Metal Doily Press

American Made Since 2012

Monique Alaniz

Long Beach, California
Letterpress & design studio in Long Beach, Calif., specializing in unique handcrafted wedding, personal stationery, and greeting cards.

Tell us about your business.

The idea of Metal Doily Press began in 2008, the economy was tanking so I took a letterpress class to continue my education. I found a great letterpress community through BriarPress which led to me buying a press of my own. In 2012, with the encouragement of family and friends I finally had the courage to create my first line. I showcased at local craft shows and was asked to have my goods sold in some retail shops. Currently I offer custom wedding invitations and readymade stationery paper goods based on designs that I create using both digital and hand drawn elements. I would like to outfit my studio so that I can offer a better variety of goods. By getting my own platemaking machine I can cut down on production time and pass those savings to my clients. By getting a Vandercook flatbed press I would be able to offer posters of my designs that would be better suited as home decor. In getting an industrial paper cutter I would be able quickly cut down paper to the job's needs.

What makes your business stand out?

I feel that my particular aesthetic is what makes my business unique. I really enjoy curating imagery and design researching to the tastes I have developed over the years by things I enjoy. I hope that by creating pieces I would buy if I saw them made by someone else that they will catch the eye of others who have been searching for stationery that represents their distinct likes and sentiments. I have been building on my traditional design degree and letterpress print making experience by learning other crafts such as sign painting and calligraphy to bring a greater level of hand crafted elements into my designs. For weddings specifically, coming up with a suite that fully reflects a couple's big day in their unique taste is the best feeling and I enjoy meeting with couples and mapping out all of their wedding suite needs.

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

Watching Michelle Dreher's interview for the documentary series Roadtrip Nation was especially useful. In the interview she talks about not waiting for it to feel like 'the perfect moment' to get started with your business. The whole time you wait for that to happen you could have been doing something, anything to get you ahead with a goal. This has been the best advice for two reasons: 1) Any step, no matter how small, is a learning opportunity that will enrich your business. You will learn what not to do the next time or what to replicate and improve on. 2) I've learned that when you're really interested in something and you make your intentions known people want to help you succeed.

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