Iron Curtain Press

American Made Since 2007

Rosanna Kvernmo & Joel Kvernmo

Los Angeles, California
High quality letterpress goods for your correspondence needs - custom stationery and invitations along with ready-made greeting cards and prints.

Tell us about your business.

Rosanna: We are about making things. We are about clean design and simple communication. We are about becoming the best printers we can possibly be. With these in mind, we strive to create products that reflect our minimal design aesthetic, our obsessive quest for perfection and our love for the finishing details. Everything we make is created in house, from the design to the production - and to me, that is super exciting. It all started when I took a letterpress class, and then became an apprentice in a letterpress shop in Seattle. After that, I figured out what I could do to keep printing and have a sustainable business creating beautiful things. When Joel and I met, it was exciting to use both of our different skill sets to keep growing this business. His background is in Fine Art and photography - it has been a natural partnership from the beginning. As our business grows, we hope to continue to expand our product line and to work with other similarly minded people.

What makes your business stand out?

To be your own boss is such a great privilege. I am thankful every day that I have the opportunity to run a business, doing what I love. Amongst this group of American Made nominees, our story may not stray too far from others - we are two people who have followed our passions and made a career out of doing what we love. But as we work with our clients and encounter the wider community around us, I know our lifestyle, and the way in which we pursue our craft and business have inspired others to find and follow their own passions. We are constantly looking beyond the stationery world for our inspiration. We strive to create products that we love and that we haven't been able to find elsewhere.

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

Don't be afraid. Don't give up. Grow your business slowly. It is easy to be discouraged in the first stages of your entrepreneurship. I am so thankful we have kept our goals in mind and have worked hard to achieve them. The helpful advice to not be afraid and not give up are more encouragements, I suppose - but they have been essential during difficult times. We have been reminded in different ways that the main reason businesses fail is because they run out of money. And a surefire way to run out of money is to grow too quickly. Patience is an incredible virtue when running a small business.

Mark Your Calendar

  • Nominations
    June 3–Aug. 29, 2014

    Nominate yourself or other aspiring makers.

  • Judging
    June 23–Sept. 9, 2014

    Judges will select finalists throughout this period.

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

    Vote for your favorite American makers.

    Vote now
  • 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

More Finalists