We've introduced you to a few of our favorite creatives in the Twin Cities, but we haven't taken the time to give you some more info on the gals behind the scenes here at Printerette! We couldn't think of a better way to kick it off than with a few questions for Catherine, the brains of the whole operation.
Give us your back ground (Where are you from/school/work/etc.) and tell us how Printerette came to be.
I grew up in a big family in South Minneapolis and my mom stayed at home with us. She was a total domestic goddess and our house was really something to be seen. She’s a wizard with a sewing machine and was always encouraging our creative itches. Any crafty appliance you can imagine - we had: button makers, Gocco screen printers, huge bouquets of knitting needles all over the house. Because of her I’ve always found joy in all things hand-made.
As a little kid I always wanted to be a clothing designer. I sewed my little heart out all through high school and eventually got a degree in Fashion Design. I was super passionate about it! I got a job right out of college designing women’s clothing for a big box retailer here in Minneapolis and I did that for about 5 years. Funny though - after working in my "dream job" for awhile, it just didn't feel like my thing any more.
The stars sort of aligned when a friend asked if I had any interest in her aging dad's print equipment. I thought it was the weirdest, most random thing I'd ever been approached with and immediately told her I wasn’t interested. I had zero printmaking experience! But then I went back to my little cubicle and noodled the idea for awhile. After lots of daydreaming and probably not enough research, I decided I couldn't live without letterpress in my life. (I'm a bit hot and cold - can you tell?). Letterpress became a hobby while I continued my job in the clothing world, but about a year later (and with the economy in just about the worst place - yikes!), made the leap to full-time Printerette. The rest is inky, greasy history.
Tell us about your typical day.
I'm not a morning person, so my day starts a bit later than most and always with a coffee. I head to the studio, check emails, and get Molly, our amazing letterpress printer all set to go for the day. After morning correspondence, I usually get my hands dirty with whatever design projects I'm working on; this usually entails making a huge mess on my gigantic desk. I'll shove everything to the side for lunch. If I'm good, I'll have packed one, and if not, I'll run to the Seward Co-op for something. If I'm really not, I'll tell Heidi and Molly I'm going to the Seward Co-op but will actually be in the drive-thru at McDonald's.
We usually meet with clients in the evening, so I'll clean-up shop a bit to prepare for that and maybe run out to replenish our always rapidly-diminishing LaCroix supply. Meeting with clients is always a highlight of the day, as they usually mean I get to meet new people and have brainstorm ideas for their project.
At the end of the day, Moose and I head home. I like to do yoga if I can squeeze it in. After, Moose, Howie, and I spend the rest of the evening swatting at mosquitos over dinner on our deck.
What's your favorite project so far?
So many! Too hard of a question! Right now, I'm having the best time creating artwork for the huge, bare walls at A&Be bridal shop in Minneapolis. Their shop is mind-blowingly gorgeous and until recently the dresses have been what decorates the walls. I'm creating Minneapolis-centric artwork that is awesome but that will compliment, rather than steal the show from frocks. A custom map of Minneapolis, some exploded watercolor florals, and teeny portraits of the shopgirls are in the works as we speak.
If you hadn't started Printerette, what would you be doing?
I'd like to be a summertime mailwoman and a wintertime lipstick color namer.
Talk us through your perfect day in the Twin Cities.
A perfect day for me includes morning yoga and a bike ride to the St. Paul Farmers Market, where I'll find a breakfast sandwich, an iced coffee as big as possible, and some produce for the week. Later: read a book on the deck, and finish off the day with the best happy hour in the Twin Cities at Barbette, and ice cream at Milk Jam.
What are you binge-watching right now?
I'm LOVING Catastrophe on Amazon. It's so funny and so sweet and the characters remind me a little of me and Howie.
Have you read anything good lately?
Yes! So much. I've had a good run at my summer reading list lately and can't quit recommending Homegoing by Yaa Gyazi and A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara.
Favorite vacation spot?
Well, we just bought a cabin on a lake in Wisconsin and, though I haven't been there yet (we close this week), I'm so excited about it I'm going to go ahead and say: my cabin on a lake in Wisconsin. I already bought 4 floaties and am chomping at the bit to blow them up and float the day away.
That said, I spent the month of April in Paris and it was the best ever.
I rule at untangling tangled necklaces.
It's something I don't like to tell anyone but since you got me liquored up before this, I'll tell you that my 8 aunts call me Kitten.
Go to Karaoke song?
I have only sang Karaoke once and it was such a disaster, not only will I never do it again, I'll also never go back to the bar. The song was"(Your Love is Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" and I guess that's all I really want to tell you about that.
Who's your favorite co-worker (no-pressure)
Whichever one will share her lunch with me today.