Blog : Industry

Happy Penguin + West Elm

This story begins two years ago.


When Happy Penguin was in its infancy, Bryan asked me what my goals would be for our little company. I didn’t have to think about it. I knew. I’d want our cards to be in my favorite stores: West Elm and Anthropologie. One day far down the road, if that could happen, I’d be as happy as could be.

We didn’t spend our time purposefully moving toward this. We spent it on Happy. We developed cards that we loved, and tried our hardest to keep that as the main goal. Whatever happened, happened.

Cake Happy Penguin Press

That’s why when I received an e-mail one day out of the blue, it took my breath away. I would have been excited about the news whether we were involved or not: West Elm was opening a Birmingham, AL, location. Hallelujah! For me, this meant no more driving to Atlanta or paying for shipping whenever I shopped at West Elm. But there was something even more exciting in that e-mail…

West Elm wanted to know if they could carry our work in their Birmingham store.


We can finally announce that our work is now (eeeeekkkk!) available at the brand-new location of West Elm, located at The Summit mall in Birmingham, AL. We’ve been keeping this a secret for ages now, and it was soo hard not to spill the beans to you all. We feel incredibly blessed to have this opportunity, to fulfill a dream that really was just that—some morning ramblings over tea and toast, when Bryan asked me a random question about far-away goals. Who would have thought it would ever come true?

If you live in the Birmingham area, please come out and support the local artists that West Elm partners with. We hope to see you there. We’ll be the embarrassingly giddy ones standing next to the letterpress cards, drying our happy tears on our sleeves and pinching ourselves silly.

West Elm at The Summit
320 Summit Blvd.
Vestavia, AL 35243
(205) 968-7651

The Handmade Marathon at The Petit Cadeau

We’re thrilled to announce that we’ve been selected to take part in the Handmade Marathon over at The Petit Cadeau. Alison is running a marathon on November 4, and like others who sponsor and support groups during their training, Alison decided that she wanted to support handmade businesses! Awesome idea, huh?

image via The Petit Cadeau

So here are the details. One business a day will be featured at The Petit Cadeau during October 1 through 26. The object is to cheer for and support these business, all of which focus their efforts on handmade goods. If the other businesses are anything like Happy, they’ve got their hearts and souls invested in their businesses, and your support would mean the world and more to them. Via The Petit Cadeau:

Why handmade?
(+) Supporting handmade means supporting someone’s dreams
(+) Owning or gifting something unique and beautiful made from quality products
(+) Supporting a small business and helping that business thrive
(+) Becoming part of a community that believes in handmade

So stay tuned right here for more news on which day Happy will be featured, and please visit The Petit Cadeau and support the other businesses that will be featured. Imagine the fantastic new talent we’re going to learn about! We’re so excited to discover new artists and craftsmen/women who are embracing what they love and sharing it with the world. Come be excited with us!

Visit The Petit Cadeau + Tweet about the Marathon + Like The Petit Cadeau on Facebook + Follow the Marathon on Pinterest

Preparing for Ladies of Letterpress

Yesterday we spent some time in the studio with Four Hats Press printing some cards that we’re going to give away at the Ladies of Letterpress Conference this coming weekend.

Cory is so sweet and fun to hang out with, and her Vandercook is always fun too! This time around we prepared and printed some cards of our design in a pretty navy ink on crisp white paper. The flat cards will coordinate with pale gray envelopes.

We’re really looking forward to attending the conference and meeting other printers and aficionados. This time next week, we’ll report back with a full rundown of all the fun events. For now, we’re off to pack!

Ladies of Letterpress Conference

Little do you know, we’re just full of news over here in Happy Penguin land. Let’s start with some fun travel news. Come the first weekend in August, Bryan and I will make our way to beautiful Asheville, North Carolina, for five days of letterpress fun with the Ladies of Letterpress’ annual Letterpress Conference. We’re really looking forward to the packed lineup they have in store for us.

We’ll be exploring a Printer’s Fair and partaking in a Silent Auction. There will be a Keynote with Abigail Rorer, a Sustainability in Printing panel (which we’re especially interested in), and a Business and Legal Matters Q&A (always important!).

Though we’ll be pretty busy with the conference, we are big foodies and always in search of a great place to eat. Any suggestions for us?

Letterpress Videos

My friends are always curious about the process of letterpress, so when I ran across this lovely video of Lucky Duck Letterpress (I found via Pressing Letters; originally via Etsy’s blog), I thought I’d post it, and a few others, so that all you chickadees could watch and see how this wonderful process unfolds. Each of the videos shows different presses and different aspects of the process, from inking the rollers to printing to packaging. I hope you enjoy.

Documentary by Danny Cooke, Upside Down, Left To Right: A Letterpress Film

And a day in the life of Boxcar Press:

Citizens for Optimism

Citizens for Optimism is a wonderful project wherein a group of young designers were given words associated with optimism and asked to create a type-centric poster. The results are wonderful: uplifting and hopeful while also being wall-worthy art. This is just one example, by Michelle Alvarez, that I loved. Check out the website for the full lineup.