This week’s Ets(y) Wednesday pick is Pink Orchid Press, a fantastic letterpress shop based in Temple, Texas. Recently featured in the January 2011 issue of Better Homes & Gardens magazine, Pink Orchid Press offers everything from Wedding Invitations, Announcements, Coasters, Gift Tags, Greetings Cards, and much more. I was fortunate enough to win one of their giveaways a couple weeks ago (had nothing to do with me featuring them, I promise!)…so, I can tell you first hand that the quality is just, well…luxurious. Silly adjective to use for paper, but accurate none the less.
I’ve had a major crush on all things letterpress for quite sometime (since I designed my own wedding invites to be exact) so I was very excited to interview Stephanie, the shop’s owner. Her answers just make me want to hang out with her :).
What is your favorite restaurant, café, or inspiration spot in Temple, Texas?
My favorite restaurant in Temple is this little old deli named Molly’s, that sits smack dab in the middle of downtown (don’t get too excited; our downtown is about 4 blocks’ worth). It’s been around for 25 years and is full of antique signs, cool food packages– did you know some brands of flour used to come in tins? How nifty!– and old ephemera. It’s fun to just sit around enjoying a croissant and people watch. I always leave Molly’s with inspiration for new pieces… our “Spooning leads to forking” greeting card came to me during one such lunch with my husband, for example.
What type of press do you use?
I print exclusively on a Chandler & Price floor press. Her name is Vivienne (does naming my press make me a nerd?) and she is a 1,900lb cast iron beast, built in 1894. I also have a smaller tabletop press that I take along for demonstrations and such. It’s a much-more-manageable 200lbs.
If you weren’t creating fabulous letterpress pieces, what would you be doing?
When I’m not covered in ink and grease, I spend my hours happily chasing my little one around. My son just had his first birthday in July, and is quite the little firecracker. He never stops moving, and definitely keeps me on my toes. One day, I hope to read a book in my spare time again, though. I am a bookworm at heart.
How do you keep up-to-date with industry trends?
The good thing about letterpress is that the process itself has been more or less the same for a loonngggg time. I try to stay one step ahead of trends for my bridal clients, but they always come to us with something new and exciting that we hadn’t even thought about! It’s so interesting to see how trends spread– one day we are hearing about a new color combination or style, and the next day we have 3 other brides in different parts of the country with the same idea. Our greeting cards are sort of my nerdy outlet, and I don’t worry so much about what’s “hot” at the moment. If a cheesy quote or graphic comes to mind (as they often do), I print it. Sometimes it sells, sometimes it doesn’t, but if it makes me laugh and I can at least send the cards to friends, it was worth printing.
We are also on Twitter (@pinkorchidpress), Facebook, and part of various letterpress organizations and discussion boards. We try to listen to and learn from clients, other wonderful letterpress companies, and the old retired printers with a wealth of priceless knowledge. The rest is just trial-and-error mixed with a lot of fun.