Wolf & Wren Press

American Made Since 2010
2014 Crafts Finalist

Liz Wolf & Lauren Stapleton

Chicago, Illinois
Wolf & Wren Press is best friend duo, Liz Wolf and Lauren Stapleton. They collaborate to produce special hand-printed cards in short runs.
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Tell us about your business.

We met in childhood as budding artists who loved the outdoors and, at the time, basketball. As adults , our background in the arts range from printmaking, papermaking, painting and bookbinding. We collaborate on all aspects of the business from the conceptual beginnings to brass tacks logistics. Our cards are printed on a Vandercook SP15. We use only 100% cotton paper and our inks are mixed by hand. Our card designs are hand- lettered and hand- drawn illustrations. The cards are fed through the press one at a time on our antique printing press. It’s hard to tell when we first decided to start Wolf & Wren because we ‘ve really always been Wolf & Wren. The business became a reality in 2007 when Lauren pulled the trigger and bought a press. Looking forward to September 2017, we aspire for Wolf &Wren Press to be recognized in the card community as producing ultra unique innovative cards, and we anticipate carrying additional retailers and increasing profits.

Tell us about your workspace, shop, or studio.

We collaborate on our business from 1, 000 miles. Lauren prints the cards in her fully functioning printshop. Liz has a giant desk in her apartment to do drawings. We get together every few months, work on projects and spend time together. We talk everyday and use google hang outs when need be.

What inspires you?

We both have an internal drive to optimize our creativity in ways that are new and unique. We both have a background in art: printmaking, painting, paper making and bookbinding. We have a common love of folk art, vintage pieces, fresh design, and nature. The combination of good ideas, diligent planning, elbow grease, a lot of patience, and a little fun, have gotten us a long way. In the age of smartphones, e-books, and e-cards, we feel that the importance of this time- worn trade is especially significant. It is truly satisfying to produce a tangible product that spreads joy and connects people whether near or far.

What makes your business stand out?

Our designs and messages are original and fresh, showcasing our signature sense of charm and warmth. The narrative aspect, double-sided layout, and original drawings, give us a signature look. The execution of the letterpress is highest quality, really taking the aesthetic to the next level. Additionally, our business has grown from a labor of love, created by two hard-working, creative friends.

What advice would you give an aspiring creative entrepreneur?

Do it now! Then keep making it better. Do market research, but don’t let the little things hold you back. Work hard and have fun. Make a shop on Etsy. Do Renegade Craft Fairs. Find local businesses to showcase your work. Fine-tune your craft. Self promote. Keep organized: business bank account, spreadsheets, inventory. Surround yourself with people that love and support you. TCB (Take Care of Business) with a flash.

What does American Made mean to you?

American Made: Independent artisans making something with their hands and their hearts. It’s putting out high quality goods to the world that bring color and quality to a person’s livelihood; the little things that make a big difference. It’s advancing the field you work in with new ideas and fine -tuned skills. It’s connecting and supporting with other makers. We are thankful to be American made!

Mark Your Calendar

    Oct. 17, 2014

    2014 Award Winner and Audience Choice Winner announced.

    See past Award Winners
    Nov. 7, 2014

    Join Martha at the American Made Summit kickoff cocktail party.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 8, 2014

    Don’t miss our networking event and maker lecture series in New York City.

    Buy Tickets Now
    Nov. 15 - 16, 2014

    Shop for holiday gifts at the Martha Stewart American Made Pavilion.

    Learn More

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