Today on the blog I am doing a small business feature. It is near and dear to my heart because I am also a small business owner and I definitely know the struggle to be your own boss, reach clients, and maintain a successful business while still being you.
Starting in the New Year I am going to highlight a creative once a month. I want to give back to my fellow small business owners and be able to build relationships as well.
For me, getting to know the person I buy my goods from is just as exciting as Christmas Day. I love to know their story and who they are and why they choose this business.
Meet Lindsay Schmittle of Gingerly Press
VC: Why did you start your business?
LS: I started my business because I'm an old soul.
Back in college, I fell in love with traditional handset letterpress printing, an art form dating back to 1440 and despite a few exceptions, is mostly kept alive today by the hands of 60-80 year old men.
I would print small batches of thank you cards in the school print shop because I've always felt strongly about the importance of writing thank you notes and constantly found myself in need of them.
Being a Visual Communications Major with a drive toward analog processes, I felt the need to send handmade cards.
Once I sent out cards I started getting feedback from friends, family and professionals saying how nice it was to receive my handmade cards with a substantial handwritten note on the interior of each card.
And I wondered if there was a way to use my design & print knowledge to create cards that would entice people to reconnect through letter-writing like old times.
In 2013 [my senior year of college], I interned with Starshaped Press in Chicago. Starshaped is ran by Jen Farrell, an amazingly badass handset letterpress printer. Jen gave me the drive and hope that I, too could successfully run my own handset letterpress design studio. The week after I returned home from Chicago I purchased my first haul of letterpress equipment and Gingerly Press was born in my one-car garage after graduation.
VC: How did you come up with your business name? Is there a story behind it?
LS: Gingerly Press has two meanings behind it. The first being that the handset letterpress process, especially when working with tiny antique metal type [as small as 4 point], is an extremely tedious and careful process, that requires me to work gingerly throughout the studio.
The other meaning is the one most people assume upon meeting me: I am a natural redhead and have always been referred to as "that ginger girl". I figured if I related what people associated me with into my business name, I would be easy to recognized and remembered when meeting new clients and peers. Essentially it is a total win, win for me.
VC: What has been your greatest success since opening your business?
LS: I am not sure if I have one greatest success in my business. I can say I have made a good name for myself in the letterpress community. I have presented two of my projects at printmaking conferences and I have been profiled among a handful of talented print-makers in an Uppercase Magazine Printmaking Issue.
However, while these are great accomplishments, I wouldn't consider them my greatest successes in the two and half years of my business's existence.
To me, the greatest successes happen everyday alone in the print shop. They are the small things like when I can successfully register two print layers to align exactly where I want them to and do that consistently for 1000+ copies.
They are when I taught myself how to set a circle in metal type despite the rectangular grid system of handset letterpress. They are when I trim a stack of 2000 business cards on my 105 year old guillotine to the exact size they need to be.
Those are my greatest successes in my business and what keeps me pushing everyday to create more of them.
VC: What experience should clients expect when working with you?
LS: Gingerly Press has three types of clients: custom prints, wholesale, and online retail clients. In all cases, Gingerly Press can guarantee clients will receive tasteful and innovative design, high-quality letterpress printing and personalized customer service at a fair price.
*** all image credit goes to Lindsay of Gingerly Press ***
I want to take the time to thank Lindsay from Gingerly Press for taking the time out of her holiday rush to answer a few questions for our lovely readers. I immediately feel in love with the fact that she loves handwritten notes and can't wait to get some of my own letterpress printed products from her.
The next time you are in need of Thank You Cards, Save The Dates, or Holiday Cards I hope that you keep Gingerly Press in mind. I highly recommend Lindsay her work is just as beautiful as she is.
Don't forget to find Lindsay on Instagram and show her some love!
If you have any questions or comments for Lindsay, please leave them in the comments below and we will be sure she get them!