tion—signature, calligraphy. What is Missive?
In addition to my line of preprinted letterpress cards and stationery, I also provide a complete design experience for my couture clients who want unique, high quality event or social stationery. I work one-on-one with couples and individuals to create something all their own, whether it be monogrammed stationery, calling cards, or a full wedding stationery suite. I’m also a big believer in good customer service. I’ve been praised for just answering email in a timely manner—I think clients appreciate individual attention these days, especially in a world that has gone digital. Clients don’t want to feel like they made a purchase, then were forgotten. Because my husband does much of the letterpress printing these days, we can usually complete the process of custom design and printing in the same amount of time it takes other stationers to simply print a design from their collection of templates. What was the greatest challenge you faced during your first year in business? Driving traffic to my Etsy shop was definitely challenging. There are so many sellers
on Etsy and more signing up each day, so you are sort of a needle in a haystack. I can’t stress enough the importance of accurate descriptions and keywords for your products. It can mean the difference between being found...and not being found! What has been your most exciting sale or learning experience since starting Missive? My most exciting sale was my first sale on Etsy! My first customer contacted me about ordering a large quantity of a stationery design she saw in my shop. Having that first sale be a sizable one was great for building confidence and prompted me to continue creating and printing more of my designs. What is the best business advice you’ve received? Don’t wait any longer and don’t overthink it! You are going to make mistakes—everyone does. I think the key is learning from those mistakes, having patience and not being too critical of yourself.You will eventually get to where you want to be with your business, if you truly love what you are doing. Can you tell us about a business risk you took since starting Missive? What came of it? I’d have to say that buying 4,000 pounds of heavy, in-
dustrial machinery was a little scary! My first printing press was a Chandler and Price tabletop model that weighs in at 200 pounds, but I quickly realized that in order to do larger pieces, such as wedding invitations, you need a larger press. So my husband found an old Kluge letterpress and convinced me to purchase it. Since then, our family of presses has grown. We now have a floor model Chandler and Price from 1912 and are looking to add something a little more lady-like, such as a Golding Pearl. Acquiring these larger presses has enabled me to begin printing both limited edition letterpress art and wedding invitation suites which has helped grow my business. Can you walk us through a typical work day? I always start my day with a Blue Bottle Coffee latté, followed by checking my email and responding to inquiries from the day before. Some days I have several online orders to fulfill in the morning, so that involves packaging and shipping. If I have custom stationery orders, they are usually printed in the afternoon. Letterpress is a timeconsuming print method and I generally only have enough time to do one or two print runs each day—most people don’t realize that with letter-
The summer issue. An online lifestyle magazine about home design, fashion, work and entertaining.