Today we’d like to introduce you to Carmela Heintzelman.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve always had a passion for typography and design. I started designing wedding invitations in 2001 and a few years later, learned how to print letterpress. Soon after, I acquired my own presses, which is the printing method I mainly use now. I love every aspect of a project, from sketching or hand lettering to perfecting the layout on the computer to finally printing the piece. There is something magical about taking a concept and seeing it through from start to finish.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Things have been fairly smooth for me. I face many of the common challenges that a lot of creative entrepreneurs face like trying to balance work/family life, which can be especially difficult with three kids thrown into the mix! Luckily, I have a very supportive husband who supports the passion I have for this business and takes on many responsibilities at home when I have printing to do.
Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Fiore Press – what should we know?
As the sole proprietress behind Fiore Press, I design and print beautiful letterpress paper goods. Letterpress is a very old printing method in which raised type is inked and literally pressed into the paper, resulting in a deep, crisp impression and a three-dimensional quality that really leaves an impression (no pun intended) on the recipient. I use 100% cotton papers that are tree free and very pillowy soft, which really shows off the beauty of letterpress and its tactile quality.
I mainly work with brides for their wedding invitations, but I also print party invitations, baby announcements, personal & business stationery and business cards. Additionally, I offer hand lettering and calligraphy services, as well as chalk lettering on larger signage. I love the uniqueness that each project brings; just as no two weddings are the same, no two projects are the same.
I am known for my attention to detail and quality work. I really pour my heart and soul into each project I print, making sure everything is perfect. I am also known for my hand lettering, so I love to be able to incorporate that with letterpress; It really makes for a unique printed piece. I love creating custom envelope liners and other embellishments. Currently, my favorite thing to embellish is painting on the edge of a super thick business card or invitation — it really adds a pop of color.
Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My husband is my biggest supporter — he takes the kids when I need to print and gives me great business advice! I’m also involved in a few groups such as Tuesdays Together (Rising Tide Society) and other networking groups for wedding professionals in Chicago. I find that being a part of a group where others face the same challenges specific to your niche is very helpful. Also, Lake Bluff and Lake Forest have a great group of wedding professionals with whom I’ve made wonderful connections and we refer our clients to one another with great confidence.
- Custom wedding invitations begin at $1500