Letterpresto: Stationery Saturday at Lunalux

Inside Story LEDE570

[Alyson Kuhn] On the afternoon of Saturday, December 8, my houseguest and I were enjoying warm almond croissants in downtown Carmel. I started to look something up on my smarty phone—I have no idea what it might have been, because when I slid the phone open, some e-mails started flowing in… including one from Lunalux in Minneapolis. Up popped a photo that actually made me forget about my croissant. How had I missed this on my laptop earlier in the week?!

Lunalux proprietor Jenni Undis says, “I have been really interested in security envelopes for a while—with no specific goal in mind, just wanting to use them for something. I have thousands of them.”

The e-mail said: “It’s Stationery Saturday. We’re calling the cards this week Security Flats—because the patterns printed on these flat cards were all discovered inside the security envelopes that our bills are mailed in! Four designs are available this week: blue plaid, merlot twists, green holly and gray stones. The text of your choosing will be printed in black ink using one of two lead fonts: 12-point Univers Bold or Bernhard Modern.”

Printing Kuhncierge on half my cards was Jenni’s inspiration; inside scoop (at top) was my idea.

The absolute only reason I’ve never been to a Stationery Saturday, where Jenni Undis serves up what I have always thought of as “letterpress take-out,” is that Lunalux is in Minneapolis. But I’ve heard all about it from Jenni. Customers get to wander around the shop while their notecards are being printed. A single order of the “printed thing du jour” is 10 cards, for the charming price of $29. I know that many of Lunalux’s stationery wares are printed on 110# Bright White Strathmore Bristol cover, because Jenni spontaneously told me, “That is my favorite paper for stationery. I love how it looks when we print on it.” As if all this weren’t jolly enough, Jenni always bakes cookies too.

This mosaic security pattern, a favorite of mine, looks like it’s actually embossed, which it’s not.

As you can see, letterpress luck was with me: Jenni herself answered the phone, and she did not seem to mind that I was calling at the rather last minute (5:40 p.m. in Minneapolis, 20 scant minutes before the official end of Sationery Saturday). Two of the other patterns were completely gone, but three sets of blue plaid remained. I bought them all pronto, acing out by seconds a customer who was actually in the shop and decided on blue plaid moments after I’d cornered the market. I felt like an art collector placing the winning auction bid by phone!

Jenni thought Security Flats might make a nice “guy gift.” She was right.

To prepare for Stationery Saturday, Lunalux usually prints up enough materials to be able to personalize between 30 and 50 sets of cards or notebooks, or whatever the printed thing du jour is. For the Security Flats, they printed up tennish sets of each pattern.

One Stationery Saturday last spring, the theme was crests (clip art cuts) with personalization.

When I ask Jenni whether Stationery Saturdays have attracted a regular following, she says, “We do have several customers who come repeatedly—including one gal who comes almost every time. She always buys something—often for her step-mom and for her step-mom’s friends. She actually has a list of the friends and what they like—their interests, favorite colors, whether they prefer stationery or folded cards… .”

Personalized notebooks are always popular.

Jenni continues, “For Stationery Saturday, we usually do notebooks once a year. We have all the parts for saddle-stitching a small notebook, and we score various colors of covers in advance, with our little Lunalux logo on the back. We sell them in sets of five. We have another customer who also comes almost every time. Recently she sent me a photo of the caddy on her desk with all her Lunalux stuff. Many of the people who come in are old friends of the business. They get the e-blasts. One will appeal to them, and they come in and say, ‘I don’t know if you’ll remember me,’ and I usually do.”

Kathleen Fluegel keeps her personalized Stationery Saturday acquisitions handy on her desk. She says, “One of the reasons I show up is I also love to give personalized stationery as gifts.”

I ask Jenni what her favorite aspects of Stationery Saturday are. She replies instantly. “It’s a lot of work, but it’s about my favorite thing we do. I love when the studio is full of people. On a normal day, there are shoppers and delivery people—but on Stationery Saturday, there are 8 or 10 or 12 people in the shop nonstop. I like telling people about what we do, and I like being a hostess.”

My recent postal homage to Jenni, with whom I’ve had a fun rant about people who misspell stationery. I made the envelope from a page of an old Savoir Faire art materials catalog.

Lunalux is located at 1618 Harmon Place, Minneapolis, Minn. 55403. Tel: 612.373.0526. The first Stationery Saturday of 2013 will be held Saturday, Feb. 9, 2013, just in time for Valentines Day. To be added to the e-blast list, send your request to [email protected]

Photos: 1, 3, 9 © 2013 StudioAlex; all others courtesy of Lunalux.

 

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Comments (1)

  1. Posted by notely on 01.28.13 at 11:53 am

    What a fantastic story. And, I love Jenni’s new twist on security envelopes … in fact I’m crazy for them. Wish I could go to these events in Minneapolis! So cool.

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