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Feel Good Friday

by April May

poppies by Tom Heyes on Flickr{image source: Tom Heyes on Flickr}

Google image search of JTT is pure gold. It makes us happy every day, not just Friday!     -Sarah

It doesn't matter how many times I watch this. It always ends up being a cross between peeing-my-pants laughter and shock-and-awe and how crazy talented Jamie Foxx is. These clips are both fail-safe, instant day-makers.      -George

You won't believe this little guy's moves!      -Haley

Because animals and sport always mix.  Can’t wait for Wimbledon starting July 3rd!      -Megan

Just look at how squishy they are!!      -Erin

This dinosaur ladle set is brilliant, cute, practical, and humorous all at the same time. How could this not make you smile?      -Clayton

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NSS Recap Part 3: Our Favorite Booths

by April May

One of our favorite parts of the National Stationery Show is seeing the amazing work of our friends and peers in the industry. Here are few of the booths we were totally crushing on at the show this year!

CLAYTON'S PICK: LARK + RAVEN
Lark + Raven has a pretty darn rad Instagram, and I've always been most attracted to their gram's remarkable use of color and playful graphic imagery. Their booth boasted the same sophisticated and playful use of color as their gram. Their swankily fun highlighter yellow sofa and funnily taboo graphic throw pillows were standouts. I was tickled pink to have met the owner Allie and her cousin at their booth. Allie used to work in the design world for a bit and decided to embark on the road to greeting cards three years ago with Lark + Raven's first official NSS Show in 2015. 

Lark + Raven NSS2017 Booth
Lark + Raven yellow wren print
Lark + Raven Chili Dog

SARAH'S PICK: EGG PRESS
Egg Press is a favorite of mine because the first letterpress card I bought was their creation! I love the silliness, originality and especially the quality of each and every design. They were gracious enough to let me poke around their booth and take some photos of my favorite card (the camel Valentine!) and a few of their awesome holiday offerings. Thank you, Egg Press!

Egg Press NSS2017 BoothEgg Press Wanna Hump
Egg Press Holiday Cards

ERIN'S PICK: FROG & TOAD PRESS
The booth I was really excited to see at NSS was Frog and Toad Press from Providence, RI. I've been admiring their cards and Star Wars pennants for a while now, and I was looking forward to seeing them in person. The booth was bright and inviting, and I loved the fun little details (googly eyes on the wallpaper animals!). 

Frog & Toad Press
Frog & Toad Press Iron On Patches
Frog & Toad Press pennants
Frog & Toad Press holiday cards

APRIL'S PICK: WISHBONE LETTERPRESS
I was so happy to see Wishbone Letterpress at NSS this year! Danielle and Joe have great senses of humor and that shows in their work. I love their use of color to make simple designs really pop and feel special.   

Wishbone Letterpress NSS2017 Booth
Wishbone Letterpress Eat Me card
Wishbone Letterpress Best Wishes
Wishbone Letterpress Birthday Suck

We're Hiring! Calling All Designers!

by April May

We're hiring!Interested in joining a friendly and hardworking team with a passion for paper? We have a full-time design position opening this fall and we'd love to hear from you. Contact us if you or someone you know would be a good fit! To apply, email a resume, cover letter, link to your design work, and a PDF of 1 birthday card design that would fit in with our line to april@smudgeink.com.

FULL-TIME GREETING CARD DESIGNER
Hours:
40 hours a week              Start date: Fall 2017

Responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  1. Developing fresh, new designs for Smudge Ink’s wholesale card and gift line based on our current look and industry research. The Designer must be able to push the envelope by introducing new ideas and techniques that will help further develop the line while remaining true to our vision. 

  2. Researching and understanding current trends in the fashion, stationery and home décor industries.

  3. Submitting designs promptly based on the given release schedule. Working with others to make sure product releases are efficient and organized.

  4. Regularly discussing feedback, sales analysis, scheduling, and projects.

  5. Preparing design files and ordering polymer plates for production as needed. Printing and delivering all spec sheets to Print Manager for each new product.

  6. Working on special design projects as needed (example: company holiday card, customer mailings, custom wholesale cards).

  7. Assisting at trade shows (e.g. National Stationery Show in May) and with social media posts.

  8. Managing your time as you juggle designing for our wholesale line, for licensing opportunities, and for special, in-house projects.

Qualifications: 

  • College degree preferred
  • Experience in graphic design is required
  • Very strong Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop skills
  • Strong organizational and communication skills required
  • Must be flexible and a reliable team player
  • Knowledge of both Macs and PC platforms
  • Social networking (Instagram and blogging) experience is desirable
  • Basic knowledge of the letterpress printing is desirable 

To apply for this position, please send a resume, cover letter, link to samples of your design work, and a PDF of 1 birthday card design that you think fits in our line to april@smudgeink.com.

As part of the application process, anyone considered for the position will be asked to participate in round two which involves the submission of additional designs. 

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Retailer Spotlight: Noteworthy Paper & Press

by April May

If we ever make it to Missoula, Montana, Noteworthy Paper & Press will be our very first stop! We've been following along with this gorgeous shop on Instagram, but we're even more enchanted after this interview! Not only is this shop well stocked with an excellent selection of cards and gifts, but they also host an annual "Letters to Santa" event! Read on to learn more.

Noteworthy Paper & Press
(image: Amy and Taylor at Noteworthy Paper & Press)

When did Noteworthy Paper & Press open? What was the inspiration or motivation behind the opening of a brick and mortar store? 

 
Noteworthy Paper & Press opened in June of 2008 in the same space we currently occupy. The two owners of Noteworthy Paper & Press, Taylor Valiant and Amy Dolan, met through mutual friends in the fall of 2007 and quickly discovered each other’s desire to open a brick and mortar stationery shop in downtown Missoula. Amy had been working as an independent graphic designer doing small business development work from her home office and was eager to try something new. Unbeknownst to her, Taylor was developing her letterpress business just blocks away in her home’s garage. With a shared vision, the two opened Noteworthy in June 2008.

noteworthy type
(image: wood type spelling out "Noteworthy")
Is there a story behind the name?

After tossing around a million ideas, “Noteworthy” stood out as a simple, but fun play on words. The “Paper & Press” part of our name refers to what we sell, as well as the fact that we have 5 letterpresses on site for printing our own wholesale line, as well as custom work.

Do you have a fun fact about your store that most people wouldn’t know?

Noteworthy is located in historic downtown Missoula, Montana. The building in which we currently reside was reconstructed in 1934 after the original structure, built in 1890, was destroyed by fire. The foundation and basement level remained intact however and still holds many historic features, including windows that once faced the river (now a shared wall to the building next door) as well as a tunnel to the building across the street! Our basement is now home to our bustling letterpress workshop, which is slated to move into it’s new, much larger home in the fall of this year.

What do you love about your shop’s neighborhood?

Our shop is located on downtown Missoula’s main thoroughfare, near the Clark Fork River, and on the same block as our historic Wilma Theater. Our downtown has seen a lot of changes in the last nine years, but its growth is evident in the amount of thriving shops, bustling restaurants and pubs and new construction! Missoula is a city surrounded by mountains and rivers and we love being able to balance our work life with our desire to enjoy the outdoors. We love being able to ride our bikes to work and take lunches in the park.

noteworthy paper & press - inside look
(image: Noteworthy Paper & Press display)
What’s the most memorable thing that has happened in your store?

Well, definitely the most popular event we host every year is our “Letters to Santa” letter writing day in conjunction with Missoula’s annual Parade of Lights kick-off to the holiday season. We put out tables, crayons, markers, paper and envelopes for the mobs (!) of children to write out their lists and notes to Santa. We also have a magic mailbox for the kiddos who can’t make the event to drop off their letters during the month of December. One by one, we read and personally reply to every letter we receive. We have official “From the Desk of Santa Claus” letterhead, sparkly red envelopes and a bold Santa Claus autograph to complete the look. Last year we replied to 325 letters and have been told that it has become a tradition kids look forward to every year.

What’s your favorite Smudge Ink product?

We love Smudge Ink’s bold, colorful boxed notes! We always have a good selection for each season. 

What song or album is playing in your shop right now?

The Sturgill Simpson Pandora station

noteworthy paper & press inside the store
(image: Noteworthy Paper & Press display and cards shelves)
Is there a fun new stationery or gift trend that you particularly enjoy or that customers are responding well to?

We get a lot of questions about the products we sell and the companies we buy from, and we’re proud to say the large majority of product in our store is made in the USA. Customers love hearing personal stories about these companies (like Smudge!) to help make what they are buying more meaningful. People love to have a connection to what they are buying and I don’t think that trend is going anywhere anytime soon!

We are also still seeing a strong response to lapel pins … and tea towels! So many tea towels!
(image sources: Noteworthy Paper & Press)
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