Archive for the ‘Chicago’ Category

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

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!

 

A Chicago Pride Gift Guide!

As many of you know, or in case you didn’t, Steel Petal Press is located in the Logan Square neighborhood of Chicago. We thought it’d be a fun to do a little holiday gift guide that showcases some Windy City-themed products WE make here in house as well as some other great products from vendors we love 🙂 Without further ado, here’s our 2019 Chicago Pride Gift Guide:

Chicago Pride Gift Guide

Enamel Pins:
These pins from The Found (who also happen to be local in Chicago!) are such a popular seller in our brick and mortar shop. They are the perfect little memento so your loved one can wear their Chi Pride right on their jacket or backpack!

Coasters:
I bet you didn’t know that Steel Petal Press made Chicago coasters… but now ya do! Sold in packs of 8, they make a great gift for your Chicago booze buddy! Also features on our gift guide are some single coasters from another Chicago-based brand, Transit Tees!

Postcards & Greeting Cards:
As a company who clearly LOVES snail mail, we always have plenty of Chicago postcards and greeting cards at the ready including two we design right here in house: Chicago Postcard and our holiday-themed Season’s Greetings From Chi. Also included above in our gift guide are a few other top-selling styles from our pals at Tourist Courts and The Found!

Mugs:
Who doesn’t like a good mug? No one, that’s who! Which is why we carry a couple that show off that Windy City pride including the Chicago Mug which is designed by us!

Keychains:
These motel key-inspired keychains from Transit Tees make exceptional stocking stuffers and add a bit of Chicago flair to any set of keys!

Magnets:
We have a variety of magnets featuring some of Chicago’s landmarks (like our styles from Tourist Courts) and some styles that are funny and sassy (like ones from The Found). Either way, there’s a magnet for everyone and anyone who loves Chicago.

We are at the end of our Chicago Pride Gift Guide and we hope we helped inspire some Chi Pride gift giving! Stop by our brick & mortar store (and shop our Steel Petal Press products online) to browse these awesome products AND MORE!

Happy shopping and Happy Holidays!

October Rewind – It’s SPOOKY How Fast It Went!

The only thing that truly is scaring us that we have to do an October Rewind already because that month could not have moved any quicker! However, despite it moving fast, Steel Petal Press moved even faster in order to keep up with the hustle and bustle of a growing small business so keep scrolling to see what we were up to in the month of October!

7-12-16 Steel Petal Press Studio Tour
Chicago, IL
©2016 Jennifer Kathryn Photography

Springin’ Into Action With A New Wholesale Release:
The entire Steel Petal Press team has been in hyper drive to complete our new Spring Release. From designing, to printing, to photography, and much more, it’s a time consuming job but we couldn’t be happier with the new items we’ll be adding to our product offering! Be sure to keep your eyes peeled for when those drop for wholesale order and check out our Instagram and Facebook for little sneak peaks, in the mean time!

OOAK December 2018 Show:
It’s that time again when we are gearing up for the December One Of A Kind Show! This is a big show for us as there are lots of shoppers that come through with the hopes of knocking out some Christmas shopping with special and “one-of-a-kind” (see what we did there, *wink wink)* items for their loved ones! As much as we love the bustle of the show and sharing Steel Petal Press goods with the world, it does take a lot of time and energy to proper prepare, set up, and work the show! In the end, despite the exhaustion, it’s always worth it and is a great reminder that an important part of what we want to do with our brand is to connect with people.

Here’s some important details about the show:
– When: December 6th-9th
– Where: 7th floor of the Merchandise Mart
Booth #1021

We hope to see you there 🙂

Our Newest Addition:
Steel Petal Press could NOT be more excited about the latest permanent addition to our little family: Rachel Kopp! We brought her on originally as a temporary part-time retail employee to help us during the holidays, however her positive attitude and hard work quickly convinced us that we wanted her here with us as long as possible! We found Rachel through our Retail Manager, Shelby, as they are close friends and actually first moved to Chicago together about 4 years ago. It’s awesome to find such awesome people and cultivate a passionate and caring work environment that we hope shines through to all of those who stop in and shop with us!

HALLOWEEN:
Last, BUT CERTAINLY NOT LEAST, HAPPY HALLOWEEN! Shayna and our Shipping Manager Rachel are huge fans of Halloween so we made sure to do it up right this year at Steel Petal Press! We coordinated a very cute costume for all of  us working that day:
3 Blind Mice SPP

Rachel, Shayna, and Shelby were…can you guess it!? (3 blind mice, haha!) We received a lot of compliments…although a lot of people also thought we were the girls in Robert Palmer’s “Addicted To Love” music video (here’s a link if you need a refresher). BUT, it didn’t really matter because it was all in great fun. We got to hand out some candy to a vew very stinking cute trick-or-treaters so you could say we had a pretty kickass Halloween!

On to the next month, stay tuned 🙂

‘Tis The Season To Spread Holiday Cheer With Steel Petal Press Cards!

Ho, Ho, HOLY SH*T – the holiday season is fast approaching, and before you go and get into the “spirit”(s) *wink wink*, pick out a couple of our awesome Holiday cards that’ll make your family happy…or at least get them off your back!
Our new and classic Holiday card styles range from sentimental to snarky so Steel Petal Press is a one-stop shop for all your loved ones …
whether they’ve been naughty:
 or nice:
We know the holiday season can be stressful, but luckily for you, we’ve made picking the perfect card easy.
Don’t forget – Steel Petal Press also has all of your other gifting needs covered too including kickass gift bags, tags, and wraps:
All of these holiday items (along with much, much more!) can be browsed and purchased online through our super convenient website: Click here!

September Rewind – Goodbye Summer, Goodbye September

As we say goodbye to summer here in Chicago, it’s also time to say goodbye to September! In a blink of an eye, Fall is upon us and we have continued to be busier than ever here at Steel Petal Press!

Renegade Craft Fair:
Per usual, we set up a booth at one of our favorite local markets called Renegade Craft Fair! This event provides a great opportunity for us to sell direct to new customers and help spread the Steel Petal Press brand.

Renegade Craft Fair 2018

While the weather stayed mostly sunny, it showed us the other reason they call it the “Windy City”… there were extremely strong wind gusts that were blowing things over, UGH!

Also during set up, both Shayna and Matt pulled muscles in their backs (because they’re old obviously!) so Renegade Craft Fair was DEFINITELY a team effort!

But, through the wind and the aches, we had one of our most successful shows since we’ve started doing it so I guess you could say it was worth it 😉

Holiday Hoopla:
While Holidays are busy for everyone personally, it’s also one of the busiest times for our retail and wholesale businesses! That means we have to begin prepping for that way in advanced. Our retail lady, Shelby, has been hard at work intaking orders we placed from other companies and making room for them on our sales floor. We can’t wait for our holiday shoppers to see all the great new gift items we have! Shayna has also been hard at work preparing the store schedule to accommodate the influx of sales, extended store hours, and of course making sure we all have much needed family time 🙂 Lastly, Rachel has already begun shipping out holiday card orders to all of our wholesale accounts as well as prepping our new holiday items to drop for retail customers!

Revolution Brewery’s Oktoberfest:
For those of you who have never been to our retail space, we are located right next to one a very popular local brewery’s restaurant location and each year they throw an Oktoberfest celebration. It’s two days of food, booze, bands, and generates a lot of foot traffic for us because it happens literally in front of the store. Unlike last year, we made sure we were full staffed which helped us all maintain our sanity! While we were not as busy as last year, possibly due to chillier weather, we were still very happy with the turn out and were able to have a successful day in our store!

America’s Mart – ATL:
In other exciting news, we finalized our participation at the America’s Mart tradeshow in January 2019! As you may have seen in a previous blog post, we just recently attended our first tradeshow in almost 3 years and it went so well we wanted to keep the momentum going! This will be the first time EVER that Steel Petal Press will show in Atlanta and we couldn’t be happier as we really been wanting to grow our presence in the southern region and figured this would be a perfect opportunity to do so!

 

Stay tuned to see what we get up too in October 🙂

SPP @ Renegade Craft Fair

Be sure to catch us at Renegade Craft Fair in September! It’s always the biggest and best of the year. The farewell to summer, catching the last glorious days outside before the weather turns on us Chicagoans.

Steel Petal Press will be holding it down at BOOTH 12, near the far east entrance of the fair. Be sure to stop by our booth for some belly laughs, hilarious paper goods and plenty  F-bomb dropping.

Hope to see you there!!

July Rewind – Where The F*CK Did This Month Go…?!

Hi there!

We can’t believe July has come and gone already…

While this month was much less eventful than the previous (IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS), we’ve still been busier than ever here at Steel Petal Press. Check out all the shit we’ve done in our July Rewind:

NYNow Preparation
As we’ve mentioned before, Steel Petal Press is making the HUGE commitment of exhibiting at the August ’18 NYNow. So, there’s been HUGE amounts of planning, organizing, and stressing going on around here! With the show beginning in a little over a week, the entire team has been working so hard to get everything ready to go. In fact, check out what our shipping pallet looks like: NYNow Pallet
Although, we think it looks more like some weird alien cocoon…
This is only a small fraction of the work left to do for and at NYNow but we know it’ll be all worth it in the end 🙂

*By the way, if you’re gonna be at NYNow, come visit Shayna and Shelby at the Steel Petal Press Booth (#7675)*

Holiday Hijinx
We know it’s a little odd to be thinking about the Holiday Season when we are still getting 80+ degree days here (atleast in Chicago!)! But, our new Holiday collection will be going live on our retail website August 13th…(that’s only like 5 days away, how exciting!)

Our team worked super hard this year to add some fresh and holiday-themed products like cards (duh!) and gift bags. We are really excited for everyone to see our new items for this upcoming release.
Please consider this sneak peek an early Christmas gift *wink, wink*:

Wholesale – Oh, Wow!
We’ve been incredible busy this past month with wholesale orders, but trust us – we aren’t complaining! We love that so many people share a love of snark and sass as well as an appreciation for handcrafted letterpress stationery. Most notably, we got a BIG ASS order from our wholesale account with Paper Source who ordered JUST under 6,000 units from us…I KNOW, RIGHT?! They’re favorites from us include Awesome Babies, Holy Shit – Engaged, Holy Shit – 29 Again, and Big Gay Wedding. We truly appreciate every wholesale order we receive…it keeps us busy and allows us to share Steel Petal Press worldwide!

We Met Mayor Ted From Queer Eye!

Last, but certainly not least, a special guest unexpectedly came into our store…Mayor Ted from the second season of Queer Eye! We couldn’t have been more excited to meet this kind and humble dude who is working so hard to make political and cultural changes in his hometown of Clarkston, GA! It was such an honor to meet him (and the Fab Five by extension, right?!)

That’s it for us and our July Rewind!
Stay tuned for all the exciting adventures August will bring 🙂

Join Our TEAM!

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 handmade letterpress greeting cards. Our flagship location is located in Logan Square (just off the California Blue line stop.) We are looking for a permanent full-time retail and shipping assistant (approximately 30-40 hours/week). Weekend availability is a MUST. This is strictly retail customer service and shipping position, with light merchandising duties.

The expected schedule for this position will be 8 hour shifts with dedicated time for shipping and dedicated time for retail tasks.

We are looking for an exuberant people person who can multi-task with ease. We want someone who has excellent shipping experience and loves working with people to fit in with our small team.

The ideal candidate(s) would possess the following skills & attributes:
– Has at least 2 years shipping experience, packaging orders, and familiarity with USPS, FedEx, and UPS shipments
– Has at least 2 years of excellence retail and sales experience- in a boutique setting is ideal
– Inventory Management experience
– Outstanding communication skills
– Self-motivated and proactive
– Has a fun, upbeat personality, and positive attitude
– Eagerness to learn, very reliable and hardworking
– Strong attention to details and multi-tasking skills
– Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
– MUST be available work weekends
– Availability for the 30-40 hour per week schedule we desire

Retail Tasks include:
– Lively customer interactions and excellent, not-too-salesy, but personal customer service!
– Energetic and friendly cashiering
– Retail store maintenance
– Opening and closing procedures
– Helping with misc. tasks, including some merchandising and post production of greeting cards as needed

Shipping Tasks include:
– Packaging and shipping orders
– Managing payments and outgoing orders from our 5 sales channels
– Shipping customer service
– Ordering shipping supplies
– Helping to manage and maintain inventory levels

Bonus (but not required) if you have any of the following: merchandising, graphic design skills, or tradeshow experience.

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.

If it seems that initially you may be a fit for our company, we will first conduct short online survey interviews. If it seems like a good fit, some candidates may then be called for in person or Skype interviews.