Lilikoi Design + Letterpress

American Made Since 2007

Andria Sato

San Francisco, California
Our eco-friendly, traditional letterpress studio produces high quality, handmade products on our our hand-operated 1889 letterpress.

Tell us about your business.

We opened our doors in 2007—after several years of experience with print media, a desire to own my own business and my love for letterpress that started back in college. With an opportunity to own a circa 1889 manual press, there was no turning back. We have grown steadily creating and producing custom projects, running our studio with sustainable practices and using high quality, carefully chosen materials made in the USA. Custom projects include wedding invitations, stationery, business cards, hang tags and baby announcements. We have since expanded our Los Angeles location with a second studio location in San Francisco, which offers private lessons and group workshops—perfect for the hands-on, inquisitive artist community. This next year will be monumental for us as we are thrilled to launch a retail line of cards, stationery and limited edition items, inspired by the simple joy of giving and receiving handwritten notes.

What makes your business stand out?

We are unique because of the important practices we instill in our studio culture; we stay true to the traditional art of letterpress, which is done by mixing inks and printing by hand with 100% cotton paper that is specifically made for letterpress. We believe the machine will produce its best work with the best combination of design, materials, patience and a talented operator. The love and attention to detail we pour into our products— and the amazing clients we get to know makes our business shine. This comes naturally due to the combination of our custom projects and the variety of capabilities we offer. Lilikoi retail products are inspired by clean, classic and clever design that is meaningful and perfect to be used for all occasions. We wish to encourage the handwritten note. Our products are not only made by hand with a labor intensive, original art form—they are one of a kind and beautifully tactile. They are sure to stand out amongst other printed items.

What's the best business advice you've received?

The best business advice I've received is to maintain a healthy work/life balance, which I think is important for a role that involves creativity on a regular basis. I also think it's important to stay true and proud of the product you're making and to not compare yourself to others. Social media allows for some incredible exposure—trends, lifestyle, insight, but it's easy to get caught up in trying to keep up. Stay inspired, work hard and be proud of what you're doing by staying focused on being great and confident.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

    Nominate yourself
  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 8, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

    Meet the judges
  • Online Voting
    Sept. 15–Oct. 13, 2014

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    See the finalists
  • Winners Announced
    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winners and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
  • American Made Event
    Nov. 7–8, 2014

    Join us for our annual event in New York City.

    Buy tickets now

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