Spotlight: Pressed – Fayetteville, NC

Pressed-5345We are going to start highlighting boutique stationery shops around the country that bring beautifully designed goods to their community and we think our first store spotlight deserves some major kudos for their fun environment, fast growth and some major hustle!

PRESSED is on a mission to create brands and images that carry lasting meaning and value and we absolutely LOVE that about them. The owner, Ashley Thompson ended up in North Carolina as a military spouse. When her husband was deployed overseas in 2011, she used it as an opportunity to engage her creative spirit and passion for design by founding PRESSED — a design agency. Pressed has a strong focus on building brands that stand for something and works to connect these unique, purpose-driven businesses with people in the marketplace who are motivated by their stories and mission. Their goal is to connect entrepreneurs with people who live the lifestyle that the brand embodies.

Wanting to go a step further to inspire her community through exposure to design, she opened PRESSED – A Creative Space just last year in historic downtown Fayetteville. It is a mix of uniquely curated and crafted stationery and gift items and also functions as a space to host events and creative workshops. They (like us!) believe in the power of creating time and room for creativity, to empower their community by exploring a new skill, and simply the beauty of hanging out with friends in an inspiring space!

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I had the opportunity to ask Ashley a few questions regarding her shop…

You have a background of graphic design which your studio still focuses on, so how did you end up opening your brick and mortar shop?
I started out in design and creating my retail store was really a passion project for me. I always was a fine of stationery, beautiful items, artisan made items, inspiring brands. I love it all! I saw the opportunity to turn this dream into a reality and jumped on it.

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How do you choose who to carry when there are so many makers these days?
I choose makers a few ways. I like to find things that are really unique, so my customers get to see things they won’t see anywhere else. I also like brands and companies that have a story behind it. I talk to a lot of the makers I have at the store, and if they have a great story behind what they do, I am much more likely to want to have them in the store, because I get to tell their story to even more people. I also go to handmade markets, art shows, and other unique shops because I am always on the lookout for the next thing that grabs my attention.

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What has been your favorite creative workshop you hosted?
I love our Calligraphy workshop! There are so many things you can do with calligraphy and it is a great skill to have!

What has been the biggest blessing and challenge of opening up a retail location?
The biggest blessing has been the overwhelming positive feedback I have gotten. I have gotten emails from customers I never knew before, telling me how much they love my store. For them to take the time out of their day to write me, just to tell me how much they like the shop is so humbling. The first email I got like that is actually printed and hanging in my office. It is really what keeps me going!

The biggest challenge has been the hours. I have been working from 9 in the morning until midnight for about 7 days a week since we opened. I spend a lot of time in my store because I love it, but there have been a lot of really long days keeping up with how quickly our store is growing. It is a lot different from working from home, like I used to do. I actually have to put some pants on and go into work!

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You awesomely host our product, how do you feel your customers respond to it?
Our 6.25 Paper section is where all the fun happens! Whenever I hear people laughing out loud I know they are looking through all the 6.25 Paper cards. It brings a smile to everyone’s face and is just a fun part of the store to be in! That is what drew it to me so much, it is funny in a way that it says what everyone is thinking but doesn’t always say out loud …. or in a card!



Friday Finds: Reason’s to Write from Tarah

IMG_0882Lately it seems that friends and I are constantly texting, facebooking, or emailing recipes to each other. There is something about someone in your circle saying “make this” that inspires me to immediately add it to our week’s menu, while I could be perusing beautifully crafted meals on Pinterest for 30 minutes, pinning away, yet may not get around to making a single one of them. It is because of this I decided that during my 30 days of letter-writing for the Write_On Campaign, I will sending along a single Matrick and Eve recipe card to a few friends. I am so excited about this idea because when something is received in the mail and handwritten it is elevated from the everyday digital version. Although they likely contain the same information, one will be treasured and have a lifespan far past the other!

IMG_0888Other than weddings, showers and jury duty, when is our presence requested through a letter dropped in a mailbox? I love the “Good for One Coffee Date” notes by 9th Letterpress because it is the everyday hangout made more significant just because it is received on a cute card rather than a simple text. As a mom of two, evening coffee dates are the way I stay connected with friends, the real conversations filled with sharing our joys and discouragements over a hot cup. These times are incredibly significant to me, so maybe I should set the tone through ink on paper instead of through a screen.

Follow along on Instagram to see more Reasons to Write this month. Tag us and tell us what unique Reasons to Write you come up with too! #writemorewith625paper


Friday Favorites: Staff Picks to Beat the Winter Blues

IMG_0914Tarah: I chose a new card on our shelves from Thimblepress, the gold foil, YOU ARE MY FAVORITE set on whimsical strokes of color. This card is A. Cheery and B. Who doesn’t want to be told that they are the best, or prized by someone they love? This could be left as is to convey “you are simply my favorite”, or written more specifically to a favorite server at your local standby, nurse friend, teacher or a boss. But probably don’t give it to your child if you have more than one.

IMG_0909Kerianne: Without using any words, this card seems to send the reassurance that spring is on the way. Simple, beautiful, and versatile, this card from Rifle Paper Co. could be used for Easter, Mother’s Day, or just to say “hello” to a friend.

IMG_0904Susan: This is my fav card for Spring — a bunch of brightly colored hearts that just lifts my spirits after our dreary weather these past few days. I love this new line of cards by Good Paper. They are so beautifully designed and assembled by young adults in Rwanda to provide jobs and support their families. We have many designs in all the card categories so you must come in to pick your favorite.

IMG_0907Abbey: My personal way to beat the winter blues is always to share some laughs with a friend. Remind your girlfriend of good times and friendship with this card from Offensive & Delightful — sure to cheer her up!

Friday Finds: Easter Basket Lovelies

Sure, you could fill a basket with waxy chocolate, cheap toys and handfuls of plastic fluorescent grass and be done with it, I mean that’s what our generation found hiding on Easter morning OR you could shop sustainably by finding fun, thoughtful items at a local shop to wow your little bunny this Easter.

With the second option closer to our hearts, we’ve come up with a few ideas to get you excited about bringing a little spring surprise to your sweet ones.


For our Children’s Basket we’ve chosen items that promote learning, creativity and thoughtfulness. The pop-up art history book about Alexander Calder explores what inspired the artist to explore the colors and shapes he did. This is particularly intriguing to us since his work, La Grande Vitesse, was the first publicly commissioned sculpture in the US and happens to be the heart of our home city, Grand Rapids! There is also a whimsical bag by K Studio, a DIY Felt Animal Craft, A set of bookplates, an organic chapstick and the softest I LOVE Michigan Tee from Michigan Awesome. Since April is National Letter Writing Month we included a pack of 6.25 Paper blank stationery with cheery envelopes to encourage children to write more. Lastly, from local GR business, SO AWESOME — unique and beautifully illustrated non-toxic wallet cards that teach ABC’s, Numbers, Colors and Shapes, and Emotions.


I don’t know about you, but Easter baskets didn’t stop as I grew up since I had younger siblings, so here is a little inspiration for putting together a Teen Basket that is sure to excite! This gift is inspired by Rifle’s spring florals, showcased in the journal, stationery set, and pencils paired with a K Studio pencil case to protect these beauties from being lost! You can never have too many headbands and no-crease hair-ties as we enter warmer months, and the “Do Your Best” Keychain adds some inspiration to the everyday! Lastly, a little keepsake like funky, sleek metal and leather ring will ensure this Easter surprise is not soon forgotten!


Friday Finds: Staff’s favorite Valentine’s Cards


Friendly: Last year when I discovered the very graphic offerings from Meeschmosh, I instantly fell in love! I especially love this XOXO card that adorns hearts and a striking gold foil accent.
Romance: When a relationship may not be committed or is just starting out and Valentines rolls around, there’s always that awkward question of what to do. With all the pressure on love, I like how we’ve created a card that uses the other L word to share your feelings and take off some off the pressure.


Friendly: My Jam – my favorite of the Felix line. Also, a nickname of mine (Jam/Jam-Jam). The phrase has a good feeling to it. I would love to be considered someone’s jam.
Romance: For that awkward time before you’re officially together or haven’t really confessed your feelings to that someone special. I remember what that feels like, and this card totally embodies it – from Emily McDowell. 


Friendly: Valentine’s Day is for lovers and friends and these two cards cover the issue. The Valentine for sweet friends (9th Letterpress) is so beautiful with eye candy design and who does not have a sweet friend?

always-and-forever-love-greeting-card-01_2Romance: As for lovey-dovey, Rifle cards always say it best. My favorite Valentine will know he has my heart when he receives this card.

Friendly: I would save this one for a surprise V-day card to a friend in town I haven’t spent enough one-on-one time with in awhile, probably a reason for mamas to leave their babes for an evening and catch up without having to chase toddlers around. To me, quality time is what makes relationships, so it would assure a little more of that! (9th Letterpress)

Friendly: These are actually little gift tags from Thimblepress that are so fun to send to girlfriends and attach to a little treat, a homemade baked good or even a little crafty goodness like these tassel necklaces we made at Christmas in our DIY class….


Romance: So this V-day I will have just had a new babe (1 week away!!)… so needless to say, getting jiggy with it will not be on my radar. This card is perfect to pass along to my amazing hubs for this short, maybe not as romantic, yet oh so special season of life. (Let’s get jiggy with it … or not, and say we did – from 6.25 Paper)

Everyone’s Favorite Holiday Card

IMG_0164b.jpgWe are over-flow’n with holiday cards here at the shop this year. There were so many great new designs and companies, so we just decided to carry a bit of everything! Below, you’ll see our staff’s most favorite cards. (above: Antiquaria nailed the more masculine designs this year – great for anyone!!)

g1x002-01copySusan: Ok, so I might be showing my age but Christmas is all about nostalgia for me. Spending the holidays with my beloved grandparents and all my cousins. Lights, action, too much candy, Vernor’s soda, and loads of fun. My parents viewed it all a bit differently, parties, packing up 7 kids, some modicum of discipline and exhaustion. All that aside I can still think about the magical side of this season, fresh snow, presents, lighted Christmas trees, wonderful meals, did I mention presents? You can only imagine what our tree looked like with gifts for anywhere from 11-30 people underneath. I feel the goosebumps coming on now.

So in light of all this nostalgia my choices are two of Rifle’s collection… who can’t smile at Santa riding his sleigh through the night sky of characters from the Nutcracker. These cards show me the season as I remember it from childhood. Rifle has some of the most beautiful cards and wrapping paper this season, so come on in, let us show you, and see if you don’t agree!

image (1).jpegJaimé: This card by Egg Press looks so fresh and fun, truly bringing on new year vibes. The accent of the gold lettering and simple lines pair great with the Moglea wrapping – use a few green sprigs (or cut some paper ones out) to top the gift and these two are perfect together!

image.jpegJaimé: Who doesn’t love a unicorn and the idea of magic during the holidays. I’m imagining this little guy strolling off to leap through this floral scene of black and white Rifle wrapping paper.  Add some red ribbon or twine to catch your eye and these will go together wonderfully!

IMG_0322.jpgTarah: Antiquaria’s simple “Merry Christmas” copper foil greeting’s illustration evokes a playful, childhood nostalgia that I enjoy. This card has a very unique look, unlike any holiday card I’ve seen. Again, I say COPPER FOIL.

Eggpress’s Baaaa Humbug is perfect to send to all the grinches in your life. One year, we used the phrase for our Christmas card using a grumpy picture of our 3 month old, so I think that memory is why I am drawn to it. It’s a well delivered pun with the cute illustration, and the little sheep’s hat and “I don’t give a crap” expression is icing on the cake.

IMG_0317.jpgTarah: For a single holiday card I chose Let it Snow from Emily McDowell because it goes past the holiday spirit and beckons the receiver to go enjoy the wintery outdoors. The season, in its entirety, is something to celebrate — even in the blustery weather. Bundle up, embrace the cold, and go snowshoeing or sledding, just don’t forget your cozy hat!

IMG_0316.jpgTarah: This card set from Moglea is one of my favorites we have in the shop just because of its simplicity — a sweet greeting in a cheery colored letterpress with sturdy cardstock and one-of-a-kind painting. I am so drawn to all of Moglea’s work because each was touched multiple times by their team through the layers embedded in their creative process: from the design, to the paint, to the letterpress — all come together to create beautiful, mailable art.

IMG_0308.jpgAbbey: My favorite holiday find this year was Mister McGinnis’s hairy men cards, wrapping paper and his naughty, naughty reindeer. Love McGinnis’s humor, original drawings, plus I’m a sucker for anything screen printed!

IMG_0314.jpgAbbey: I didn’t intend to add another card, but this particular one catches my eye every day as I walk past. I love everything Moglea produces, and I especially love their simple style here mixed with the profound sentiment. It’s rare you find a love card for the holidays. This one is perfect not only for a spouse, but for a mom, grandparent, sister, close friend, etc. It’s such a special card – a true diamond – and I’m so glad we carry it.

Friday Finds: Staff Favorites

Gratefulness has a way of ushering in joy. By recognizing each others gifts, we bring light to what is good and what is filling us up – what we lack seems to grow hazy in the background.

There is always an occasion for thankfulness. Whether it’s for small deeds that often go unnoticed or giant deeds so large that no thank you note could possibly hold enough words, sending a note to recognize someone’s contribution into your life, however small or seemingly insignificant, brings joy to both the sender and the recipient. There is fulfillment that springs up as we focus on the gifts that others bring to our lives. Also pride for the receiver, as they recognize that what they do for you matters. The investment, sacrifice, or simply the act of noticing or being with you mattered in your life. That, my friend, is powerful. So send a thank you not – especially now in the spirit of Thanksgiving, and all year long!


Susan: Whimsy & Wild
Nobody said a postcard can’t be personal. This Thank You note is all about brevity and conciseness. Great for our male shoppers.


Kerianne: Gwyneth Paige
Clean and simple. Beautiful. That’s what I look for in a Thank You card. I love that this card is blank on the inside because it allows me to fill it with my own thoughts of gratitude…even though they may not be as clever as some of the humor we carry, I always go for the simple thank you card. 


Tarah: Rifle
These are my favorite right now because they are small, beautiful, and the postcard form reminds me to send thank you’s more often, not just for the birthday gifts or large gestures of kindness. I love sending a card for simple things like a friend who is just awesome, for a phone call, or a coffee. Since they are so pretty I’ll look for more reasons to get these babies in the mail. Oh, and for frugal friends, postcard stamps are cheaper!

ty_antiqJaime: Antiquaria
Love the colors and mixing of patterns on these abstract Thank You cards. I enjoy cards that are fun to look at. It’s something I would want to put where I can see after reading vs. putting away in a box or tossing the next day.

ty_thanksAbbey: 6.25 Paper
I know, lame, I picked one of our own designs here, but if I’m not making my favorite shit then I’m not making the right stuff, eh? I just love this lettering, love the clean black, white and grey – it’s my fave!