How did you start your stationery shop, Greenwich Letterpress?
We actually started our shop in the 1990's in our NJ childhood bedrooms. We used to talk about owning a coffee shop/art gallery (that only played the coolest music) in the Village. (hahaha) Little did we know that almost 15 years later we would be signing an actual lease in the West Village.
My sister Amy was going to start a print shop on her own, where she would design/print wedding invitations and stationery. I decided to go into business with her and that meant adding a retail store component into the mix. In 2005 the new generation of craft fairs were popping up all over the country and Etsy (when it was only handmade makers) was booming. We wanted to offer custom hand-printed paper goods in a brick and mortar space where you could also shop for the unique cards and gifts (felt meat pillows anyone!) that we were loving from online and afar. We wanted to build a shop that felt like all of the niche stores we shopped as kids and teens in the city.
Sixteen years later lots of things have changed, trends have come and gone (everything was inexplicably brown in 2006) but we have stayed as close to our original ideas as possible. Covid made us appreciate the things about our shop that are the most fun and lighthearted, and we have been bringing in even more goodies to reflect that. Our goal to be a unique space with an eclectic mix of new, old, handmade and sometimes not is still what pushes us today.
What's your favorite part about the New York creative community?
Honestly, that we even get to be a part of it at all. Anyone that lives in and loves NYC can easily list the stores, some long gone and some brand new, that make them happy. A little place that makes you smile on your way to somewhere else. A place that feels like it could only exist in this city. Just being able to be a small piece of a long history of creative entrepreneurs that contribute to the energy of this city, is like a dream.
It also goes without saying that we admire the entire creative community in NYC, and feel such a strong kinship to anyone struggling to make it work. We have met so many creatively diverse and interesting people over the years because of the store, and our conversations with them are some of the best we have had.
What's inspiring you right now?
Beth: early signs of spring, stickers, clown cones, tiny items and giant items, drawing with crayons, canned whipped cream, toddler clothes, VEEP repeats & learning about what the "kids are into these days" from our rad trio of female employees
Amy: scanning old Tumblr pages of 90's NYC, reading "It Never Ends" by Tom Scharpling, nice weather, farmers markets, and watching skinny jeans go away :)
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