Yes! You made it through the first half of Monday. Now take a break (you've earned it), kick up your feet and join us for this week’s Q & A with Rexmake. Kristen Fava is the creative mind behind all of the greeting cards and letterpress work at the Harrisburg-based shop. She has a great story and we are so excited that she took the time to chat with us.
// What got you started in creating prints and print design?
While I was pursuing a degree in graphic and web design, I was desperate to find a way to step away from the computer and work with my hands. During my studies, I was introduced to letterpress and became instantly enthralled. It combined my loves of design, typesetting, hand-mixing inks, beautiful papers, as well as working with giant machines and tools.
I once heard a veteran printer say, "It's a disease. You get really interested in this and it gets out of hand.” That couldn’t be more true. I’m completely obsessed.
// What was the one print or product that you thought would never sell?
When I designed the card, “Thanks for not giving up after the first child,” I had to bounce the idea off of my brother and ask him if he thought it might be taken the wrong way. As the second child, I originally made the card as a joke to give to my mom on Mother’s Day. I thought it was hilarious, but had no clue how it would be received by the public. When I did the initial print run, I only made about 50 cards and assumed they might not sell. Little did I know that it would become my most popular card.
// How did friends and family react to you starting your business?
I’m so lucky to be surrounded by friends, family, and a community of fellow printers who have encouraged me to turn my business into a reality. Everyone has been incredibly supportive and I love that it has become a regular topic of conversation when friends and family tell me about crazy things that have happened to them and trying to turn that into a greeting card saying.
// What was your favorite customer reaction to your business?
When people come to my table at markets, I like to take a step back and let them thumb through the cards and read their messages. Getting to stand there and watch people’s faces light up—or even better—to see and hear them let out huge belly laughs. That is the most rewarding part of doing what I do. My goal is to make people smile and getting to see people react in such a positive way makes me so happy.