Every time I step into The Grove Street Press’s shop all I want to do is sit down and write everyone I know a letter or card. Every detail, from their adorable letterpress stationery, to their Louisiana Parish prints, to their amazing shop decor immediately invites you in and makes you want to go on a treasure hunt! Their collection of antique stamps and taxidermy water fowl are among my favorite things to adore in the shop.
Started by cousins Anna Marilyn and Kate Alice from Lake Charles, The Grove Street Press started as a labor of love from two girls who grew up surrounded by hallmarks of their Southern pasts and the tradition of letterpress printing. They’ve now combined these passions into a unique and captivating business. Tour their shop in New Orleans’ CBD above and check out their interview below.
You two have such a great rapport with each other and your products are truly one of a kind. Can you tell us what made you want to start working together?
Anna and I are cousins — our moms are sisters and very close, and we both share their personalities and tastes. The rapport is not at all forced; it comes naturally! We’ve always been good friends, but applying that relationship to a business partnership wasn’t planned. I moved back to Louisiana after a stint in Chicago with a mind to start a letterpress business, and Anna happened to have the availability to jump on board, which she did about two months into the planning — and that’s when things really took off.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
We’ve met so many amazing people! We knew we loved New Orleans, but we didn’t realize how warm and welcoming the small business community is here until we were in it. We had so many new connections almost immediately! Those local connections, through social media, etc, have led to discovered kindred spirits throughout the country. It helps make the world cozy to be in touch with people with a shared vision.
Your shop is filled with vintage and one of a kind historical peices. Can you describe your own personal style for us? How has it had an impact on the look and feel of your space?
Anna’s and my style, just like our rapport, is a product of our upbringing. Our childhood homes were filled with American antiques and folk art, and we were raised to respect tradition — both our own, lived, tradition, and traditional crafts. We have a deep love for the handmade, American heritage, collegiate look. We’ve combined that look with aspects of the industrial, to envelope our antique printing presses, and our shop was born!
Tell us about your shop dog Mildred! She inspired a line of cards from you. What’s it like having such a charismatic face to your brand?
Mildred is a parti labradoodle with an extremely mild temperament and loads of personality. Our Mildred card line is meant to be funny, but Mildred herself is such a lady! We could really see her overpacking for weekend trips with her puppy friends, or putting on sunnies and a headscarf for an outdoor cocktail hour. (…or maybe we’re just imposing our own personalities and wishes onto hers….but still. She’s a great pal and a joy of a shop dog!)
What advice would you offer other women looking to start their own business?
Don’t start a business just because you like the idea of it, or because you’re tired of 9-5. Make sure you’re fully aware of its ins and outs and like those, too. There’s a hard, daily grind that goes along with being a small business owner; It’s not always the fun and games that Instagram makes it out to be!
If you didn’t live in New Orleans, where would you live?
The Northeast! We’d set up our presses in an old barn near the countryside; someplace where all four seasons are real things. But we’d still be within driving distance of Manhattan, so we could pop in regularly for shopping and dining.
This post originally appeared on A-Little-Happy.com, a website I founded that served as a site to inspire creatives & entrepreneurs to obtain a better work-life balance. The site garnered over 78,000 views. It has since been discontinued.