Archive for the ‘covid’ Category

Temporarily Closed (through April 8th)

Hey Everyone! We are temporarily closed to the public. Friday March 26th – April 8th.

Someone in our back of house shipping team has tested positive for Covid. (Mild symptoms) She does not interact with the public and is only in the studio one day a week, but we would rather be safe than sorry. Steel Petal Press will be closing to public so the whole team can get tested. We will reopen once we have confirmed negative test results.

Thank you for your patience and understanding! We look forward to opening back up as soon as we can!

Much love, Shayna and the team at Steel Petal Press

Chicago Snow Days 2021

Chicago Car Buried in Snowpocalypse 2021

Every few years in Chicago there’s a terrible winter with single digit temperatures and mountains of snow. The last winter I remember like this was 2015. Well 2021 is one for the books!

Yes, we might be buried in snow, but we are Chicagoans and we won’t let a little snow (or A LOT) stop us. If we did, we would be closed 6 months out of the year.

If you need a break from your home, Steel Petal Press is HERE and open 7 days a week. If you’re looking for things to do while you hunker down at home we wanted to share some ideas of how to keep yourself safe, occupied, entertained and SANE. We have lots of shit to keep you sane: puzzlescoloring bookscandlesmental health trackersjournals and SOAP. Also check out what’s NEW. Or just come say HI!!

Please remember to wear your mask! and sanitize your hands on entry.

TikTok

We are finally entering the 2020s and getting on the TikTok bandwagon. Find us, follow us and like our shit! TikTok Web // TikTok Phone Ap.

Steel Petal Press TikTok

2020 Review

2021

It’s safe to say 2020 did not turn out like anyone expected! I usually do a recap based on categories, however this year was so strange and unprecedented, I think it makes more sense to recap chronologically.
(links to 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011). Looks like i skipped my 2019 recap, ah well…

January – March 2020

We started the year like we do every year, counting inventory. It’s a long tedious process that takes our small team several days to complete. We do this full inventory count once a year.

After that Shelby and I headed straight to Atlanta to exhibit for wholesale at America’s Mart. It’s a 5day show where we meet potential wholesale buyers and take orders for shops around the country. I also spend some time placing orders for our retail shop.

New York Now Stationery Booth

Next up in February Rachel and I traveled to New York City to exhibit at NYNow. This was my 3rd time exhibiting at NYNow and our first time exhibiting in the winter. We enjoyed both show, and hustled to get wholesale orders out for the rest of February.


Me and friends, mask-free and innocent at the Revolution Event

March 8th, as a part of International Women’s Day we participated in Spirit of Revolt, a pop-up market featuring 40+ women-owned small businesses from the Logan Square area. The event was organized by Revolution Brewery and Ladies of Logan Square. I remember this day vividly because we all new Covid was in the US and spreading, but were totally ignorant of the extent of it, AND it was the last in-person event I attended.

Later that week 3 of my employees had to stay home with fevers, I found myself having to make major decisions, with no preparation, guidance or precedent. It was a chaotic and very stressful time. 10 days after the Ladies of Logan event we closed down entirely to the public.

The team quickly pivoted to get items from our retail shop onto our online shop, we started shipping custom care packages, and there was a bum rush on puzzles.

April – June 2020

On April 8th Steel Petal Press was part of a small business segment on ABC News. The exposure definitely helped during those slower months and we were able to continue working, and shipping out items even though our doors were closed.

Interviewed for ABC Local News

April and May we were able to keep busy shipping out care packages and puzzles. We could not keep puzzles in stock and there was a national shortage. That paired with staffing limits and supply chain issues, orders would be significantly delayed and then all come at once. We were basically buried in puzzles.

Steel Petal Press received the PPP loan in mid-April which came with lots of stress and ever changing terms. In order to get forgiveness I was supposed to use the loan for 75% on payroll within 8-10 weeks. Being closed to the public during that time frame, with only a fraction of business, I was searching for projects to give my employees around the shop. Right when the loan period was just about up, Congress changed the rules to allow the loan to be used in 6 months. It was helpful, but also hugely stressful trying to navigate the terms. Keeping up with the rules of the loan was almost a full time job in itself. My experience was included in this article by Chicago Block Club.

As May came to a close we learned how to navigate Mother’s Day (our second biggest holiday for card sales) while remaining closed to the public. I also started preparing for Chicago’s Phase 3 which allowed non-essential retail to be open to the public. We came up with a plan to re-open on June 4th that felt safe and responsible, while allowing customers to shop in-person.

Then the murder of George Floyd spread across the news and the internet, people took to the streets in protest, and Logan Square experienced looting and vandalism. I wrote this post about those few days.

July – September 2020

After the turmoil of early June died down, we opened back up to the public without any major hitches. We eased our way into a comfortable rhythm at the shop and shipping online. The slower pace provided a nice break from the stress of the previous months.

In August we released new pandemic-appropriate items and we participated in the Virtual Faire Summer Market. NYNow and most other trade shows were (thankfully) cancelled. We learned how to make use of the digital space.

September we experienced some staffing changes. Briana, who had started with us back in February, was in an accident and left the team. Rachel, our studio manager, left for other endeavors, and we welcomed back to the team Kat. Kat had worked for Steel Petal Press from 2015 – 2018 and came back to the team as a full time operations manager.

October – December 2020

And then we moved into the holiday season. Holidays usually start after Thanksgiving at Steel Petal Press, but 2020 was obviously an exception. I didn’t know if there was going to be another lock down. Would Pritzker enforce another stay at home order and force retail to shut down again? So much was unknown.

Ultimately we decided to push for holiday shopping early. We put out ornaments, Christmas cards and other holiday *before* halloween in hopes that people could get shopping before another potential lockdown.

And then THIS CARD happened.

ho ho holy shit what year

Ho ho holy shit what a Year card outpaced sales for any other card we’ve ever produced. We usually sell about 250 – 5,000 of a single card design in a year, depending on how popular it is and who buys it. Holy Shit What a Year sold 12,000 units in 3 months. To say we were not prepared is an understatement. We spent the next three months drowning in Hos. Our printing team, production team and shipping team was swamped.

(oh and THEN there was the US Election, which is another story in and of itself. If you follow me here, you probably already know my political views… It was a nerve wracking week to say the least)

AND THEN came the USPS delays. We fielded more “where is my order?” emails then you can imagine. People’s tensions were already high due to covid and staying at home. Add post office delays, lost packages and uncertainty to their Christmas and it’s a shit storm of emotion. What started out as elation to finally be busy again, ended in stress and frustration.

USPS shipping delays

Despite it all, we stayed open through the end of the year (no more retail shut downs!) and made it to 2021 in one piece.

Small business ownership has never been a walk in the park, but 2020 definitely tested my stamina and boundaries. I had high highs, and stressful lows. If we can survive 2020, I have no doubt in Steel Petal Press’s ability to pivot when needed and roll with the punches.

Thank you for reading this far! For more regular updates be sure to follow us on Instagram. Be well, and let’s hope 2021 starts to look up soon.

USPS Shipping Delays

USPS shipping delays due to pandemic overwhelmed

This is the current state of USPS sorting facilities. There have been major shipping delays due to low staffing, high volume and unprecedented times.

I CAN NOT STRESS ENOUGH how challenging 2020 has been. For everyone!! Postal workers, mail carriers, delivery service people, e-commerce shops, fulfillment centers, small business owners are all working extra hard for you. Working during a pandemic has proved to be completely unpredictable and overwhelming in so many ways.

Please allow extra time for you package to arrive. Thank you for your patience and understanding while we wade through the last few weeks of 2020. We really hope your packages get to you before Christmas!

Postal Carriers hard at work!

NOW OPEN 7 Days A WEEK

We are NOW OPEN Seven Days a Week for in store shopping. We will have abbreviated hours of Monday – Saturday 12-6 and Sunday 12-4. Curbside pick up on and online orders are still available for Chicago Shoppers.

Please visit us in person! When you come be sure to check out our newest guidelines for in store shopping. We can’t wait to see your faces!!

Monday – Saturday 12-6 | Sunday 12-4

Thank you again for your support! Please keep shopping small. We appreciate you!

Follow Steel Petal Press on Instagram

Re-Opening + Birthdays (JUNE 1st)

Steel Petal Press Retail Gift Shop in Logan Square

Steel Petal Press is slated to softly Re-Open (with many safety precautions) on Monday June 1st! It’s also our 4 Year Anniversary as a Brick and Mortar RETAIL SHOP.

The last few months have been a rollercoaster for sure. One thing we know for certain is we are still here and it’s all thanks to the support of our customers. Thank you for supporting local business and for letting us bring a little laughter and lightness during this dark and confusing time.

Steel Petal Press will be OPEN to the public THURSDAY, JUNE 4th
with the following precautions in place:

1: Limited Capacity
Maximum 8 people allowed in the shop at once

2: Masks Required
All staff and customers are required to wear a mask.

3: Sanitation Station
All customers must sanitize their hands once they enter the shop.

4: Minimize Touching!
It’s OK to touch things, but please touch with intention!

5: Social Distancing
Please maintain 6′ distance from any other customers that aren’t in your family.

6: Cash Wrap
We will have a sneeze guard in place at the register.

7: Disinfecting Process
Our staff has a very vigorous cleaning procedures in place for the beginning and end of each shift. Additionally the cash wrap, register area and door handle will be disinfected after each customer enters and exits.

NEW Covid Hours!

Monday – Friday: 12-6 | Saturday: 11-6 | Sunday 11-4

Steel Petal Press Shop location:
2321 North Milwaukee Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60647

Follow Steel Petal Press on Instagram

Custom Care Package Service!

Custom Care Packages

We are doing a new thing!! We have created a Custom Care Package service!

Let Steel Petal Press be your personal shopper! Pick your price point, tell us a little bit more about the person and we will pick our the perfect gift + ship it for you ♥️♥️

We have so many things in the shop that we can’t put everything online. We want to make shopping easier for you so we are offering you a CUSTOM CARE PACKAGE + SHIPPING SERVICE.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:

  1. Pick your price point (in the dropdown menu: $30 – $150)
  2. When you check out in the NOTES box please include a little bit about the recipient that could help us pick out the perfect gift: Age, Interests, Hobbies, Is Cursing OK?  (some categories we have are: cats, dogs, pop culture, camping, self care, booze, beer, soaps and baths, tarot etc)
  3. Let us know if this is for a specific event (birthday, graduation, mother’s day, new baby)
  4. If you want to include any specific items (ie: candles, puzzles, mugs etc.) please make note of it.
  5. Finally – Include your personalized message! No more than a few sentences please 🙂

We will put together a custom surprise care package for your loved one!
Shipping is included!!

Puzzle Mania

Puzzles in Chicago
Puzzles Available from Steel Petal Press

It’s been puzzle mania over here at Steel Petal Press. Puzzles come in and selling out within hours. We are trying our best to keep up with demands, but did you know there’s a national puzzle shortage? We are not surprised at all. Various news outlets are this new national obsession with puzzles. All time time spent indoors…

We have restocked puzzles HERE. They are selling out super fast, so if you see something you like be sure to grab it! There’s a good chance it will be gone tomorrow.

Frank Lloyd Wright Puzzles
Frank Lloyd Wright Puzzles

We are also continuing to add things to our Brick and Mortar ONLINE shop

Steel Petal Press on ABC News

It’s been a crazy few weeks trying to run a business and staying afloat during a global pandemic. I do have to say there have been some highs and some definite lows.

One of the highs came last week when I was interviewed for ABC news. The reporter came in at 11:30. We filmed some shots around the shop and around the studio and then sat down for an interview with masks on.

I was nervous to see the final result because you never know how they’re going to edit or interpret the story, but I was so happy with how it turned out! She did a really great job covering the story. Our years of hard work building a customer base (both wholesale and retail) disappearing overnight. Wholesale business has dropped to nothing and foot traffic to our retail shop has disappeared.

In the first few days of the pandemic, we rushed to get as much of our retail shop online. It has been a clunky process since our inventory system for our retail shop is completely independent from our online shop. We also had to reach out and let people know we’re still around. Social media, newsletters and good press have been key!

In addition to our bit on ABC news, we’ve also been in Chicago Magazine and Logan Squarist. The Logan Square Community Facebook Group has also been super supportive.

I feel soooo incredibly thankful for all the customers who have made purchases, sent us messages and shared our posts. Supporting local business is more important than ever. We feel so lucky to have such an amazing community and to work with such amazing customers.

Covid 19 Care Packages

Corona Virus Care Packages
Relax Bitch Care Packagehttps://www.steelpetalpress.com/collections/corona-care-package

We are shipping out Covid 19 Care Packages!

After Chicago officially announced its Shelter In Place measures we were hustling hard to get our shop online. As a business that relies heavily on foot traffic it’s been crazy few weeks figuring out the best ways to stay in business, keep our employees paid and still make money.

Although we are no longer taking any more walk-in business we have shifted to 100% online shopping. If you are in Chicago you can choose curbside pick up when you check out. We will email you once it’s ready to go. Pick up up times are in Chicago Monday through Friday; 11am – 5pm.

We are also shipping out to all locations across the USA.

If you are looking send a little love and joy – we have started curating We are shipping out Covid 19 Care Packages. We want you to help you spread love while keeping social distance. Place your order directly through our website. In the place where it says “Where did you find us” please leave a custom note to your friend and we can include it in your package!

Covid19 has been rough on many people for a variety of different reasons. We are thankful to still be a part of Logan Square and to stay in business even if it’s in a limited capacity.

We want to be here when this shit show is over!

✅Spread Love
✅Stay Safe
✅Support the little guys who are hardest hit.
❤️From myself and everyone on the SPP team, we can’t thank you enough for keeping us afloat in this uncertain time ❤️