We're Moving!

This week we officially signed our lease to move our entire operation to a new part of town. Sadly I'll be leaving the warehouse, but I'm excited to start fresh in the new year and under a new roof. Since the interior of the new location is still in the midst of being constructed, I thought it'd be fun to document the process along the way.

Our plan is to move in during the month of December and open the doors to the public and custom clients starting in January. We'll primarily focus on our wholesale business, but we'll also offer a small selection of designs from talented wedding, baby, and social stationery designers. Clients will be able to make an appointment and meet with us to discuss their job in detail. We'll continue to offer our printing services to other designers and clients in need of letterpress printing.  

View from across the street + window closeup.

Panoramic view of the inside taken a few weeks ago.

View of the back + right side of the shop.

View of the kitchen on the left + bathroom and storage on the right.
View of the front + left side of shop + Becki.

We'll be able to go back in a few weeks once the walls have been primed and the paper is off of the windows. Can't wait! Until then, I'll continue to update the blog with all things retail including furniture finds, inspiration, and all of our new plans along the way.


Anatomy of an Order Form

Hi everyone! As you can see, my plan to blog on the regular is proving a bit more difficult than I had hoped. But that's ok because I'm writing now & feeling pretty good about it. I digress.

For those of you NOT involved in the stationery industry, let me bring you up to speed. It is officially trade show season and no one is sleeping! The largest of the industry shows, The National Stationery Show, takes place next month in NYC and that's all that I can think about. Like most of my fellow stationers, my waking and resting thoughts have been consumed with booth design, new product ideas, travel logistics and last but certainly not least, plans to meet and greet both new and old friends.

Usually I have a good amount of time before NSS to plan for nothing but NSS. The business has grown quite a bit in the last 12 months so in addition to planning for NSS, we're also printing and fulfilling wholesale, etsy and custom orders. While grateful for the steady work, it's a little more challenging than in years past.

Soooo, to help myself plan (and maybe you as well) I thought I'd share a little bit of what's happening behind the scenes. That being said, say hello to my NSS Order Form.

As you can see, the who, what, when, where and why is pretty standard. Nonetheless, if you've never had to make one of these, I thought I'd point out a few things you may want to add or copy for your own. You should know that I copy my order form on a 2-part carbon paper form from my laser printer. I purchase the blank sheets here. I also attach each order form to a clipboard and usually have about 3-4 individual clipboards ready to go.

1. I fill in a few order forms ahead of time with the date and order number so that I know who comes first when it's time to actually fill the orders. My order numbers at NSS are usually something along the lines of NSS01, NSS02, etc. The ship date is also VERY important. Be sure to leave a space to write this. A simple check allows me to note if they want it asap, and if not then I write in the future date they prefer.

2. All of this is pretty standard, however I have added a box to check to let myself know if the order is from an existing or new retailer. This will help me see at a glance how many new shops I've gained at the show. Keeping existing retailers happy is a must but gaining new shops is always my goal.

3. I've recently added this section after accepting the fact that I suck at math. NSS is equal parts standing, talking and calculating. There's nothing worse than realizing you've miscalculated something when you review your orders or return home. It's always made me feel unprofessional. While I'll still have to add the final totals, this little cheat sheet allows me to know the costs of my products at a glance. My products range from $1.50 – $7.00 and most retailers order in qty's of 6's or 12's. This will eliminate some of the math for me along the way.

4. In the past I used to totally write out a short description of each product. That took up soooooo much time and in the end I was left trying to decipher my own chicken scratch. Now I simply leave a space for the item number and I'm good to go. All of my products have the cost and item number directly next to the product on the wall so it's never a question for myself or for those retailers who just grab an order form and fill it out themselves. NOTE: that will happen. Make sure your forms are easy to understand to those who may not know the ins and outs of your product, or all of your own special codes or markings.

5. Be sure to leave a space for any additional notes or instructions either from the retailer or from yourself. Possibly a note to send a sample, contact them before shipping, etc... I require a credit card for all orders at show time unless they are an established store and already have net 30 terms with me. Be sure to write every piece of info. that your CC machine or Square requires and always get a signature.

Once I have a finished order, I give the retailer their copy and then punch my copy and place it in my 3-ring binder. That binder, just like my children, NEVER LEAVES MY SITE. Not only is it full of all my hard work, it's also full of credit card numbers. I don't even want to think about what could happen if I lost that thing.

I hope you find this helpful, and if not, I hope I gave you something enjoyable to read while you took that much needed break from all of your hard work. Stay focused, get plenty of rest and take as many deep breaths as you need. See you soon enough!


Midnight Madness

It's been so long since I last posted that I'm actually a bit nervous. I almost feel like I'm about to take a test.

That being said, I woke up in the middle of the night to an email from my brother in law which included a link to an SLR camera on sale. He's a photographer and has been more than happy and willing to send the occasional product link my way. Thanks, Mark!

Long story short, I purchased the camera along with a tripod and it wasn't long before I got sucked into the world and website known as photojojo.com. Truth be told, I know very little about photography but this website makes me wish I knew more. I'm a gadget-lover by nature (especially of the infomercial variety) and this site is full of awesome lenses, filters and lots of other items that I know nothing about. Still, it holds my attention and in the end I bought a pretty sweet camera bag that I can't wait to use!

Taking quality product photos is near the top of my very long to-do list so I'm excited to photograph all of the new and not so new cards and products we've been turning out at the studio. Stay tuned and good morning, early birds.


it's 1995

as much as i'd like to make this blog full of pictures and inspiration, it's not. why? probably because i think i'm too busy to grab the camera, take a picture, take a good picture, upload it, adjust it, resize it and post it. kudos to those who do because i love looking at your blogs. keep up the good work. 

my day to day life at the studio changes but music is a constant. maybe after the stationery show i'll post some more letterpress related pics and blurbs, but for now i've decided to share what i listen to in order to keep myself sane, motivated, pleasant, and sometimes awake. feel free to sing along if you know the words.


do you have a card?

now that the stationery show is less than 6 weeks away, it's time to create some business cards. here are a few examples of what i WON'T be doing. enjoy.