Season One, Episode Six: A Designer and Letterpress Printer Talks About the Ups and Downs of the Wedding Industry (and How to Raise Your Prices and Save Your Sanity)
A Designer and Letterpress Printer Talks About the Ups and Downs of the Wedding Industry (and How to Raise Your Prices and Save Your Sanity) with Britt Rohr of Swell Press
Britt Rohr of LA-based Swell Press is at the forefront of a once-dying, now resurrected art: letterpress printing. With her five enormous vintage letterpress machines and a small but dedicated team, she designs and creates invitations, business stationery, and brand collaborations for her discerning customers.
Every single invitation or business card that leaves Britt's studio has been hand-fed through one of her letterpress machines after the custom letterpress plates have been made and specific ink colors have been hand-mixed. If an invitation has two or more colors, each color gets its own specific letterpress plate and custom-mixed color. This craft is not an easy or quick one to do, but the results are so worth it.
On this episode, Britt discusses how she went from the entertainment industry to owning a handmade creative business, how she deals with copycats and setting boundaries with her proprietary information and designs, how she manages her CRM and contracts, setting her prices to reflect her worth, the biggest business mistakes she's made, and the thoughtful advice she'd give to her former self.
00:05:00: Letterpress printing 101. What is it? How long does it take? Can you letterpress on anything?
00:11:40: How did Britt get started in letterpress printing and design? What has her career trajectory looked like? How did she take her business from one machine in her garage to five machines in a 1400 square foot studio?
00:21:00: Britt shares her advice for people starting out in the industry.
00:31:00: Does Britt get wedding fatigue? How does she set boundaries with her clients?
00:45:00: What do her systems look like? Which CRM does she use? How does she handle contracts and proof agreements?
00:53:00: How has she set her pricing to reflect her value and make sure she's fairly compensated?
01:06: Britt talks more about education and workshops, and the future of those in her business model.
01:12:00: How does she set boundaries with followers and clients when she gets dozens of Instagram DMs a day? What does she do when people ask for proprietary information?
01:19:00: How does she deal with copycats?
01:28:00: Our "Back to the Future" segment - what advice would she give to her former self? What are the biggest business mistakes she's made?
01:34:00: "A Day in the Life" - Britt walks us through the day-to-day of running her business.
01:42:00: Listener questions - what's her favorite part of running her business? What are her tips on hiring a good team? How would calligraphers or artists reach out to work with her? Are there any trends she's noticing in wedding stationery?
02:00:00: Our Quick Answer segment where Britt tells us about her favorite pump up song, biggest hero, and favorite movie (Hint: it involves dinosaurs and Jeff Goldblum, whom she loved before it was a thing).