When did you start Hartford Prints! & how did you get into the paper business??
Hartford Prints! is a Connecticut letterpress shop and studio, run by us Gale sisters, Addy, Callie, and Rory. Founded in 2009 with the help of a grant from the City of Hartford, Addy opened our studio as a non-profit educational space, employing local high school students as printmaking apprentices. When the terms of the grant expired in 2012, we decided to combine our creative forces and we launched Hartford Prints! as a custom stationery company. Since then, we have opened a retail location in downtown Hartford and brought on our “youngest sister” Kait Lennon, who mans our press with a lot of expertise and a lot of love.
What is your business philosophy?
At Hartford Prints!, we strive to create paper that is modern, fun, offbeat, and unique. Our process is more personal than ordering invitations from a stationer or online because we are a letterpress company and everything we design is custom. Letterpress is an old-fashioned form of relief printing all done by hand, so our work is truly a labor of love. We also work closely with our clients to understand their styles, the look and feel of the wedding or event, and what makes them unique as a couple. We listen to “how we met” stories, look at old pictures, build a Pinterest board (of course!), and then create an invitation suite that speaks to all of those things! The result is a timeless, one-of-a-kind piece that they hopefully treasure.
What is your favorite thing about being in the letterpress biz?
Our favorite thing about being in the letterpress business is the response our clients and customers have when interacting with our product and technique. The weight of the paper, the texture of the embossment, the variations of color, and the physical printing process all conjure up romantic and nostalgic feelings in this digital age. Letterpress stationery communicates a thoughtful, purposeful approach to the recipient, which is exactly how we approach our business! We also love how collaborative our industry can be, from working with other printers, to local artists, to like-minded business owners, we are constantly in awe by the people we get to work and collaborate with!
What type of client do you love working with?
We love all of our clients! Some are really talented artists themselves and are heavily involved in the process from start to finish, while others just really appreciate good design and want to sit back and let us do our thing! Regardless of styles, tastes, and backgrounds, our clients all share a love of letterpress and a passion for supporting small businesses, which makes our job pretty easy. We always strive to be flexible, respectful, and dedicated, and love it when clients share those qualities too.
What is your best advice for a couple when it comes to wedding paper?
Our advice to anyone starting the wedding paper process is to shop around! There are so many options out there for different tastes and budgets, from letterpress to offset printing, from ordering online to ordering custom, from a simple invitation to a multi-piece suite. Know what you are looking for, know what you’re willing to spend, and then go out and search for what works best for you. Because when you find the perfect stationer, it really is a match made in paper heaven!
How to contact Hartford Prints!
Email us firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us at?(860) 578-8447
Or stop by our shop! 42 1/2 Pratt Street, Hartford CT 06103.
**Photo credit from top down: Carla Ten Eyck, Deborah Zoe Photography, Carla Ten Eyck, Eric Foley Photography