small business spotlight: mercy and lo press

i met Paige when we worked together at Hume Lake in the summer of 2009 (we worked with kids and babies, very fun stuff!). She has since graduated college, gotten married, and started this rad business, Mercy and Lo Press! I emailed her to ask if she'd be interested in being our very first Small Business Spotlight-er and she agreed and was so great with answering the questions i had for her! Here is what she had to say:

Tell us about yourself.
hi! I am Paige and the owner of Mercy & Lo Press. My husband and I are kind of nomads—we’ve lived in 3 different states in the last year (a 1500 lb. press doesn’t make it easy, but it’s worth it!). We are currently in Kansas City, MO and will be taking a more permanent residence (at least somewhat) in California starting in the fall.
What is Mercy and Lo Press?
Mercy & Lo is a fully functioning letterpress print and design shop. We are about to open our online shop which will sell stationery boxes and greeting cards. A large portion of my business is custom work—business cards, wedding invitations, etc.  I bought a vintage letterpress from an old studio in Boston and have been creating ever since. Letterpress is a very technical skill and requires a hefty amount of training, so the learning curve is high. It is a beautiful art form that has a strong and beautiful history. The press produces such beautiful works of art, and artists all over the world are creating the most imaginative and creative paper products. I am constantly challenged to improve and perfect my skill. Starting a creative business (or any, for that matter) is not for the weak of heart. It is the most challenging thing I have ever done, but by far the most rewarding.
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What inspired you to start it and how did you get started?

I didn’t have a job after I got married. We were living in Boston and when I gave up on the monotonous job search, I put all of my unemployment energy into starting a business. I was pursuing graphic design and taking classes online, and while I enjoyed the process, I missed working with my hands. I wanted to combine graphic design with an actual physical product. Letterpress became a natural option for me. It’s a perfect blend of graphic design and working with my hands. When thinking about starting a creative business, I wanted to create an art that was usable and accessible. Letterpress is an art form that I am constantly using and giving and writing on. Art isn’t just for the walls—it is most beautiful when we embrace it as a part of ourselves and give it to others.
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Is there any meaning behind the name?
Mercy and Lois are my nieces names (they are cute and snuggly and irresistibly perfect).
 
What is your favorite part of your business?
Every day is different and I have the freedom to plan it in a way that is most effective for me. I divide my week into blocks, which allows me to lose myself in the craft. I read once that a key source of happiness is “getting in the zone”—doing something you love and entering in with abandon. In my shop, I try to do that as much as possible, whether I’m on the press, working in Illustrator, or wrapping orders for shipment.
I love watching a design come to life on paper. It is all a labor of love and it’s so rewarding when a project is done, because each piece reflects so many steps and layers of work.
How can we place an order?
Until my shop opens, I am only taking custom orders. On my website (mercyandlopress.com), there is a contact form. We’ll get the ball rolling and start creating something beautiful!
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What are you future dreams or plans for Mercy and Lo?
I can’t wait for the shop to open—we have been working so hard to create beautiful products that can be sold in our online shops and stores around the country. We are also working on a subscription service—stay tuned for more!
Anything else you'd like to share about yourself or your business?
Love what you do & give it your whole heart. Success in inevitable if passion and drive are behind it.

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(look how classy she is!!! what a lady.)

be sure to check out paige's website, here!

-Han