It’s time to introduce you to the next maker in our Meet the Maker Series! This week, we’re so excited to introduce you to Jill of Ruff House Print Shop - a woman owned & run letterpress print shop. Their notebooks have been such a huge hit in our boxes this season and we're not surprised (we want to keep every single one for ourselves)!
We had the privilege of interviewing Jill about their business & are so thrilled to share it with you.
Keep reading for our full Q&A with Jill & shop Ruff House Art in our boxes below!
Ruff House is a woman owned and run letterpress print shop in downtown Lawrence, Kansas. Each product we create expresses our love of the outdoors and adventure, small-town values and positivity. In 2009, I followed a dream of “someday” and bought a 1915 antique letterpress, quit my designer day job and Ruff House was born. Five years later, in 2014 I upped my solopreneur game, moved my print shop out of my basement and into a gorgeous downtown space and topped it off with a stationery & gift retail store. Today, our team of 4 women spends the day creating products, fulfilling orders and chatting up local customers!
Our best-selling line of gifts and stationery features hand letterpress printed artwork created by us and has appeared in over 600 independent boutiques around the world and select national retailers like Anthropologie and Paper Source. In addition to home office stationery such as planners, calendars, greeting cards, and pencils, we also create home goods products like notepads, recipe books, coasters and enamel pins.
I have loved paper ever since I was a little girl. As a child, my best friend's mom worked at a newspaper printing press in our super small hometown. They had a back room full of every color of paper you could imagine (or at least that's how I remember it now!) and I LOVED when we got to go there! They would always let us pick out paper to take home and I treasured that paper. Paper & stationery stores have always been my favorite kind of stores and I was really big into scrapbooking back when I had time for that sort of thing. I started my early career days in graphic design working at a few marketing agencies and eventually decided to go out on my own and freelance. That kind of organically pivoted into the business I have today. I can truly say that I turned my "hobby" into my business and the line between work and play isn't even there anymore. It's all just fun!
Read all the books. Listen to all the podcasts. Just consume as much information as you can. I look back and think "what if I had done this (insert any number of things) from the beginning, where would I be now". It's easy to look back at more than a decade of business and examine all the what if’s and I should have done that’s. But in reality, a lot has changed in the world and how things are done in 11 years! When I started, there was no Instagram or Pinterest. And while I am sure building your newsletter list was probably a thing, it didn't seem to cross my path until way later.
Also - don't be afraid to stray from the path you thought you wanted or the one you think you should be on. I have pivoted my business mindset so many times that if you had told me 10 years ago that this would be what I am doing, I would have never believed it. Don't be afraid to try new things, shift with the trends and follow your heart.
Without spending money - Follow us on instagram and then interact with our posts. Sign up for our newsletters. Share our brand with your friends. Send us emails or DM's when words of encouragement or how much you love our brand. It truly makes a difference and keeps up the motivation! Financially - obviously any purchase is unbelievably appreciated always, but now more than ever. Whether you buy one greeting card or you by 15 notebooks - we are so thankful.
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