Welcome to Trayde's Brand Spotlight series. Here we take the time to appreciate the wonderful members on our platform. We have created this section to share inspiring stories about brands, their products and their meaningful purpose.
Today, we are highlighting one of our members, Lindsay - founder of Tpel Paper & Press. From New York to Chester, this is a story of love between Lindsay and Paul, but also Lindsay and design. Her curiosity and attraction for various forms of art led her to discover letterpress during her undergraduate degree. Using various techniques and sources of inspiration for her work, Lindsay creates unique letterpress cards, bespoke wedding invitations or gift wrapping and provides you with real "small pieces of art".
1. Please tell us a little about yourself and your background.
Hello Trayde! Thanks so much for having me on your blog series. My name is Lindsay, and I am the founder and head designer of Tpel Paper & Press. I am originally from Upstate, New York, and moved to Chester, England back in 2015 after my husband, Paul and I got married.
My husband is from the Chester area, and we met during our undergraduate studies since we both had athletic scholarships to the same university in New York State. I graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Art, and most recently, I completed my Masters of Fine Art.
Growing up, I loved creating anything I could get my hands on - I have always gravitated towards various forms of art and the complexity of colour theory. Learning and exploring different mediums has always been a rooted passion, I enjoy applying the various techniques to whatever inspires my work.
2. What inspired you to create your business?
When I discovered letter press during my undergraduate degree, I found there was something exciting about the marriage of letterpress and art. I started my business as a side hustle back in 2015, beginning with designing and printing bespoke wedding invitations (which we still do to this day), then evolving our way into the greeting card realm.
Since then, I've continued to develop a deep appreciation for this unique craft, finding myself in a significant moment as part of today’s movement to exercise and protect these mindful, purposeful skills and processes. I feel honoured to be part of today's conversation in keeping letterpress alive and relevant in times of change.
3. What are some of the products you have created/developed that are closest to your heart? Please share them with us!
One of my favourite and most special products to me is our floral collection, letter pressed onto handmade paper. This was one of the first full collections I designed, really going with my gut on the chosen materials, and they have been our best-sellers ever since.
People tell me all the time they frame cards from this collection, which is huge honour to me. Because at the end of the day, our cards are made with such intention and care, they are meant to be small pieces of art for you, or for others to enjoy.
4. Where do you sell your products?
We sell our products in retailers throughout the UK, Europe, the USA, Asia, and The Middle East. We also sell directly through our website and shop front right in the heart of Chester, Cheshire. And most recently, we have joined a few online trade platforms, such as you guys!
5. How did you adapt to the current situation? What are the challenges you faced and how do you tackle them?
With the current situation at hand, we decided to invest in more online trade platforms since physical trade shows are so uncertain at this point. This has been an exciting new avenue and I can only imagine the online trade platforms will continue to grow.
Since the opening of the economy back in late spring, we have been very fortunate that wholesale has picked back up, and we were finally able to open our physical shop front in late June, providing yet another steady revenue stream for us.
6. What have been some of the proudest moments for you as an entrepreneur?
One of my proudest moments would have to be our exclusive stationery collaboration with The White Company. For the past two years, it has been such a wonderful experience working with a large, reputable company - taking our business to new heights. It makes me excited for the promising future of large and small businesses working together.
A more recent proud moment has been the opening of our letterpress studio and shop front right in the Chester city centre. This has always been the vision for our business, and although we have arrived at what seems like the ultimate goal, I feel we are just beginning to spread our wings.
7. How would you say the near future looks like for independent brands like yours?
With the recent opening of our studio and shop, and with Christmas just around the corner, this is spurring us on to capitalising on various avenues that have been in the pipeline for a while now.
We hope to offer letter press workshops, launch new product lines which are in final stages, and continue to support other small businesses by adding their unique goods to our retail shop.
8. What are some encouraging words of advice you would give to emerging businesses currently?
John D. Rockefeller once said, "Don't be afraid to give up the good to go for the great". I love this quote because I feel it encapsulates the modern-day entrepreneur. When it comes to your business, don't be afraid to take risks - channel any fear of the unknown into persistence and grit.
It's ok to have growing pains in your business, this allows you to be stretched and moulded in ways that can sometimes be challenging, but, take heart, you can learn so much through the refining process! I want you to know that good things take time, research, and a lot of mistakes.
Make everyday goals and long-term goals. Harness and nurture anaesthetic and vision that is true to yourself. Try and try again, you will do great things!
Visit Tpel Paper & Press wholesale shop to stock up on their products.
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