas card that combines both of those things. The final result? Our very popular ‘Tis The Season card.

We are at the end of our Boozing Buddy Gift Guide. Keep on drinking and be sure to stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse these awesome products AND MORE!