Free Cards this Weekend!

Greeting Cards Chicago
Come Visit our Card wall!

We are giving away free stuff! Come visit our brick and mortar retail location in Logan Square this weekend. Every purchase over $35 will include a FREE CARD.

The promotion is this weekend!
Saturday, June 1st
Sunday, June 2nd
Only at our retail location!

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

We hope to see you soon!

April Month Rewind!

The month of April was busy, busy, busy! We love how fast time flies (it means we are having fun, right?!) Take a peek inside what the Steel Petal Press team has been up to in our April Month Rewind.

Employee Fun Time: Wine Candle Making
Every quarter Steel Petal Press sponsors an Employee Fun Time Event so the team can bond outside of the work environment. The team is really one of the best parts of Steel Petal Press so we always have a great time. We chose to do a Wine Candle Making class which walks us through how to make our own wine bottle candle! We chose everything from the bottle, the color, and the scent to make our very own custom candle!

Steel Petal Press Group Picture
Steel Petal Press group photo!
Group Wine Candle Making
We’re cutting the tops off our wine glasses so we can pour our candle wax inside!
Group Wine Candle Making
Goofin’ and learnin’ how to make wine glass candles!
Just sniffin’ out some scents to use!

OOAK Prep – SO MUCH PROCESSING:
In case you weren’t aware, one of the many things that make Steel Petal Press items so special is that they are prepared and packaged all by hand. This is what we can “processing”. It can be an incredibly overwhelming task during busy times like the end of a New Release and/or prepping for a retail market show like One Of A Kind. Well, lucky for us, both of these events happened this past April which made for a huge amount of processing to get done.

Steel Petal Press Handmade Cards
Every single individual card page was folded, enveloped, and sleeved by the Steel Petal Press staff! Be sure to think of that every time you pick up one of our products! 🙂

One Of A Kind (OOAK) April 2019 Show:
We kicked off the first of our two OOAK shows for the year (the second being a holiday one!). These retail market shows are a lot of effort and time which means it’s important for us to constantly evaluate what the cost/benefit is as a small business. This year’s Spring/Summer show was a bit slower than all the previous years so we aren’t sure if we will be returning to this particular one. However, Steel Petal Press does amazing at the holiday OOAK so we will definitely be back for that one! Here’s a few photos from our show in April:

Left = booth setup and right = finished booth
Look at all the pretty Steel Petal Press cards at OOAK!

Steel Petal Press New Release – FINISHED:
We are so happy to report that we finished our New Release!! If you’ve been following us at all in the previous months, it’s been obvious what a huge task this is. With all our new products completed, we were able to make them available at our retail location and soon to be available for wholesale and retail (online) orders!

Happy Birthday Bitch Steel Petal Press New Release Card
A photo showing “plates” for new designs for this current New Release.
Steel Petal Press Letterpress Handmade Cards
A quick snapshot of Shayna printing some of the New Release styles!
Handmade Letterpress Funny Snarky Birthday Cards Steel Petal Press
Styled photo of some of our new birthday cards!
Funny Snarky Coffee Mugs By Steel Petal Pres
Don’t forget, we design our own gift items too! Check out these 3 new mug styles we created!

That’s it for our April Month Rewind here at Steel Petal Press. Thanks so much for checking in with us month to month and be sure to stay tuned for what we’re up to in May!

Steel Petal Press Instagram

March/April Retailer Shout Outs!

Oops!

We’re a little behind sharing some of our favorite content from our wholesale stockists the last few months… but, better late than never, right!? We absolutely love sharing Steel Petal Press with the world and we love even more seeing how YOU share it with the world.

Enjoy a few of our favorites we saw in the months of March and April:

Pulp & Circumstance – Newberg, OR
Studio Colfax – Denver, CO
The Fig Tree – Chicago, IL
Decade – Denver, CO

We get such joy out these so please – keep’um coming!!!

Follow us on Instagram to see what shenanigans we’re up to on a daily basis!

Steel Petal Press is Best of Logan Square!

Best of logan Square
https://logansquarist.com/2019/05/06/2019-best-of-logan-square-winners/b

Steel Petal Press is thrilled to have won BEST Specialty Shop in Logan Square for 2019! We received an honorable mention last year, and are excited to be recognized and awarded with the title this year.

Visit the Logan Squarist website for the full list of all winners. Of course we LOVE Logan Square and everything it has to offer. We love supporting local businesses in the community and want to shout out the wide array of shops, bars, restaurants and coffee shops that Logan Square has to offer.

If you’re in Chicago, or visiting for a weekend, come to our neighborhood and see what all the hype is about.

Mental Health Awareness Month | One

May is Mental Health Awareness Month

I’ve been sitting here at my computer running through my mind all the things I want to say about my personal mental health struggles:
“What is my story?”
“Why is it important?”
“What do I want to say?”  

The truth is, there are so many reasons to share my personal history with mental health. It has been challenging to organize my thoughts.  

For me, it all starts with understanding what I can control and what I cannot.  Mental illness, depression and anxiety runs in my family. It’s a genetic disease that has been passed down, not through actions and habits of my family, but through brain chemistry.  It took me a really long time to understand that feeling depressed and anxious is actually NOT something I can control. I struggled through many years trying to contain my emotions and then beating myself up when I couldn’t, it only made me feel worse. The tricky thing about mental illness (specifically anxiety in my case) is that sometimes an emotional reaction cannot be regulated by reason.  After years and years of ups and downs I met with the right psychiatrist. He helped me understand that some things are beyond my control. I was finally able to let go of trying. Rather than fighting an impossible battle with my brain chemistry, I was able to focus on the things I actually could control, like lifestyle, surroundings, situations and triggers that lead those feelings to surface.

So, What is my story?
It’s over 20 years of struggling with anxiety and resulting depression. Within those 20 years I experienced five episodes that completely debilitated me from functioning in everyday life.  HOWEVER, I want to reiterate, this is *not* a sob story. This is a story of someone who struggled and prevailed, and then fell and got back up again. I write this now from a positive, productive and rational place. In those moments of despair it’s the absolute worst. It feels hopeless and helpless and isolating and completely alone. But it has always gotten better.

So, why share my story? Why now?
I’m finally at a place where I feel like I have a much better understanding of myself and my illness.  With better perspective of my own story, I feel much better sharing what I know. Anyone else who feels similarly, I want you to know that YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

The more we talk about mental health the better we can understand each other, maybe together we can lessen the stigma and shame by sharing our experiences. I hope this blog series can help add to the conversation.

New Release Step 2: Printing Process

Steel Petal Press is back at it again with Step 2 of our New Release journey which we call the “Printing Process”. Now, I’m sure it’s obvious what a majority of this portion consists of (printing, duh!) but this time in our process also involves some steps you might not be aware of! Without further ado here’s a look at our Step 2: the Printing Process.

Before we can begin actually printing, we must order things called “plates” which takes about a week or so to come in. Plates are pieces of plastic which have the images of each specific design we created on it. The design has golden raised edges which is what the machine “presses” into the paper to create the images you see on our final products (hence the term letterpress!). It is also interesting to note that each color in a single design must use its own plate. Therefore, a single design may be comprised of 2 or 3 smaller, individual plates depending on how many colors are used – pretty cool, huh?!

Here’s a photo of a variety of plates we ordered for this current release!
A close up photo of a plate (left) and it’s intended final design (right)!

Now, it’s time to get printing! This is definitely the part of the process people are most curious about here at Steel Petal Press. We are always happy to share details about printing and letterpress but keep in mind, this blog is giving a fairly condensed version of how it works. Printing is a very time consuming process that takes days to weeks depending on the amount that is being printed. For example, this specific New Release has taken about 2-3 weeks to print and that’s with 2 people printing and 1-2 presses being used at different times. Check out some photos and informational captions about the printing process at SPP:

Color is everything.
It’s important to take the time to mix everything appropriately in order
to achieve a correct and consistent match for each color!
This photo is of a chase. It is the part of the machine which holds the plate in place so it’s very important that it’s aligned properly . The correct alignment allows for the design
(on the plate) to be pressed into the paper in the right places.
This is Shayna and she is placing the chase (pictured above) into the press so that
she can begin printing!
The image above shows incomplete cards that are waiting to have a different color used on the remaining plate to finalize the entire design!
While printing, it’s also important to pause to double-check alignments and troubleshoot any issues to ensure the best quality of each and every product!

In the midst of our printing marathon, we are also receiving shipments of our other newly design items that have to be outsourced. While every one of Steel Petal Press products are designed here in our Chicago, IL studio, non-paper items such as mugs, magnets, gift wrap, etc. have to be manufactured elsewhere. However, they are all still produced by companies in the US (pretty cool, huh?!).

We snapped these cute little sneak peek photos as soon as we got the new items in!

Lastly, we have to send out all the new products to a photographer so they can snap the product photos we use on our sales websites and marketing materials. This can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks but it’s a very important step. Additionally, we use the photos to make our wholesale and retail item listings so they can be properly purchased by consumers!

Thanks for staying tuned for Step 2 of our New Release. We are in the home stretch so be sure to check out Step 3 which will be the conclusion of our journey…until the next release, of course!

In the mean time, for more behind the scenes follow us on Instagram:

SPP Has What Moms Need: Mother’s Day Gift Guide!

We know you love your Mom but did you know Steel Petal Press loves Moms, too?! We create and curate a variety of cards and gifts as unique and awesome as each Mom. Here are our top picks for 2019 in our Mother’s Day Gift Guide:

Best Mom Ever Stemless Wine Glass, Slant Collections ($14) – What better way to “Cheers” your Mom for being awesome than with this adorably sentimental stemless wine glass.P

Porn For New Moms Book, Chronicle/Hachette ($12.95) – They say motherhood changes everything…including what counts as sexy! This hysterical picture book includes images of hot men cleaning the house, changing diapers, and much more. Give some laughs, and a little inspiration (wink, wink), for Mother’s Day with this awesome gift.

I Love My Asshole Kids Oven Mitt, Blue Q ($13) – This snarky oven mitt makes a great gift for any Mom that enjoys cooking and their children…even if they are assholes.

Best Mom Ever Towel, Natural Life ($14) – This cute towel makes a loving addition to any Mom’s living space and serves as a great reminder of how much she’s loved!

I Love You Mom Succulent Planter, Natural Life ($15) – Face it, you may not be the favorite baby if your Mom is a Plant Mom but the gift of this charming little planter will still make her day very special!

Mother’s Day Cards, Steel Petal Press, ($6) – Last, but certainly not least, be sure to pick out one of our amazing letterpress Mother’s Day cards for an final touch of sentiment to a perfect gift!

Chicago Print Crawl

Chicago Print Crawl

Steel Petal Press is thrilled to be participating in this year’s Chicago Print Crawl organized by Spudnik Press.

Spudnik Press is a community print shop located in West Town Chicago. They offer classes, workshops, private lessons and field trip tours for novices. For more intermediate printers, Spudnik rents studio space, and offers residencies and fellowships. Our very own printing assistant, Dan, recently went through their studio fellowship program.

The print crawl takes place on Saturday May 11th from 11am – 5pm. Steel Petal Press will be hosting an Open House of sorts. The presses will be running all day. Visitors coming into the shop will have a chance to ask questions while Dan prints. While we always have the presses on display at Steel Petal Press, this will be a unique chance to delve in and ask questions as we demo while we work.

March Month Rewind!

Hey everyone, Spring is well underway and it feels like the months are beginning to move faster and faster. As we began to prepare for much larger projects down road, March was not necessarily a busy month but it definitely didn’t slow us down. Check out what we’ve been up to in our March Month Rewind!

Our SPP Family Grew: Say Hi To Margaret!:
This was possibly the most exciting development in the month of March. We hired on Margaret as our new “Retail and Shipping Assistant”. This was a position we created with a lot of thought in mind and something we’ve really needed for awhile. Both our retail and wholesale businesses are growing (which is GREAT) but it also means that our Retail and Shipping Managers need some extra hands to help. However, as you may or may not know, the hiring process is a very grueling and time-consuming one. Margaret, however, has proved to make the entire process seamless as she is a smart and talented lady full of smiles! Be sure to stop by our Retail Location and say hi to our newest family member!

This is Margaret – be sure to stop in and say hi!

New Release Updates:
In case it wasn’t obvious from our social media and blog, we have been deep in the midst of creating a New Release! While it’s a long and tiresome process, it’s arguably one of the most important ways to continue growing and refreshing the SPP brand. In the month of March, we officially approved all new product styles that will be apart of this New Release (which I mentioned earlier is over 40!) as well as printing our asses off. We have also slowly begun receiving our outsourced gift items such as gift wrap, mugs, and magnets which are printed off-site in the USA. We are so proud of all the new items we have created and can’t wait to share them with the world!

(NOT) Down With The Sickness:
It was definitely a hard month in terms of germs and SPP. Our team got hit with a flu that quickly passed through the ranks and all but 2 people remained standing for a couple days. Needless to say, we went through A LOT of Clorox wipes in the month of March. Fingers crossed we won’t have that happen anymore, UGH!

NYNow Booth Booked:
It’s official: SPP is heading back to the Big Apple for NYNow August ’19. This is always a huge step to take because it is a very large investment of time, money, and man power (especially for a small business). But, after starting back to the trade show circuit last year, it has proved worth all the blood, sweat, and tears. One of our goals is to continue growing our wholesale brand and we can’t properly do that without putting ourselves out there! It’s also a great opportunity to showcase the new release we’ve been working so damn hard on with over 40+ new items coming out! We really couldn’t be more excited to hit the road again and see new (and old) faces. Keep your eye out for more details in the coming months!

Chicago Print Crawl:
This is a brand new project that Steel Petal Press officially decided to be apart of this month (although it’s not until May) It’s meant to share and celebrate the art of printing and letterpress which is one of our main goals here at Steel Petal Press. Our printer, Dan will be operating the press and open to questions on the day of the event. In the coming months, he is also creating some small educational visuals for guests to look at and learn more about what exactly we do here. We are so excited for May to get here and to kick off Print Crawl. If you’re interested in learning more, here’s a link with dates, times, and another other important info!

That’s the end of our March Month Rewind. These next few months are bound to get busier and busier but it is nice to be able to pause a couple moments and reflect back on what we’ve accomplished. Thanks again for reading and stay tuned for next month’s!

Follow us on Instagram keep up to date on all the SPP shenanigans 🙂

Gift Guide For Plant People!

Spring has sprung! The temperature is warming up and the sun is starting to shine more and more. This means we can kick our plant obsession into high gear! We know we aren’t alone in our love for all things leafy and so take a look at some of our top plant picks from our retail shop that make great gifts for any plant people you love dearly! Here’s our Gift Guide For Plant People:

Poppy & Lavender Garden Kits, Modern Sprout ($15) – These garden kits make gardening easy because they include everything you need to grow the flowers right in the container! They are a great way to add a bit of the outdoors to any small indoor space. As an added bonus, Modern Sprout is a local Chicago company (support small, woohoo!)

Self Watering Animal Planters, Noted ($15) – These guys have been a very popular item since they hit our shelves. They come in a variety of plant types and adorable animal shapes sure to bring a smile to anyone! Additionally, they use an enclosed straw or felt “tongue” to water themselves which means they require little to no effort (even better!)

“Plants Get Me” Women’s Ankle Socks, BQ ($10.50) – Who doesn’t love a good sock? No one, that’s who! Plant people included. That’s why our “Plants Get Me” socks make a great gift. They combine the love of plants with a great novelty gift idea!

Assorted Succulent Planters, Natural Life ($15) – Our selection of succulent planters from Natural Life are as cute as they are small. They come with faux plants/dirt inside but can easily be converted for real use. We think they make a great little accent for desks or window sills (and I’m sure plant people would agree!)

Boys With Plants Book, Chronicle/Hachette ($14.95) – If you need a perfect tongue and cheek gift for a plant lover, look no further! This hilarious book contains photographs of attractive men alongside their favorite plants. We’re almost positive there’s no quicker way to a plant person’s heart than this book, haha!

Alas, we have come to the end of Gift Guide For Plant People! Be sure to shop these gift ideas and much more at our retail location! Additionally, you can check out all Steel Petal Press handmade items on our website anytime – day or night!

Follow us on Instagram for great content everyday!