Brick & Mortar Vendors | Soap Distillery

Soap Distillery

Welcome to a new column here at the Steel Petal Press blog.  Here we will highlight some of our favorite vendors at our Brick and Mortar flagship location.  You can find our retail location in the up-and-coming Logan Square neighborhood which is along a vibrant bar strip and immediately adjacent to Revolution Brewery. (literally) If you live in Chicago, please come visit us in person!  Or if you ever visit the second city hopefully you can make your way to our neck of the woods and say “HI”

Our first vendor highlight is one of our favorite soap companies and fellow Chicago-based vendor: Soap Distillery.  Danielle makes fantastic boozy inspired soaps that look beautiful AND smell delicious.  We make sure to always have her soaps in stock. She’s local to Chicago and she’s always kind enough to hand-deliver our orders each time.

We are proud to have her items in stock. We make it a priority to support local vendors and independent businesses when we can.  Please come in and check out our selection in person at 2321 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago IL 60647.

You can also read more about Soap Distillery HERE.

PaperCamp+ with Tradeshow Bootcamp

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

At the end of June I spent 2 wonderful days at the PaperCamp+ conference in Palm Springs. It was a business-focused conference for smaller stationery companies who are mid career and looking for ways to grow their businesses.  The conference was targeted to alumni of  Tradeshow Bootcamp and companies in the stationery industry.

I took the Tradeshow Bootcamp webinars in 2012-2013 when preparing for my first visit to the National Stationery Show in 2013.  At the time I found the information invaluable, and it really helped prepare me for the daunting task of exhibiting at my first trade show, especially on a shoestring budget.

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

The conference was in a small room at the Saguaro Hotel in Palm Springs.  It was a cute little location with average rooms but a beautiful pool setting.  All the Paper Camp+ attendees stayed at the hotel which was super convenient for the all day conferences.  These are some photos around the hotel, but during deep discussions  in the conference room it was easy to forget everyone else around us was on vacation!

We were basically in round table discussions and listening to speakers from 8am until 5pm with happy hours at the end of each day.  There were about 25 attendees plus 5-10 additional speakers and staff.  It was inspirational to hear the speakers, but also to see them participating and taking notes during other presentations.  The information was truly valuable for everyone.

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

Below is a list of the panels and speakers. I can say without a doubt I got something from everyone.  Some of the topics were more applicable to my current situation than others, but everything I learned was worthwhile:

Thursday, June 29
8:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – Welcome + Introductions
9:30am – How to Clone Yourself with Amber McCue
11:00am – Diversifying Revenue Streams with Kristen Ley
12:30pm – Lunch
2:00pm – Small Group Discussions
3:30pm – Break + Snacks
4:00pm – Visibility + PR Panel Discussion
5:30pm – Happy Hour sponsored by DeFrance Printing
6:40pm – Dinner on your own

Friday, June 30
8:00am – Breakfast
9:00am – Big Dreams Need Big Plans with Tonya Dalton
10:30am – Work Your Wealth in Business & Life with Mary Beth Storjohann
12:00pm – Lunch
1:30pm – Growing a Thriving Business With Fear with Reina Pomeroy
3:00pm – Break + Snacks
3:30pm – Hiring & Nurturing Your Team Panel Discussion
4:30pm – Final thoughts & Take-Aways
5:30pm – Closing Party sponsored by Astro Paper Converters
7:30pm – High fives & hugs goodbye

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

I came away with some really solid, concrete information, and action items moving forward.  Below are a few goals and other items to start implementing to help improve my business and processes:
– Separating what do I need to do, and what I can delegate better
– Updating operations manuals, and keeping constant
– Better budgeting (actually creating a budget)
– Updating core values / guiding principles
– Creating more efficient systems in the workplace
– Automating my schedule
– Scheduling social media and marketing
– Maximizing shipping efficiency

My biggest takeaway from the whole experience was the conversations, the one-on-one interactions and the friendships that were solidified in real life over real drinks, real laughs, (a few) real tears and a common bond of shared experiences.

The women in the stationery industry are truly one of kind, empathetic, heartfelt and hilarious.  And I feel so lucky to be a part of this world.

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

(above from left to right: Carina of Crow and Canary, Tonya of Inkwell Press, Lisa of Farewell Paperie, Katie of The Good Twin, Katie of Tradeshow Bootcamp)

Paper Camp+ Tradeshow Bootcamp

(above: Roseanna of Iron Curtain Letterpress, Kristen of Thimble Press)

Summer Weddings + Cards to give at Wedding

Wedding Card

Summer is a time for outdoors, for biking and swimming, celebrations and (one of our personal favorite) WEDDINGS.  We love summers and we love summer weddings in Chicago! We recently released some fun new wedding cards.  Perfect to give at your summer wedding or any time of year.  These wedding cards range from sweet, to funny, to realistic and true.

Committing to one person for the rest of your life is something admirable and romantic, it is a time of great celebration and at Steel Petal Press we want our wedding cards to help share the excitement and support the friends you love most who choose to take the plunge

Below are some of our favorite letterpress wedding cards for this season.  We share our newest releases and also some old favorites.

Enjoy!

Wedding Card Wedding Card Funny Engagement Card BFF Funny Wedding Card BFF Unique Wedding Card Unique Wedding Card

Steel Petal Press Core Values

CoreValues

I just came back from a super inspiring weekend at Paper Camp+ a conference for alumni and more seasoned members of Tradeshow Bootcamp community. (hopefully, I have time to do a separate post about that…) I learned sooooo much over the two days of workshops, speakers and networking.  Too much to talk about right now, so today I’m just going to focus on one of my first implementations after attending the conference.

One piece of the information that was repeated over and over was how core values and guiding principles really helped build the foundation for making business decisions and feeding a business so it can thrive through growth.  Before I opened the retail shop I worked with some staff to create a list of core values that were applicable at the time.  As we’ve grown our team, interacted more with the public and with each other I felt the core values weren’t as concise or accurate as they could be.  One of my first to-do items was to revise and rewrite some of the values to better match how we’ve grown and changed.  Below you can see my final revision.  I updated some of the verbiage, took out some bullet points that seemed redundant, and added some core values. I feel really good about the ideals listed below and think it’s a more accurate reflection of Steel Petal Press and how we fit in the world.

  1. Strive for the highest quality: unique, beautiful, lasting products
  1. Laughter and beauty brings joy to the world
  1. Be ready to help — with enthusiasm
  1. Positive communication creates a respectful environment
  1. Work smarter, not harder
  1. Focus on community
  1. Celebrate the little things

Hiring Retail Superstar!

hiring retail job

Steel Petal Press is hiring and we’re looking for you!
Read more about our company here: http://www.steelpetalpress.com/

We are a boutique stationery company specializing in letterpress greeting cards and wedding invitations. Our retail store is located on Milwaukee Avenue, near the California Blue Line Stop, in Logan Square.

We are looking for a fantastic permanent Superstar Retail Lead to work part-time (25-30 hours/week) with potential for growth. This position has somewhat set hours and could fit well for a person with an open schedule. Weekend availability is a MUST. We prefer that the potential employee live reasonably close to the area of the retail store.

This is strictly a retail position with some creativity needed for visual merchandising and window displays.

The ideal candidate is a person with 3+ years retail experience, with department management experience preferred. Excellent customer service skills, keen attention to detail and one who will fit in well with our small team are all very important to us.

The Retail Superstar is responsible for:
-Management of incoming orders, including assisting the owner with product orders
-Visual merchandising, front window displays, etc
-Maintaining our inventory databases with photos, descriptions, costs, margins, etc
-Customer interaction and service
-Opening and closing procedures
-Cashiering
-Retail store maintenance
-Annual inventory counts
-Helping with misc. processing tasks as needed

Our superstar would possess the following skills & attributes:
-Has retail management/supervisory and sales experience, especially in a boutique setting
-Enjoys working in retail and working with customers
-Is very organized and detail oriented
-Eagerness to learn, very reliable and hardworking
-Has a fun, outgoing personality and positive attitude
-Enjoys crafty, artistic goods, and a love of stationery is a plus
-Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
-Fairly open availability for the set schedule we desire
-MUST be available to work weekends

To apply, please follow these steps. If steps are not followed as listed, your application will NOT be accepted or reviewed:
Research our company and showcase that you understand a bit about our company.
Email your COVER LETTER explaining why you feel you would be a great fit for this position and our company (Tips on writing a great cover letter:http://theeverygirl.com/7-tips-to-write-the-perfect-cover-letter).
Email your RESUME or work history.
Use this email: kat at steelpetalpress dot com.

If it seems that initially you may be a fit for our company, we will first conduct short phone interviews. Some candidates may then be called in for in person interviews.
7-12-16 Steel Petal Press Studio Tour Chicago, IL ©2016 Jennifer Kathryn Photography

1 year anniversary party!

1 year anniversary party Steel Petal Press

The retail location for Steel Petal Press is turning 1 and we’re having a party to celebrate!  Thanks so much to everyone for making our first year AMAZING!

Please stop by on Thursday, June 1st 4-7pm to help us celebrate!
2321 N Milwaukee Ave, Chicago 60647

– Bang Bang Pie
– Drinks and Snacks
– SPECIAL DISCOUNT: 10% off all purchases ALL DAY
– Enter a raffle to win a $25 gift certificate
BYOB

Thursday, June 1st
4-7pm
Steel Petal Press
2321 N Milwaukee Ave

RSVP through our facebook event for thesteel petal press anniversary HERE.

All New Letterpress Mother’s Day and Father’s Day Cards

Mother’s Day is coming in May, and Father’s Day is just around the corner from there in June. I’m happy to share some of my new releases for both holidays below. You can view these and full collection of letterpress cards for moms and dad by visiting my website!

Crazy Mom Mother's Day Card

Laundry Thanks Mom Mother's Day card

letterpress father's day card 1 dad

PBR letterpress father's day card

Louie Awards Finalist!

Birthday Fortune Cookie Card

I’m super duper excited to announce that my Fortune Cookie Hangover Card is a finalist for the Greeting Card Association Louie Awards this year!  The Louie Awards is the Oscars of Greeting cards (but a little less Hollywood Glamourous)  Since 1988, the greeting card industry has come together each year to celebrate the best our industry has to offer. Hundreds of companies from around the world enter thousands of their best cards for the chance to win the coveted LOUIE Award.  The Louie Awards are announced at a Sunday night gala in conjunction with the National Stationery Show.

LOUIE Awards entries are judged according to these five criteria below on a scale from 1 to 10:
1. Originality
Does this card take a unique approach to design, concept, or execution?
2. Impact
Does this card have emotional impact?
3. Design Excellence
Is the overall look of this card visually appealing? Did the designer make good choices in typography and artwork arrangement?
4. Sendability
Is this card likely to be purchased and sent for the occasion or purpose specified by the category? Are its format and design functional?
5. Value
Is this card priced appropriately based on the overall quality of the product?

The cards are judged on a scale from 1-10 Point range is as follows:

  • 1-3 | Below Standard
  • 4-6 | Meet Standard
  • 7-8 | Exceeds Standard
  • 9-10 | Extraordinary

I had a card in the finals at the Louie a few years ago.  (view my blog post about that year at NSS here)

And you can watch a video here with more info on the Louie’s:

I will be attending NSS again this year as a buyer instead of an exhibitor, and I plan on attending the Gala again, I had a lot of fun last time I was there.  Cross your fingers for me!

Resist! New Protest Cards from Steel Petal Press

Since the Election, the Inauguration, and the Women’s March on Washington we’ve had many requests for cards to use to communicate with our elected officials. We’ve turned your requests into a reality with a special INAUGURATION release of 6 cards we feel address many issues close to our hearts.

What does it mean to be American? The Statue of Liberty – symbol of american open doors. Affordable healthcare. A quote from American civil rights leader and hero, Martin Luther King Jr. The services provided by Planned Parenthood. And the Environment.

You can view the full collection HERE.

These cards are about democracy, freedom of speech and what it means to be American.  I want to focus on what brings us together as Americans and not what divides us.  It is my hope these cards will not only be used to communicate with elected officials but could also be used to start meaningful dialogue with Americans with opposing viewpoints.  What do we have in common?  Not what drives us apart.   I am proud to be American, proud of the Statue of Liberty and what it stands for, and proud of having man like Martin Luther King Jr. as a part of our collective history.
A percentage of the proceeds of all our profits go to giving back to charities we believe in:
NRDC, Chicago Women’s Health Center, ACLU, ADL, Planned Parenthood and more…

I Am American Protest Card

So far, I’ve had a great response from my customer base.  These cards have been resonating with lots of people who feel a little helpless in today’s political climate.
I did get one Trump supporter trolling on my Facebook page who responded “is there a card that says sore loser, liberal snowflake?”  To which I responded these cards are not about being a sore loser, but about freedom of speech and what it means to be American. It turns out he was almost mugged in Chicago for having a trump sticker and was called a Nazi.  Of course being attached sucks, but it was particularly hurtful to him because most of his wife’s family was killed in the holocaust by actual Nazis. And here’s where we found some common ground.  My family is jewish and even though they fled Europe before the holocaust, I found a place of empathy and understanding with him even though I don’t agree with his politics.  And to me, that is one small step forward in the right direction.

Affordable Health Care Protest Card

Protest Cards Protect Our Home

 

Planned Parenthood Protest Cards

Here is another great quote from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. –

Darkness Cannot Drive Out Darkness

Hiring Retail and Shipping Assistant

Steel Petal Press is hiring

Steel Petal Press is hiring and we’re looking for you!
Read more about our company here: http://www.steelpetalpress.com/

We are a small boutique stationery company specializing in letterpress greeting cards and wedding invitations, our flagship location is located in Logan Square (just off the California Blue line stop.) We are looking for a permanent part-time *floater* position (approximately 5-15 hours/week) with potential for growth. This floater position has very flexible hours and could fit well for a person with an open schedule. Weekend availability is a MUST. We prefer that the potential employee live reasonably close to the area of the retail store. A floater will occasionally fill in for shifts in retail, shipping, and post production during busier/seasonal times and/or when other employees have to take off of work (short vacations, medical leave, family leave, etc).

The ideal candidate is a person with great retail & customer service experience, keen attention to detail and who will fit in well with our small team. A passion for stationery is a bonus.

Retail Sales Tasks include:
-Cashiering
-Customer interaction and service
-Retail store maintenance
-Opening and closing procedures
-Helping with window displays and merchandising
-Helping with misc. tasks as needed

Shipping Clerk / Post Production Tasks include:
-Processing, shipping and packing online and wholesale orders
-Counting inventory, and keeping inventory organized
-Folding, sleeving and packaging product

The ideal candidate(s) would possess the following skills & attributes:
-Eagerness to learn, very reliable and hardworking
-Has retail and sales experience, especially in a boutique setting
-Enjoys working with customers
-Has a fun personality and positive attitude
-Gets excited about crafty, artistic goods
-Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
-Fairly open availability for the flexible schedule we desire
-Must be available work weekends

It’s a bonus but not required if you have:
-Social Media, marketing, writing experience
-Familiarity with wedding invitations and stationery

We are interested in hiring the right person and training them to fit our business. Resumes without the ideal experience will still be considered.

To apply, please follow these steps. If steps are not followed as listed, your application will not be accepted:
-Research our company and showcase that you understand a bit about our company.
-Email your COVER LETTER explaining why you feel you would be a great fit for this position and our company (Tips on writing a great cover letter: http://theeverygirl.com/7-tips-to-write-the-perfect-cover-letter).
-Email your RESUME or work history.
-Use this email: kat at steelpetalpress dot com.

If it seems that initially you may be a fit for our company, we will first conduct short phone interviews. Some candidates may then be called in for in person interviews.