[Alyson Kuhn] This is the card that makes me happiest from National Stationery Show 2012. It’s one of 11 in Sapling Press’ new Made Up Stats line, designed and printed by Lisa Krowinski in Pittsburgh, Penn., translating the hilarious tweets of Will Rolls (@madeupstats) into lovely letterpress. This design was the second most popular with buyers, who ordered over 1000 Made Up Stats cards at the show. And that is not a made-up stat. What’s in first place?
Lisa Krowinski likes grammar. She thinks it’s important, and she thinks it can be funny. (Her motto at her Etsy shop is “Smart letterpress for you and yours.”) I first met her at the National Stationery Show (NSS) in 2010. It was slightly after hours, and we were walking toward each other in an otherwise empty aisle. She was toting a bag that compelled me to exclaim, “Oh, excuse me, I desperately need that bag.”
Sapling Press’ bag promotes proper spelling, as originally featured in our 2010 “Staysh of the art” report.
The screen-printed bag was Sapling Press’ giveaway at the 2010 show. It proved so popular that Lisa now offers the bag as a product, available at Etsy and as a wholesale item to retailers.
At the 2011 show, Sapling Press debuted the Dear Blank line of cards, produced in partnership with Jared Wunsch and Hans Johnson, co-founders of the community forum dearblankpleaseblank.com. The line won Best New Product. The site and the cards are still going strong. Sapling Press now offers 15 Everyday cards and four Holiday cards in this line. I’m tickled to say that my favorite back then is still the best seller. Noah joke.
Lisa is delighted to talk about discovering @madeupstats on Twitter and tracking down its author. “I happened upon the site in September of 2011. I thought they were so funny, and I immediately tweeted to a bunch of people, and within about 5 minutes, people were already replying. I thought, ‘What am I doing? This could be a new line of cards!’ Well, his Twitter site had about 25,000 followers — and no contact info whatsoever … no website, and on Twitter, you can’t send someone a message unless they’re also following you.”
My faves. The disappearing stapler card is Lisa’s personal favorite. The apostrophe card is currently in fourth place with NSS buyers. Find your faces on Sapling Press’ Felt & Wire Shop.
Lisa continues, “I thought, ‘Shoot, how am I going to get in touch with him? No way.’ Well, in Twitter, you can mention someone, and if they look at their Twitter feed, they’ll see that you’ve mentioned them. I couldn’t think of anything else to try, but I was sure he was never going to see my shout-out, which basically just said, ‘Hey, @madeupstats — if you get this, could you contact me?’”
Mr. Made Up Stats was quick to respond. “At 2 a.m. that night, he e-mailed me! I e-mailed back, stating my interest and asked, ‘Can we turn this into a line of greeting cards?’ I explained about my collaboration with Dear Blank. Will totally loved the idea and sent me a link to some of his tweets that had circulated the most.”
Lisa has an intellectual property lawyer, who has arranged for her to license Rolls’ Twitter feed. Eight months into it, they are indeed on a Rolls.
Photos: 1, 3, 5, 8 © 2012 StudioAlex