We’re so excited to announce that a selection of our cards are now available at all four Made in Washington stores and online! Check out the displays in stores at Pike Place Market, Westlake Center, Bellevue Square Mall, and Alderwood Mall and let us know what you think!
Last month, we exhibited at the National Stationery Show for our first time, and it was incredible. We've been busy printing cards, filling orders and following up with the amazing people we met at the show. Here's the recap of all we learned, what we'll do differently next time, and all the things I need to gush about.
THINGS WE LEARNED
Buyers = Friends The people who placed orders with us were kindred spirits. They laughed at the humorous cards, awww'd at the sweet cards, and were incredibly encouraging. Meeting our buyers face to face was a wonderful reminder that these people are our friends! We enjoyed meeting them, talking with them and hearing their thoughts. I want to keep remembering that through the year. It's hard to remember to follow up with a business contact, but easy to remember to check in with a friend!
Follow your gut. There were a lot of things I was worried about right before the show. Will buyers reject our non-standard card sizes? Will black envelopes be a deal breaker? Will anyone order? Will our work be too different from everything else at the show? (I had moments of second guessing everything I've ever done.) But at the show, the buyers' comments were overwhelmingly positive. Not a single person questioned sizes, envelope colors, or any of the other things I had stressed about. They were super encouraging about our low-tech image making and print methods, and our line's simplicity and masculine appeal. Many of our buyers were male or buying from our line for their male customers. I'm not a dude, but I am married to a dude. And I'm really not a "girly" girl. The stationery industry can be very feminine, and I was worried we'd stick out in a bad way. But it was really nice to hear from buyer after buyer that our work is a welcome change. So I suppose the lesson here is: You followed your gut when you made these choices in the first place. Stick to those decisions. Consider them good ones until you hear differently. Ignore the blinding pre-show panic.
Planning for emergencies is actually a good strategy. While asking myself crazy, irrational questions was bad for my sanity before the show, it actually came in handy once we got to New York. I was really worried about checking suitcases with all our paper goods inside, so I put almost everything in two carry ons. (They ended up being 40 lbs. each - sorry Brad!) Well, the 5 hours our bags spent on the runway in Chicago and deplaning the suitcases in flash-flood-warning rain in New York left our checked bags COMPLETELY soaked. Thankfully, they were only filled with clothes, plastic bins with tools, etc., and one box of catalogs. We had to hang dry all of our clothes, and 5 catalogs were damaged, but it could have been MUCH worse. (Also, rest in peace blowdryer and curling iron.)
I also packed two of pretty much everything. In different bags. And had a back-up box at the studio, just in case. Something will go wrong, and planning ahead (in obsessive detail) gave me greater confidence to know I could tackle most problems as they came up.
You need a helper. Brad came to New York with me, and it was incredibly helpful to have someone on hand to help with set-up, bring me coffee, watch the booth while I went to the bathroom, and for general moral support. I can't imagine tackling the show without my right hand man.
Plan ahead. I went to Paper Camp in October, and started preparing for the show as soon as I got home. I had most of the major things done months in advance. I ended up getting really sick a few weeks before the show, so I didn't pull any late nights in preparation. My body just wouldn't allow it. While I was laying in bed, I was feeling really thankful that I started preparing so far in advance. I've done things for the business in the past in a way that allows me to become completely overwhelmed by stress. Others can thrive under extreme pressure, but it gets ugly for me without plenty of sleep and checked off to do lists. (Trust me.) The advance planning I did allowed NSS to arrive without any major breakdowns. I planned thoroughly, prepared months in advance, and ignored all impulses to majorly change or add to my original plan. I'm sure this coming year will have its own challenges, but I want to prepare similarly in advance. That basically means starting to design next year's line right now. (And we've got our first C&Co. new line brainstorming day on the calendar!)
THINGS WE'LL CHANGE
Solo booth. Exhibiting with Ladies of Letterpress was absolutely the right choice for this year. It gave me a show under my belt, lots of lessons learned, and the validation that this whole tradeshow thing is a good idea for us. But next year, we're planning to tackle our own booth! Brad and I spent time before the last day of the show walking around and looking at locations, booth sizes, etc. We've got a lot of exciting ideas!
Hard walls. The walls we had in the Ladies of Letterpress booth were 3/16" foam core, and they felt really flimsy. They had seams and zip ties in all the wrong places. Every time the booth behind us did something on set-up day, the wall would sway dramatically. I was running to make sure my standing shelf didn't get pushed over every few minutes. Not ideal! I know hard walls are more expensive, but I feel like the extra cost is worth it to look more professional and be less precarious. I'm researching several options - rent them, build them ourselves and ship them, etc. This part is scary, but we will tackle it one day at a time. (Only 11 months left! hahahaha.)
Shoes. I am on an epic quest to find attractive, comfortable shoes for next year's show. I made some pretty terrible shoe choices for this year. Standing in one place from 10 am to 6 pm for several days is rough. I didn't have room for a chair, and Vans are a bad choice for long term standing. (Be they cute and chambray or not!) We ended up taking a late night teary-eyed (on my part) walk to a Manhattan Kmart for Dr. Scholl's inserts. Your cute and comfortable shoe suggestions are welcomed!
Sit. We saw several booths with a cocktail height table/bar, and a cute stool. This is genius. You're up high enough to not look like a slacker, but you also get to take a load off every once in a while. Genius.
Eat. Our intention was to go grocery shopping on the night we got into town, and to pack lunches, snacks, etc. for during the show. But our flight was delayed 5 hours, and it was midnight and POURING when we arrived in New York, so that didn't happen. Decent food is hard to come by in the Javits, and will cost you approximately your firstborn child. We were warned, but didn't have a ton of other options. I didn't take very many food breaks during the show, and that's just not a great idea for health. But it seemed like every time I went to take a break, someone would come to place an order or ask questions. Brad did a great job helping, but I wanted to be there. I think the solution for next year is a stash of small, hearty snacks that can be eaten quickly while hiding around the corner.
More gift items! Bigger line! Keep going! I have so many ideas. So many. Notebooks full of ideas ranging from impossibly crazy to simple. This coming year we will continue to focus on growing our selection of items. We've got a whole booth to fill!
THINGS THAT WERE AWESOME
Instagram: awesome. I met so many people at the show who I'd been chatting with on Instagram for months beforehand. It felt like a giant reunion with all my best friends from the internet. So many hugs and high fives. We met fellow designers and printers, Seattleites, and store owners/buyers who we've connected with on Instagram. We picked up a huge quantity of followers at the show (using #nss2014), and several people mentioned that they saw us on Instagram and made a point to find us at the show. Social media win!
Our Ladies of Letterpress neighbors: amazing. We spent several days in close quarters with the other ladies o' letterpress, and they were nothing but delightful. It was really fun to experience the show with so many others who were also debuting. We lent each other tools and tape, watched booths during potty breaks, and talked non-stop. I miss them!
The weather: perfection. After the first night's crazy rain, the rest of the trip was awesome. It was sunny but still cool, gorgeous every time we went outside. We didn't get much time outside, but it was really nice to walk out of Javits and see sunshine. We filled our free time in New York as full as we could. We caught up with old friends, saw some sights, ate delicious food, and enjoyed the city every moment we had. New York and I have reached a decision. We like each other. It's official.
Tradeshow Bootcamp: invaluable. In addition to the camaraderie of the LOLP booth, I had the support of the Tradeshow Bootcamp community on my side. I've gushed about TSBC before, but I'll do it again. Those people are solid gold. I was so proud to have the TSBC Alumni ribbon on my badge! One quick anecdote: A few weeks before the show, all my planning for acquiring the standing shelf in my booth fell through. It was the one piece of furniture I needed, and it was looking grim about how much money I'd have to spend to get it there. I posted something on the TSBC facebook group, and Sam from Near Modern Disaster (a fellow Washington D.C. Paper Camper) volunteered to pick it up at IKEA for me and deliver it to my booth. AMAZING. I got to the Javits, and there it was. I cried when I spotted it, because it was such an amazing and supportive act of kindness. (Her box of whiskey and assorted items of appreciation is shipping soon!)
Ladies of Letterpress We exhibited in the Ladies of Letterpress shared booth with 13 other businesses. Constellation & Co. had a 5 feet x 8 feet section of the booth, and all of the businesses shared the costs of the booth, carpeting, walls, lighting, some advertising, etc. We were located in the 2400 aisle, all the way at the end. It would have been a terrible location, except that our booth was giant and pretty darn inviting. It seemed like buyers were making it to us, regardless of the location.
If you're a female letterpress printer, join Ladies of Letterpress. (Because duh.) And if you're interested in exhibiting at NSS, this is an amazing way to start. It's significantly less expensive than having your own booth, and it gives you a chance to get your name out there and learn all those first tradeshow lessons with a smaller financial investment.
New Stores! We walked away from the show with 11 new stores in 10 new cities! My goal was 10 orders, so I really can't complain! (For a full list of our stockists, check out our stores page.) You can now buy C&Co. products in 15 US states and 3 Canadian provinces! Our little business is growing, and we're so excited to see what comes next.
Top 5 NSS best sellers: 1. You & Me Card - I expected this. But it also tied with: 2. Bitterness Card - I did not expect this! (Non-standard size, and a black envelope. Who knew!) 3. Independence, Sweet Independence - Another surprise! A lot of buyers mentioned that the summer patriotic holidays are hard to buy for. 4. Library Cards, Overdue Bday & Page Turner - This was actually our only birthday card on the wall. I know, I know! I'm working on it.5. Chipboard Postcard Bundles - Their simplicity and open-ended creativity were attractive to our buyers!
We stayed in an Airbnb apartment a few blocks away from Javits. It was so convenient to have a walking distance place to stay, and it was really relaxing when we got home every night. Plus, it ended up costing less than most hotels. Hopefully the Airbnb hoopla in New York gets settled before next year. We plan to rent the same place again if possible! The photo above is the view from the apartment building's rooftop deck. There's nothing in the world like waking up to see the sun rise over Manhattan!
We spent 9 months preparing for the show, and it feels like we've been preparing for it since day one of C&Co. (So I suppose it deserves this crazy long blog post.) During the show, I sustained a level of enthusiasm and excitement that was just ridiculous. It was awesome to see the booths of companies I've looked up to for years, to meet SO MANY amazing people, and to write orders for incredible stores. It never got old. I loved it, every second. (If you don't ask my feet.) It was a joyful, wonderful, life changing couple of days. I cried like a baby when we walked away from the Javits on the last day. The show was 100% wonderful for us. There's been a lot of conversations in the industry about cost, show size, etc. - but from the eyes of this first timer, there's nothing like the National Stationery Show. Can't wait for 2015.
It was a dream come true to design and print these custom paper dolls. I was so obsessed with paper dolls as a kid, and I always wanted to be one!
My dear friend and favorite illustrator Amanda Emdin made my dream come true. (And she even made us astronauts!) The illustrations were made into photopolymer plates, letterpress printed, and die cut using our trusty Silhouette Cameo. This limited edition paper doll set was included in each of our National Stationery Show press kits. How better to introduce ourselves than with a set of paper dolls?
Today is the last day of NSS, but I hope these little Brad and Sara dolls will be traveling home with lots of members of the press to help them remember us!
Today is the first day of the National Stationery Show! We're in New York meeting amazing people and talking about paper all day long. Sounds great, huh?
To celebrate, here are photos of the long awaited C&Co. Lookbook! It's been such a long process from concept to photo shoots, edits, and finally having the printed piece in hand. I can't explain how happy it makes me to share this slice of life in Seattle with the people we're meeting in NYC. Once we get home, i'll write and share about the show - stay tuned!
We leave for New York today, and we're so excited about the show! We'll make new relationships with buyers, reconnect with old friends, and see all the beautiful paper we can handle. Will you be at the show? Come say hello! (We'll have lots of free goodies to share.) Here's our official release:
Constellation & Co., a Seattle letterpress stationery company, will be exhibiting for the first time at signature mix. The signature mix market, in NYC May 18-21, 2014 brings together a group of trade shows in the Javits Center: The National Stationery Show, Gift>it, C&LA and #fresh. Constellation & Co. will be exhibiting at The National Stationery Show, in the Ladies of Letterpress booth #2463-7.
Founded in 2009 by husband and wife team Brad and Sara McNally, Constellation & Co. has several years of client work and wholesale experience under their belt, and has set out to make 2014 their major trade show debut. In addition to their Ladies of Letterpress partnership, Constellation & Co. will also be joining sixty-three Etsy Wholesale sellers in Etsy Wholesale’s signature mix partnership.
All of Constellation & Co.’s stationery products are printed on antique hand-fed and treadle-operated printing presses in their historic Pioneer Square studio. They use traditional print methods, hand setting wood and lead type one letter at a time. Their new line includes boxed and single greeting cards, postcards, mini cards, art prints, and blank books. The line includes two local collaborations, including a series of vegetable cards that enclose a package of organic seeds from Seattle Seed Co. and a series of cards and blank books featuring Treehouse Point’s handcrafted treehouses (of Animal Planet’s Treehouse Masters fame). Many of the pieces in C&Co.’s new line feature one of Sara’s hand-carved wood engravings. Dating back to the 15th century, wood engraving is the perfect historic complement to hand-set type and letterpress printing.
Sara and Brad, Constellation & Co.’s founders, moved to Seattle in 2009 after graduating from the Ringling College of Art & Design with a pair of graphic design degrees. For their work in C&Co., Sara is the owner/operator, designer and letterpress printer, and Brad takes care of the web & tech side of things. For more information, to place an order, or for additional press information, visit C&Co. at the National Stationery Show in booth #2463-7 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Hello friends, it's been awhile. It's about time for a giant update, so here goes!
National Stationery Show
I've been busy preparing for NSS, but it's been more of a fun-busy than a stressed-busy. It's been the perfect opportunity to design and print all new branded pieces, dream up crazy giveaways, and focus on who we are as a company. It's been torture not to Instagram/tweet/blog/shout from the rooftops about the fun new things I've been working on. But I'm determined to keep things secret until just before the show!
We're really excited to be back in New York for the show. It's a special city, and one I'm happy to have a yearly excuse to visit. I don't have too many expectations for the show (or at least I'm trying not to), but we're setting a small new stockist goal and planning to celebrate it with a nice dinner. Any suggestions for where we should go?
I know I gushed about it in the Fall, but I want to reiterate how important Paper Camp and the Tradeshow Bootcamp community have been in this preparation season. I was a mess thinking about NSS before Paper Camp, but with my binder, my new friends, and the massive load of knowledge I stuffed into my carry-on when coming home... I'm feeling confident and excited. Katie, the founder of Tradeshow Bootcamp, is offering a full scholarship to the next Paper Camp this September in Los Angeles! You can apply here. Don't hesitate, just do it. You won't regret it!
We've done five SideTour workshops so far, and they have been absolutely wonderful. It's a joy to welcome new friends into the studio, share my knowledge and see their eyes light up at the chance to create. I learned a ton about printing history in preparation, and can now share 500+ years of history from memory (with a few notes here and there). Feel free to quiz me! It's been really fun to let my nerd flag fly.
One of the biggest surprises from the SideTour workshops have been the kids. We've had a few kids in the 10-14 age group attend, and their enthusiasm is incredible. It's really gotten me thinking. I love teaching, love kids, and love seeing the craft of hand printing passed on to the next generation. Still brainstorming on what to do with all of that, but it's on my mind.
Looking For Help
I'm looking for a freelance letterpress printer to add to the family. I do all our printing in-house, and I adore it. But the downside of being 100% hand-fed and treadle-operated is that sometimes things get busy and I am 100% exhausted. It would be incredibly helpful to have someone to bring in during busy seasons. It's a paid (hourly) position in our Pioneer Square, Seattle studio. I'm looking for someone who is experienced on platen presses, flexible for scheduling and fun to be around. Please pass this info along to anyone you think may be interested. Please send a resume & print samples to email@example.com. I'm not looking for an intern at the moment, so experienced applicants only please!
How do I even start talking about Paper Camp? (I've been writing and re-writing this blog post for weeks trying to say it all the way I want to. But here goes.)
I went into the weekend with the intention of learning practical info about exhibiting at a trade show, but I came out having learned so much more than that. I learned a lot about industry standards and the in's and out's of the trade show experience. But (unexpectedly) I also walked away with a new confidence in who we are as a company and a new focus on long-term goals. Like the incredible Paper Camp speakers kept saying - a trade show isn't the destination, but just a step along the way.
A few of my BIG PICTURE take-aways:
When making decisions, always go back to your goals. Know what you want, and make sure each decision is moving you in that direction.
Know your brand! Everything your company does should tell your story - showing process and identity is important.
Be prepared for creative problem solving. Things will go wrong.
"I'm new" is not a valid excuse. When questions come up about your company, answer with pride. Don’t apologize for being new, just be professional and show them you're legit.
Whether you're looking for a store, a blog, a magazine, a collaboration or a vendor, finding the right fit is key. Quality relationships are everything.
STREAMLINE. Make choices and stand by them.
YOU make the rules for your business. Know industry standards, but then make the best decisions for your company.
It was genuinely the best group of people I've ever had the pleasure of talking shop with. The speakers were incredibly generous to share their knowledge and experience with us. I feel SO a part of the community. As a young small business owner, I've felt pretty isolated these past few years - making big decisions and figuring out priorities largely on my own. I've longed for other entrepreneurial ladies to run things by, or just to say, "I know, right?" - because sometimes that's just what you need. Not only did I have 2 incredible days of those conversations at Paper Camp, but the relationships have continued beyond the weekend! There have been lots of e-mails, social media connections, and even snail mail! Plus, the Tradeshow Bootcamp alumni Facebook page is an amazing, active place - lots of questions and answers and friendly faces! I can't rave enough. (The next Paper Camp is in Los Angeles in January, and you NEED to be there!)
My mind was so incredibly blown by the people and information packed into 2 days, I'm still processing it all. So far, I've made a couple huge to do lists with both big picture dreams and right away tasks. I've also made a budget, placed a ridiculous Uline order, ordered a giant calendar for planning, and briefed the team. But before I rush off and tackle my to do lists, I want to personally thank each of the amazing speakers. I'm working on snail mail thank you's as well, but I just want to publicly acknowledge the fact that these incredible women have chosen to make community important and have shared their time, talents, and trade secrets (!) to encourage other small businesses to flourish. If you've read this blog at all, you know I beat the community "drum" quite a bit - and this is community at its best.
So, THANK YOU!
Katie Hunt (Kelp Designs) Erika Firm (Delphine) Claudia Smith (Fig 2. Design) Rachael Hetzel (Pistachio Press) Carina Murray (Crow + Canary) Kimberley Yurkiewicz (Crow + Canary) Nole Garey (Oh So Beautiful Paper) Dani Antol & Heather Haynie (Rock, Paper, Scissors)
We LOVE Seattle, and have spent the last 4 years getting to know our amazing city.
I stumbled upon our friend Luz's See/Eat/Do Seattle blog post recently, and I loved it. Luz and her husband Cole also sent us an amazing list for San Francisco last summer, which we followed closely. While planning our upcoming New York trip, I've been pretty obsessively looking for guides to NYC as well. Since everyone has such different tastes and desires for sight seeing, I think there's room for a Shop/Eat/Drink list from our point of view! I'll focus in on neighborhoods I have "expertise" on, only include my MOST favorite places, and include the stores that carry our products. Cool? Cool.
Seattle's oldest neighborhood, and where our studio is located. I spend most of my time here. It's quirky and has a bit of a reputation, but it's very lovable and growing cooler by the minute.
E. Smith Mercantile
On the lovely treelined street 1st Ave South. Super cool western themed mercantile. Vintage boots, curated clothing, craft cooking & cocktail ingredients, and stationery from yours truly.
Cuttysark Nautical Antiques & Flags
Also on 1st Ave. South. Nautical gifts, supplies, etc. Pleasantly un-hipster. Think old guys in boats.
Rivet & Sway
Super gorgeous eye glasses for women. Open by appointment only.
Linda Hodges Gallery
My favorite art gallery in Pioneer Square. I walk by it several times a week to go to the post office, and I always linger in the window.
THE best sandwiches. I dream about the Mudd Honey. You guys. Sliced roast beef, turkey, Zoë’s slab bacon, white cheddar, horseradish aioli, house BBQ on a toasted Italian roll.
Good gosh darn smoothies. Right next door to our building. The William is my favorite.
Walkable from Pioneer Square, lots and lots of cultures coming together.
Kinokuniya Bookstore (Located in Uwajimaya)
I love this place. Washi tape, sketchbooks, rubber stamps, unique pens, and everything Japanese and cute that exists.
Thai Curry Simple
Inexpensive, large portions, and deeeeelicious. I didn't know I liked curry until we started eating here.
Shop: I'm not going to lie, the only place I go frequently to shop in West Seattle is Target.
Best selection of local & imported hard ciders in the city. (I love hard cider.)
Twice baked almond croissants. They're huge and perfect.
They carry Canadian candy bars. For me, that's enough of a draw.
When you're alone and life is making you lonely, You can always go downtown When you've got worries, all the noise and the hurry, Seems to help, I know, downtown
Great stationery store, founded by the owner of publisher Marquand Books. I find something I can't live without everytime I walk in there. They also carry our cards.
Beautifully curated, full of fun gifts. Their window displays are always impressive and engaging.
Peter Miller Books
Every design book you could ever want to flip through. Almost too many for my brain to handle.
Great independent clothing boutique. Love browsing this place.
Top Pot Doughnuts
Best doughnuts anywhere. I eat the chocolate glazed old fashioned almost exclusively. There are lots of other locations as well, but this one is the coolest building.
Greasy spoon kind of place - good food, but the main draw for me is that you can order a bowl of Lucky Charms as a side. So cool.
Yellow Leaf Cupcakes
My favorite cupcakes ever. They're all good, I can't pick a favorite.
Had one of the best meals of my life here. (It was Osso Buco.)
Western themed decor but fancy-shmancy craft cocktails and desserts.
Great high end gift & stationery store. Carries our cards from time to time.
Blue Highway Games
Nerdy board game store. Has an area to try out games, which is fun.
My favorite Seattle bakery to spend time in. I love their buttermilk biscuit with preserves.
Awesome sandwich place with several locations. But this is one I went to last.
Shop: There are a ton of cute boutiques in Fremont, but I haven't spent a ton of time shopping there.
More beer on tap than anyone could ever try. But also a lot of unique cider choices!
Elliott Bay Book Co.
The first time I visited Seattle, Elliott Bay Books was in Pioneer Square. While i'm sad not to be able to browse their crazy selection in our own neighborhood, i'm happy that they carry our cards! They have an amazing kids section as well.
Marigold & Mint
Super cute boutique in Melrose Market (close to a Homegrown location as well!) with a unique selection of plants, gifts, and books. I like it lots. They have a selection of our Constellation Sketchbooks right now.
Very hip gift store, featuring U.S. made and sustainably sourced items. They have a broad selection of our cards, and several of our limited edition prints.
Eat/Drink: We lived on Capitol Hill for 6 months, but we were super broke at the time. We kind of only ate burgers and black beans and rice.
Yummy burger joint. Plus, you can order french fries with a side of milk shake to dip them in.
We spend a lot of time here.
Nerdy to the core, with designer board games that would take you a month of Sundays to figure out how to play. (Just how we like 'em.)
Three words: fried brussels sprouts.
My favorite barbecue in the city. They also have an amazing happy hour.
Moshi Moshi Sushi
Fun place to go and sit at the sushi bar. Everything is delicious. Love the giant sparkly cherry tree inside.
Dessert at its finest. Molten chocolate cakes in mason jars. My favorite? The sundae: homemade nutella, brown butter caramel, candied hazelnuts and vanilla caramel. (You can also add bacon.)
Highly underrated by our fellow Seattleites. Small town feel in a "big" city.
I really like this place. Great selection of cookbooks and magazines. The perfect small town bookstore experience.
Magnolia Ace Hardware
The only hardware store in the world that doesn't stress me out. Plus, they have a ton of random non-hardware items that are fun to browse. And free popcorn!
Cute little bar with a great atmosphere. I had 2 consecutive birthday gatherings here.
Great spot for a pastry and an Americano.
This Fall's camp is in Washington D.C., another city i've never been to! They'll be covering all things related to being an exhibitor at a major trade show like the National Stationery Show. The folks who are speaking at the camp are awesome, and i’m so excited to learn from them! I signed up the same day I found out about the camp – I'd been ruminating on how to pursue exhibiting, but was at a loss trying to figure out what to do first. Going to camp is perfect timing to dive in and learn all I can from people who have done this before. I was already super excited to be a part of the camp, and then I received a partial scholarship towards my tuition! It feels really amazing to know that the Paper Camp folks believe in me and my work. I've been counting down the days all summer, and now it's nearly here! I'll be in New York with Brad for Brooklyn Beta, and then I'll be taking the train to Washington D.C. for Paper Camp and learning all the things!
I've been working like crazy on our new wholesale catalog this summer so that I can bring it along to Paper Camp. I'm really excited to get feedback on it from the awesome panel of speakers! We've collaborated with photographer Dorothy Huynh and copy writer Cali Pitchel to create a catalog that looks, feels, and sounds more like a lifestyle mag than a marketing piece. The catalog is so close to being finished, and I can hardly wait to share it with you!
Lastly, I have to say that other than Paper Camp, i'm most excited to visit the Lincoln Memorial! My love for Abe is already well documented on this blog, so I won't repeat it here. But where else in the world can you see and celebrate a giant Lincoln? I'll be sure to share my tacky iPhone "selfie" with Lincoln when I get back!
We packed up what we have of the new card & gift line and carried it on our backs (not really) the three blocks to our favorite Pioneer Square shop. We set up in the (soon to be) E. Smith Back Bar and welcomed the neighborhood to come see what we've been working on. (It was a low light scenario that was lovely for shopping but tough for photos, so please pardon these instagram-esque photos that I actually snapped on our real camera.)
It was a lovely summer evening, with lots going on in the neighborhood! Our friend Meggie came to help me carry things and set up.
We were lousy with cards for sale!
Lots of friends came to shop and hang out!
Our baby presses were in attendance to remind folks that everything is letterpress.
Wine was served, conversations were had.
There was a special guest performance from Eric Freeman, who played everything from Jimmy Buffet to Johnny Cash, and had us dancing in the aisles.
Can we talk about how cool E. Smith is? Really cool.
Bad mirror selfie with my baby sis - the wall & display look great! ;)
Thanks to E. Smith for being very gracious hosts, and thanks to everyone who stopped by! We had a great night, and we hope you did too.
Hi friends. I'm stuck at home with a jacked up back this week, so let's talk about some fun things and get my mind off it. Sound good?
While I've been staying very still in my chair, I've been working on documenting some major life goals over at Go Mighty. Go Mighty is an awesome new site that i'm kind of obsessed with right now. Here's how they describe themselves: "Go Mighty is a place to do something good for yourself and for others. It allows you to focus on what you really want to accomplish in life, in steps, with people who want to help you." How cool is that!? I've been really enjoying setting goals and daydreaming about travel & life.
Speaking of goals, Constellation is working towards a huge goal this next year: to exhibit at the 2014 National Stationery Show! You can read more about how we're pursuing that goal over on my "story" at Go Mighty. As part of that big goal, we blocked off a whole work week this month to do photo shoots around the city for our new wholesale catalog. The wonderful Dorothy Huynh is our catalog photographer, and we couldn't be happier. We love her work - she has such a rich and heartfelt visual style. (Dorothy was also one of our Spring interns, because we are intern blessed!)
It was so much fun to visit our friends across the city, shooting in their homes (and on their docks) and hanging out! I can't show you the actual product shots yet (spoilers!), but here are some behind the scenes shots to keep you busy in the meantime.
We have been busy bees over here at Constellation & Co. (Hence the blog silence. "Update blog" is on my Teux Deux every day, but it tends to get neglected for other tasks.) But here I am, and here are some highlights.
Visit our new stores! Our card & gift items are available for purchase in several new stores! It's been a great month since we launched our wholesale catalog, and we've enjoyed seeing orders coming in from lovely shops in fun cities.
[McNally Jackson Books, NYC]
The Curiosity Shoppe, San Francisco
Our friends in Seattle have shopping options in new neighborhoods, and we're excited to make new friends in NYC, San Fran, LA, and Des Moines! (Hooray for friends!) We are honored to be a part of so many great shops. For our full list of options, check out our stores page.
Attend an event! The Spring & Summer are shaping up to be busy and fun! We love Seattle (and have have some things planned for our local friends this summer - stay tuned), but we're also hitting the road!
Want to shop, chat us up, and get some high fives? Come out to one of the following events near you:
Tacoma! Wayzgoose!: Letterpress and Book Arts Extravaganza King’s Books opens it's doors to the local letterpress and book arts crazies for a day of creative activities, shopping, and steamroller printing! When? Sunday, April 22, 11 am – 4 pm
Portland! Crafty Wonderland: Super Colossal Spring Sale The Oregon Convention Center transforms to become home to over 200 handmade vendors! The event sports free admission, and welcomes all ages. This is our first Crafty Wonderland - we're super excited to be a vendor and we hope to see you there! When? Saturday, May 12th, 11 am – 6 pm
Seattle! Pioneer Square First Thursday Artwalk See us on our home turf! 57 Biscayne (our studio's fabulous home) throws open all it's studio doors to the public! Our studio will be open, presses running, cards & gifts for sale, and refreshments served! Come see where we do what we do, and ask us a hundred million questions! (We'll tell you everything we know.) When? Thursday, June 7th, 5-9 pm
Last week, we launched our first full wholesale catalog. And let me tell you, it was more certainly a labor of love!
Our goal was to send it out in January, but I caught a case of the "it's not ready yet!" panic. While I would have loved to get it out sooner, I'm really pleased with how it came out. Hopefully it's worth the wait! We felt that the catalog needed to be a direct representation of all the things we love about what we do: quality paper, letterpress printing, charming embellishments (and hawk stamps). We wanted it to feel welcoming, but substantial - something you'd want keep around.
In true Constellation style, this catalog came together with a lot of help! We had multiple proofreaders and copy editors, as well as an assembly line of friends and family, lovingly putting these together. Even the post office got into the spirit, letting me help hand cancel each one.
We are so excited that this catalog is currently making its way around our city, our country and our world! Sharing our work, our studio, our story - it's a big deal to us. And we're excited to hear what our favorite stores think... and what you think!
If you own a store (or know someone who owns a store), and would like a copy of our new catalog, please let us know! E-mail us: wholesale AT constellationco DOT com.
We're big fans of Fab (as you can tell from our gushy blog entry a few weeks ago). So, we're proud and excited to announce that we'll be a featured seller on Fab this coming week, September 20-23! (We're super excited. Seriously.)
We'll be offering two of our letterpress art prints and several of our boxed card sets at a huge savings! Make sure you check out the sale and stock up!
If you still haven’t heard: Fab.com is “design online.” The Fab.com website offers daily design inspirations and sales 70% off retail. Membership is free but by invitation only. Members receive exclusive access to daily curated design sales featuring the world’s leading designers and manufacturers. And you can join by clicking here!
We are proud to announce that our library card line is now being carried at one of our favorite new stores, Paper Hammer! They are located at 2nd & Union in downtown Seattle. It's definitely worth a trip! We're big fans of Marquand books and products, and are honored to be featured alongside them.