You See CS: Find sustainable stationary at local small business, Ladyfingers Letterpress

     The perfect card is not always easy to find. If you go to the store, you usually find a generic, manufactured folded piece of cardstock with machine-printed text. Purchasing a handmade card from a local company can mean so much more. 

     Ladyfingers Letterpress is a small business with a passion for creating original and custom wedding invitations, cards and other stationery. Co-founders Arley Torsone and Morgan Calderini wanted to share their passions of designing and printing with the community. The business was founded in 2011, and its flagship store opened in Colorado Springs in 2016. 

     “We believe that you don’t have to be a large company to make a big impact,” the Ladyfingers Letterpress website states. “We take pride in making things by hand, locally, and sustainably. If it’s not made in our shop, you better believe we’ve done our best to research other environmentally-friendly businesses to collaborate with.” 

     The company’s story began when Torsone and Calderini met while working at an arts nonprofit in Rhode Island. After their wedding invitation went viral, they decided to pursue the art of stationery and card making. 

     “We quit our day jobs to open a small studio and we became very busy designing and printing our products by hand on presses that are older than the invention of the Model T Ford,” the store description from reads. 

     According to the founders of Ladyfingers Letterpress, “We debuted our line at the National Stationery Show, pulled ourselves up by our bootstraps, and are proud to say that today our line of greeting cards and paper goods can be found in over 800 fine boutiques around the world.” 

     As an LGBTQ+ owned and operated small business, Ladyfingers Letterpress is committed to raising awareness about social issues.  

     Their About Us page on their website states, “In recent years, we have used our platform to promote women’s, LGBTQ+, POC and immigrant rights, using our ‘power of the press’ to produce work that helps mobilize social movements.” 

     “We use our privilege as makers and business owners to create products that speak to the people and once in awhile make them laugh with a little dad joke,” they wrote.  

     Ladyfingers Letterpress offers a wide variety of products beyond stationery and cards. Some categories of items for sale include bags, books, car accessories, jewelry, puzzles and stickers. The small business also offers items relating to Pride, activism, flags and Black made items. 

Ladyfingers Letterpress promotes various social issues through their merchandise. Photo by Lillian Davis.

     Torsone spoke about their small business impact on a Google Keyword article: “Some of the greatest successes we’ve experienced are the hugs from teary-eyed people who were touched by our work.”  

     Torsone described how important it is for the small business to notify patrons that it is LGBTQ-friendly, stating that this feature allows customers to know that they are welcome at Ladyfingers Letterpress. 

     “If you would have asked 12-year-old me to define success, I probably wouldn’t have measured it by how much I make other people cry, but today, it seems perfectly applicable,” they wrote.  

     Today, Ladyfingers Letterpress has been featured in multiple magazines including Forbes, Vogue, Elle, Martha Stewart Weddings and the New York Times. 

     With the holiday season approaching, purchasing a handmade card or other sustainably sourced gifts for a loved one can be a thoughtful choice. There is a variety of items for sale both in-store and on the Ladyfingers Letterpress website. 

     The small business is open in two locations. Their flagship studio is in Downtown Colorado Springs at 113 East Bijou Street. Their second location is within the Fine Arts Center, located at 30 West Dale Street. 

     For more information on Ladyfingers Letterpress, the shop or custom orders, visit the link here.