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2013 recap

Posted by debbie lee on

this poor blog has been completely neglected.  i’ve had a rough first month of the year… it felt like the holiday rush ran right into the new year and straight into wedding season… while, i’m not complaining of the increased business penelope’s press has been receiving, it’s been draining and work/life balance is becoming more and more of a challenge.  penelope’s press and myself is in need of a little tlc, which is exactly why i’m writing this post from sunny coronado, california!as been receiving, it’s been draining and work/life balance is becoming more and more of a challenge.  penelope’s press and myself is in need of a little tlc, which is exactly why i’m writing this post from sunny coronado, california!

coronado, california

before i desperately try to bring you up to speed with penelope’s press ongoings, i best recap the highlights {and some lowlights} of the last year {yep, even though it’s already february!}

penelope's press booth at NSS 2013

debuted at the national stationery show:  this was the most stressful, time-consuming, yet rewarding thing i’ve done for my business thus far.  preparing for the show encompassed so many moving parts, including building an entire booth display plus contents and shipping it to nyc, expanding the line by 100+ new designs {the majority of which were hand drawn illustrations by my sister {after several revisions, each drawing is scanned into illustrator, cleaned up + formatted,  then designed to include text + color.  photopolymer plates are made of each design and individually hand fed + letterpress printed one at time, one color at time}, and too many other things that happen behind the scenes like creating a catalog + line sheet from scratch, creating and assembling press kits, compiling a mailing list of potential wholesale buyers + sending them snail mail, updating the website with all of the new products including pricing, photos, description, etcetera.  the. list. was. endless.  but i did it, with the unending support and help of my husband {who built the hardwalls of my booth, drove me + the booth furnishings + products to nyc while i slept almost the entirety of the way, and was my go-to-runner-tie-loose-ends-keep-me-calm sidekick }, my sister {who kept drawing for me despite her own job + family + kids + life}, my parents {who babysat the kids while i hustled + printed + hustled + printed}, and all of my patient clients who waited a bit longer than normal for me to finish orders during the crazy rush that preceded and followed the show.  just thinking about all of the hardwork and mental energy that went into the show makes makes me both tired + teary eyed.  …and guess what?  it’s happening all over again… the tradeshow is just around the corner!  let the madness fun begin!

retail:  with our debut at the national stationery show, penelope’s press has fully launched our wholesale line.  prior to the stationery show, penelope’s press products were only carried in two retail locations… since the stationery show, our lists of retailers has grown with fabulous stores from coast to coast.

some awesome press:  penelope’s press had some exciting features, both online + in print, including the chicago tribune red eye, oh so beautiful paper, uppercase magazine, and style me pretty to name a few.

boxed stationery sets

a celebrity client:  we had our first celebrity client order {wishful thinking that we’ll have more celebrity clients}!!!  people keep asking who it is… maybe you can guess who it is with this hint:  he’s a television late night funny guy with the initials JK!

calligraphy practice

professional development:  took an intensive hand lettering + calligraphy class taught by the super talented molly jacques.  it’s an incredible feeling to be surrounded by creatives that are just as excited + passionate to learn the craft as you!  stay tuned, we hope to incorporate more hand lettering + calligraphy in our products!

penelope's press at martha stewart wedding party chicago 2013

wedding shows:  we dipped our toes in the wedding show arena and had a fabulous response!  penelope’s press had the opportunity to be a vendor at chicago’s own indie wed and a month later at martha’s stewart’s wedding party — the first time martha stewart took the annual new york wedding show on the road to the midwest.

well, that’s about it for the major highlights of the last year.  as always, i am blessed to be able to create pretty paper products, work with amazing clients, and collaborate with talented colleagues in the industry!

while it was another great year and penelope’s press continues to steadily grow, there is always room for improvement.  topping the list of “things-i-need-to-work-on” include– better work/life balance, keeping a tidier work station, create a better inventory tracking system, have better bookkeeping, and attempt to blog more.

{see what i mean about keeping a tidier work station?  the struggle is real.}

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