PLEASE NOTE: we will be taking a short break from 6/1-6/20. while we are away, the shop will remain open to take orders. orders placed during this time will start shipping on 6/24. thank you for your patience while we take a much needed break to recharge and make family memories!

recap of 2015-present day

Posted by debbie lee on

penelope's press and palm trees

where has penelope's press been?

wow, 2014 was the last time this blog had an entry.  shortly after that last entry, i lost interest in blogging, so i just stopped cold turkey.  recently though, i was updating my website and thought, “hey, let’s bring this blog back", but when i discontinued blogging years ago, i never backed up any entries.  after digging around the internet, i found a  site called the internet archive wayback machine and fortunately found (almost) all my old entries.  i copy and pasted all of the entries and photos and brought the little blog back to life (sadly, i wasn’t able to bring over any comments from readers).  in the process, its been fun re-reading my old entries and seeing how penelope’s press has grown through the years.  and so... i’m back!  i can’t promise how long i’ll stay or if i’ll update often, but here goes...

but first, let me give you a quick run down of what i've been up to the past few years...

  • 2015 in a nutshell:  had some health issues, exhibited at the national stationery show for the 3rd time, and more of the same — life adventures with the family, more printing, and forever trying to balance work and life
  • 2016 in a nutshell:  had another set of health issues, came to a realization that work/life balance may not be a real thing, relocated the family (and the small business including one press and one guillotine paper cutter) 2000 miles to southern california for the husband’s work, and slowed down printing/the business to enjoy west coast living
  • 2016-2019 in a nutshell:  enjoyed west coast living. 
a few weeks before we moved back in july of 2019, i posted the above photo on social media, along with the following:

    “my view tonight... sitting poolside thinking how missing in action i’ve been these last few years, especially this past year. right when i felt my business was making serious upward movement— 3 straight years of tradeshows, some great retail accounts, some celebrity orders, and shipping orders daily... then bam. major curveball and an opportunity presents itself and my husband’s career takes our family (and my business) out west. have i still been printing? does penelope’s press still operate and ship orders? do i still love letterpress and paper and all things stationery? yes yes yes... BUT, in the last 3 years i have intentionally slowed it down— created no new products, have done zero marketing, only added a handful of new stockists, and have had a quieter presence on social media. instead of hustlin’ and growing my business, i made southern california my second home and went all in. i volunteered like crazy— did the run club coach thing, the musical theater mom thing, the PTA president thing, the girl scout mom thing, and more... saw all the things up and down the west cost— checked off as many touristy bucket list items as we could, found local hidden gems, and ate all the foods... met strangers that became great friends, reconnected with old friends, and strengthened existing relationships with family and friends— all the while making lasting memories. has my business suffered? probably. actually, i’m sure of it. would i change any of it? no. 3 years has quickly passed and our stint out in southern california is coming to a close. follow along as my family and i (and penelope’s press) move back to the chicagoland area and i get reacquainted with reality and back to business. thanks to all of you that have hung on while i’ve been on my little hiatus 😘 #vacationisover #backtoreality #smallbusinesswoes #bittersweet


    •  2020 in a nutshell:  moved back to illinois, spent several months unpacking/organizing/getting back to midwest living, tried to get back to printing, but then had carpal tunnel surgery which slowed the printing back down, covid-19 hit, and then decided to get our basement finished… and here we are.  currently trying to navigate covid, keep my family and self safe, healthy, and sane, while basement construction chaos surrounds our living space
    if you've read this far, bless your heart.  when i'm into it, i think blogging is fun.  documenting life, business, etc is fun and no matter how much you think, "i'll never forget... (finish the sentence)", you probably will.  memories fade.  details fade.  and it's sad.  so here i am, another attempt to document my letterpress musings along with family and life shenanigans.  i hope you follow along!

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