It's the holiday season - and that means there are plenty of talented artisans right here in the PNW who are creating amazing cards, treats and gifts. That includes Chocolate Toffee Peppermint Cookies from Bell's Bakery and all these women-owned local businesses. We caught up with local designer Stephanie Clark from Dahlia Press to get the scoop on the hottest holiday cards this season - and more!
Seattle Refined: Stephanie Clarke from Dahlia Press - I’m so excited to talk to you. You have a boutique design and letterpress studio right here in Seattle.
Stephanie Clarke: We have a collection of greeting cards that range all occasions and we sell those here locally as well as in brick and mortar retailers around the nation. We’re also in stores like Anthropologie, Paper Source and Urban Outfitters. And we do custom design work.
How do you get the ideas for these greeting cards?
Sometimes it will just be something funny that I said, or overheard - and I’ve jotted it down. And over time I kind of narrow those down to the ideas I think are worth pursuing. We’ll start a series of sketches and from there they get translated into a computer and refined and we pick out palettes and then we sent those art files off to have printing plates made to go into our letterpress.
Speaking of letter press, I’m not sure everyone is familiar with it. It’s kind of an older art form and it’s a really special one.
Basically letterpress is a relief form printing process. You’re taking an image - either wood, metal or photo polymer applying ink to the surface and then using hundreds of pounds of pressure, you’re applying the pressure from the image to paper to create a deep impression and leave the ink behind. We have three in our studio the oldest being over a hundred years old. And that’s what we use to create most of our greeting cards.
I love hearing about the cards but you guys do a lot of other things there as well.
Our greeting cards are our first love and this one is one of my particular favorites - it’s also one of our bestsellers! It says "You can’t be everything to everyone but you’re everything to me". We have an array of cards that go from birthdays to holidays. We also have launched into some giftable items like apparel and enamel pins and we’ve even introduced some really fun notebooks.
One of our newest items I’m so excited about is our Stationary Squad Box. This is a monthly subscription box you can get it for yourself and you can give a gift subscription to a friend and it includes three to five cards each and you can add on postage if you need stamps on hand. We also include a free gift every month!
I was hoping you could show us a few of the holiday cards that you’re really excited about right now?
One of my absolute favorite holiday cards is 'Peace Love Joy'. It’s just very classic clean letterpress [and} it’s a total crowd pleaser, it’s so sweet! And it feels a little Pacific Northwest too.
Another favorite for those who are celebrating both Christmas and Hanukkah is our 'Happy Chrismukkah'.
Another card that’s been a big hit this year is our 'Holiday Wish Card.' It says “A holiday wish for Christmas delights, Oh Silent Nights and a Quarantine Free New Year" - so this one has been a big hit this year. We really enjoyed this one a lot. And then finally this one is our bestselling card this year it is not letterpress printing. But it says ‘Deck the Halls with Smart Strong Women, Kamala La La La La La'.
The Vice President elect’s name really lends itself well to La La La. That idea that you created has just blown up!
We were contacted by Meena Harris who is Kamala’s niece and she is the founder of Phenomenal Women which is an apparel company that I really admire and she asked if we would collaborate and make a holiday sweater using that saying. We sold out within the first couple days.
Stephanie Clarke from Dahlia Press such a joy to talk to you. Happy Holidays!