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Meet Allison and Jamie Nadeau of INK MEETS PAPER

Today we’d like to introduce you to Allison and Jamie Nadeau.

Hi Allison and Jamie; we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
Jamie and I are the wife-and-wife owners of INK MEETS PAPER. While we were living in Savannah, GA (and Jamie was attending Savannah College of Art and Design), we found our love of design and for working on creative projects with one another (which included designing custom stationery and invitations for friends and family). Along with a move to Charleston, SC, and corporate jobs as an editor and interaction designer, we discovered a love for the craft of letterpress printing in 2008 with a printmaking class at a local art studio. After spending so much time behind the screen, it was refreshing to be so hands-on and involved in the physical process of creating a printed piece. That same year, we purchased our first press, a 1,000+ pound Chandler & Price printing press (made in 1923!), and moved it into a spare bedroom in our house. At first, we focused solely on learning the craft of traditional printing rather than immediately trying to turn it into a business (we weren’t exactly sure what we wanted from this). We were both working other full-time jobs at the time, so we were able to take things slowly. As we became comfortable printing, we started to explore more of the industry (stationery/greeting cards, wedding invitations, custom printing for others).

Handwritten correspondence resonated with us — it’s a beautiful and timeless way to connect with those you love. In particular, we saw greeting cards as an easy and accessible way for people to communicate with one another. We started developing a collection of greeting cards to help spread a bit more love and kindness and launched the INK MEETS PAPER® greeting card line in 2010. Since then, we’ve grown our team, printed and shipped hundreds of thousands of cards to retailers across the country (and internationally), added new equipment, opened a retail shop in our Charleston studio, then closed that shop to move our operations to Greenville, SC. All along the way, we’ve continued to add new cards and paper products to the collection, all to inspire people to send more handwritten love.

Alright, let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what challenges have you had to overcome?
Obstacles and challenges are a constant part of both printing and business ownership! Whether it’s troubleshooting an inking issue with one of our antique presses to navigating supply chain issues while fulfilling wholesale orders with national retailers, it’s just part of the day-to-day. I think once we accept that challenges and obstacles are a part of life (and business ownership), it becomes much easier to move through them rather than allow them to be this insurmountable hurdle. One step at a time and one day at a time go a long way in moving forward!

We’ve been impressed with INK MEETS PAPER, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share about what you do and what sets you apart?
Sharing love (handwritten love) matters. It keeps us human. At the core, love unites us, and it’s what we believe everyone should experience. The INK MEETS PAPER greeting card line emphasizes the beauty and humanity of handwritten correspondence, and we’re all about spreading more love in the world.

Why handwritten? Because it requires thoughtfulness and deliberateness these days. It allows us to bare our souls to another human. It’s not just about doing it for social media. What’s so carelessly and thoughtlessly dashed off in a text or post requires a deeper dive when you sit down to put an actual pen to paper. It’s the extra step—the extra thought.

Our line is known for hand-lettered and illustrated details paired with fresh and original sentiments. We love bold and vibrant colors. Since we’re a greeting card company, we’re very copy driven. We want the sentiments on our cards to be a starting point for the person adding their message to the interior— which we always keep blank. As a result, much of our card inspiration comes from our relationships and those we observe. Our company is a big proponent of the power of the handwritten note— we believe that with each card sent, the world gets more love and humanity. Our motto is “Text less. Write more.®” All INK MEETS PAPER cards are letterpress printed at our studio in sunny South Carolina. Our oldest press is a Chandler & Price platen press from 1896, and our youngest is a Heidelberg Windmill from 1959. We love a good piece of antique equipment around here— they don’t make them like they used to! We take craftsmanship and quality seriously to produce a finished product that is delightful to the senses, visually and tactilely. After printing, every single product at INK MEETS PAPER is assembled by one of our team members at our Greenville, South Carolina studio. From sliding a single greeting card into a cello sleeve and affixing the paper label to painting the edges of our social stationery cards, it’s a hands-on, human process supporting the hands-on human writing process.

We’d love to hear what you think about risk-taking.
Business is all about taking leaps and risks— big or small. Jamie likes to say, “find comfort in the discomfort.” When you think you have it figured out, something new comes along (and for business owners, it’s what keeps it exciting). From learning to operate antique printing equipment, hiring our first employee, producing and shipping pallets of greeting cards to national retailers, and moving our entire business and operations from Charleston to Greenville, it’s about continued growth.

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