Archive for the ‘Retail Shop’ Category

Hiring Part Time Retail Assistant

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

We are looking for a permanent part-time (15-20 hours/week) RETAIL associate 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.

We are looking for a cheerful person with a friendly demeanor who loves working with people to fit in with our small team. This job posting is for help in our retail shop only.

The ideal candidate possess the following skills & attributes:

-Has a fun, upbeat personality and positive attitude
-Enjoys and excels at interacting with customers
-MUST be available work weekends
-Strong attention to details and multi-tasking skills
-Ability to work well independently and as part of a team
-Eagerness to learn, very reliable, and hardworking

Retail Sales Tasks include:

-Lively customer interactions and not-too-salesy, but fabulous customer service
-Energetic and friendly cashiering
-Maintaining Shop appearance: keeping tidy and clean
-Assisting checking in incoming orders and maintaining database of products in POS system
-Opening and closing procedures
– Checking in shipments from incoming vendors and adding new items to our POS
– Visual merchandising
– Helping with misc. BOH tasks as needed

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

ONLY APPLICATIONS THAT INCLUDE A COVER LETTER WILL BE CONSIDERED.

To apply, please follow these steps.
-Research our company and showcase that you understand a bit about our company.
– Email your RESUME / work history
– 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)
jobs(dot)steelpetalpress(at)gmail

If the steps above are not followed, your resume will not be considered.
** No phone calls or Drop Ins **

Work is on site, not a remote position and we work directly (we are open to) with the public with limited occupancy and are following CDC Covid guidelines. 

Hourly Pay DOE

What Paper Source Bankruptcy Means to US

Shop Small Independent Gift Shops and Greeting Card Vendors

The Big News

If you are a fan of greetings cards, letterpress printing, indy businesses, handmade items, Logan Square or shopping small than you might have already heard the news. The Chicago-Based stationery chain Paper Source filed for bankruptcy last week. This announcement sent shockwaves through the stationery and gift industry.

Steel Petal Press has worked with Paper Source since 2014 and it is in part due to their partnership we were able to expand and grow over the years. For a long time they were our primary wholesale account and made up a significant chunk of our revenue. Our story is not the only one. Like many other small stationery vendors consistent orders from Paper Source enabled our growth.

Their bankruptcy claim has a profound impact on the stationery industry. The number of small vendors they helped foster is considerable. SO MANY of our colleagues and friends (including us) have been left with unpaid invoices tied up in bankruptcy court. (read more HERE and HERE)

There is GOOD News!

The stationery world is a magical, supportive and amazing space. We believe in collaboration over competition. Although so much is still up in the air, we are here to support each other, to share resources, to exchange information and lift each other up. We truly have power in numbers. There are several ongoing lists on social media of which companies have been effected and how you can help.

We at Steel Petal Press

Steel Petal Press is in the unique position of being on both sides of the story. We are a greeting card maker who has directly been impacted by the Paper Source bankruptcy. We are ALSO a retailer who is deeply invested in the stationery industry and bringing independent stationery lines (many of them our friends) to our neighborhood in Logan Square Chicago.

How can you help?

Keep shopping small! Continue shopping at our Brick and Mortar location or online, support our friends and colleagues, shop locally at independent shops that carry our line (and so many more small greeting card lines).

If you are our retailer we LOVE YOU. We are are SO THANKFUL to have made it through 2020 as small businesses, together. You can support us by ordering our goods online, through Faire and now also on Abound.

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!

Updated December Hours

We have been busy little bees over here at Steel Petal Press. Thankful to still be open and surviving. This blog has been last on the priority list, and hasn’t been updated as regularly as I would like. For now we’re trying to get through the holidays season. Please note our current hours for December. We will be open one hour later weekdays and one hour earlier on weekends. Hope to see you in store or virtually very soon!! Stay safe and health out there. Big virtual hugs!!

Oh and for more regular updates be sure to check our instagram…. we post regularly there!

Happy Birthday America

Steel Petal Press will be closed on Saturday, July 4th 2020 in observance of Independence Day.

There’s a LOT going on in America these days, in addition to covid, a recession, protests and riots. Despite all all the national unrest, the united states is my home. It’s a beautiful country, full of diverse landscapes and people. It’s still something worth celebrating.

Whatever your political views, background, ethnicity, geographical or geographical location, we celebrate you! We hope that everyone stays safe and healthy out there!

Follow Steel Petal Press on Instagram

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

Father’s Day Gift Guide

Father's Day Gift Guide 2020

Father’s Day is NEXT WEEKEND and we have cards and gifts to help celebrate dads! The last few months have been hard on everyone, which is why we think it’s even more important to find time to celebrate what we can. Stop by our shop or order online. We are still shipping orders AND offering curbside pick up if you’re in Chicago.
❤️
Help spread a little love and remember to celebrate the little things!
❤️🎁

Father of the Goddamn Year – Mug $16

Man With a Pan – Oven Mitt – $14

Mindful Thoughts for Fathers Book – $9.99

Cool Dad Socks – $11.50

Handy Dad Book – $24.95

Father’s Day Cards – $6

Father’s Day Cards – $6

Follow Steel Petal Press on Instagram

June First 2020

June 1st makred 4 years as a retail shop in Logan Square. It seems like a really shitty time to be celebrating anything. I love this neighborhood: My business is here, I own a house here and I have called this neighborhood some since 2008.

My heart is breaking for so many reasons. Seeing innocent people murdered by police. Seeing Chicago go up in flames. Working to keep my employees safe, my business going during a pandemic. This past weekend has been particularly draining to say the least.

There have been peaceful protests on our block of Milwaukee Ave. There has also been looting: mostly liquor stores, phone shops, pharmacies and big box stores are being hit. (Looters would be supremely disappointed in our generally useless (yet funny!) selection of gift items.)

We are still here. The shop is still safe. Thank you to everyone who has reached out. I appreciate your support and kindness more than anything right now.


I have removed all our merchandise from our window and put up a “Black Lives Matter” sign in solidarity. *
Here are few images from the neighbors directly adjacent to us. Many are closed or preemptively boarded up.

I wanted to pop in here and say THANK YOU for being a part of the Steel Petal Press family for the last 4 years and for your support today and everyday. There are still somethings worth celebrating, even during dark times. Please stay safe out there #logansquare#chicago