This week we are meeting Andy & Jane Shannon from Bench Pressed Cards down in St. Paul, MN.
How did you get started in the printing business?
- Andy was an illustration and printmaking major at MCAD (Minneapolis College of Art & Design) and I, Jane, have a deep love for stationery. We quickly figured out that letterpress was the best vehicle for Andy’s illustration (plus, it’s just really cool!).
Do you print using an old fashioned printing press?
- We do! Our oldest press is from 1890 and our newest press is from 1965.
Is it a multi-step project for cards with different colors if using a printing press?
- Yes, I like to explain the printing process as a really industrial rubber stamp. In our case, each color on a card gets it’s own stamp and it’s own inking. For instance, if a card has three colors on it, it means that it goes through the press three times, and the press has to be cleaned up and re-inked three times.
Where you get your inspiration for your cards? Sassy sayings?
- We tend to think of them on the go– we always are taking notes when something makes us laugh. Most of those don’t end up on cards, but a lot of them do. We also like to think about cards that we would like to give and receive. We try not to make cards that we wouldn’t give ourselves.
What seem to be crowd favorites?
- Right now our best seller is “The World Needs More Women Like You” and “Hope Your Neighbors Aren’t Creepy”. But generally anything that has a swear word on it does really well for us.
-Smith’s Infusion currently carries the “Hope your
Neighbors Aren’t Creepy.”
What are your favorites to make?
- We just started making “Get Heard” postcards, which are a political fill-in-the-blank postcard to get the conversation started with your elected officials. I love making those and knowing that they are going out into the world and doing some good.
Where do you sell your cards other then Etsy & Smith’s Infusion?
- We wholesale our cards in about 200 stores across the country and in a couple of other countries. We mostly sell to small independent stores, like Smith’s Infusion!
Anything else you’d like folks to know about you and your company?
- Bench Pressed is a dream come true, honestly. We get to make cards for a living — helping people celebrate some of the biggest milestones, best days and help lend a hand when someone is having a hard time. We are so lucky to get to do this everyday.
You can find Bench Pressed Cards at our Shop as well as