Officially launched during the summer of 2007, but in unofficial operation since 2003, Pistachio Press is the brainchild of Rachael Hetzel. Since acquiring her 1st press, several hundred pounds of type and a 2nd letterpress, Rachel has been hard at work making a name for herself in the the world of paper. Using both letterpress and screen-printing techniques, Rachel creates fine stationery and social invitations with the occasional foray beyond stationery & invitation printing. She has worked on a calendar (which will be carried in the Indie Fixx Shop) with artist Tara Hogan and has a new line of screen-printed onesies from a collaboration with designer Sam Posnick.
I’m really pleased to be able to share my interview with Rachael with you today for Wednesday Indie Artist Fixx. I have a love of paper things and I am always fascinated to learn more about the people who create the paper things that I crave. I am assuming that you feel the same as me. 😉
1. What’s the name of your business, what do create and sell and how did you get your start?
I own a letterpress business named Pistachio Press (on Etsy as well). I sell letterpress printed stationery and wedding invitations. I also have a new line of screen-printed onesies that were a collaboration with designer Sam Posnick. I was trained as a printmaker and during grad school I used letterpress printing in my artwork. I eventually transitioned into printing note cards and wedding stationery.
2. Do you have a mentor? If not, who would your dream mentor be?
I don’t have a single person that I would consider as a mentor. Rather, I have a close group of very talented friends who help keep me inspired and give me advice when I need it. I know that they have my best interests at heart and that I can depend on their honest feedback.
3. What are your inspirations in your art and in life?
The imagery in my cards is inspired by my personal artwork, which includes patterns and themes of storytelling and memory. I love old wallpaper, my grandmother’s photo albums, and watching my two dogs play.
4. Is your home messy or organized? Which one do you think is ideal and why?
Most of the time it’s an organized mess. I like to make piles so I can see everything I have going on at once. It drives my husband crazy, but I know just where everything is when I need it. I’ve started to work on this a bit, and now I try to contain my clutter to my office or the dining room (AKA my shipping center).
5. What three things can’t you live without?
My husband and dogs (they’re a package deal), my laptop, and hot chocolate (most junk food, actually).
6. What blogs and mags do you read and what shops do you shop at?
Magazines: Readymade, Domino, Martha Stewart Weddings, gossip magazines in the grocery store checkout
Shops: lots of great shops on Etsy, thrift stores, ReHouse
7. What’s the best thing about what you do? And the worst?
There are many things that I love about what I do. I can set my own schedule. I use my hands to make beautiful things. I am able to work with a variety of very sweet clients. I have the opportunity to collaborate with other artists.
The worst part about what I do is that I have a hard time turning it off. I have had to set limits for myself to stop answering emails at midnight and canceling plans with friends to work on the weekend. I find that I’m more productive at work when I take time for myself.
8. What does indie mean to you? You can give a literal definition, choose to be a little esoteric or a combination of both. 😉
To me indie is something with more heart than most things we find in the mainstream. It is about embracing local food, handmade goods, and independent ideas.
9. What are you reading, watching and listening to?
Although I rarely find time to read these days, I recently finished Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. It was totally inspiring and helped me on my quest for setting work limits. In the past few weeks I’ve been watching a lot of election coverage. I also love trashy reality tv and cheesy romantic comedies. I mostly listen to 80’s pop music and NPR.
10. What’s one thing you’ve learned as an adult that you wish you knew when you were a kid?
That it’s ok to have fun and be spontaneous! As a kid, I was pretty serious, hung out with the good kids and got good grades. These things certainly helped me be able to start my own business, but it would have been fun to get into trouble once in a while.
11. What’s new? Any new plans or products that you want to share?
This past summer I had the opportunity to collaborate with artist Shanna Murray on a set of five letterpress-printed cards. It was an awesome experience where we sat side-by-side on our laptops during the design process and spent many hours together printing, folding, and packaging the cards.
Coming up is the launch of my 2009 letterpress wall calendar collaboration, which was designed by Ink+Wit and printed by yours truly. Right now we’re taking pre-orders. We will be shipping them in mid-October, as soon as I’m finished with the printing! Both collaboration are available in my Etsy shop.