News

13 Nov 2017

Since I announced I’m closing Prickle Press I have been overwhelmed by the response. I’m so pleased to know that Prickle Press will be missed and I have felt so encouraged and supported at such a huge transition in my life.

A few people have also expressed that they understand I need to do “what’s best for me and my family”. While that is such an understanding response, I just want take this opportunity to clarify that even though I made the decision while on maternity leave this decision was never about my family, my children or childcare. This decision was about my professional ambitions and fulfilment. While I am now a parent, and a lot of my life centres around my two small children I have not quit Prickle Press for them but for myself. The only way it has impacted my decision is that I want the two small women in my life to see me fulfilled in a meaningful career and know that they can have that too, should they chose to.

Many people have also expressed sadness at Prickle Press’ closure and while I am so touched by this I also want to reassure you that while I am sad about leaving the community of designer/makers I have been a part of for seven years, this is not a sad ending for me. A year ago even thinking about closing sent me into a panic. The word “FAILURE” hung like a blindfold over my eyes and I couldn’t see ahead. It’s been a scary process for me and I’ve needed a lot of support, including the support of a career psychologist. I’ve had to investigate who I am, my strengths and weaknesses, what I enjoy and what I value. Through that process I discovered that Prickle Press isn’t a good fit for me and have another profession in mind that I think might suit me better. Having made the decision to close Prickle Press I am ready to close this chapter and move on. I now feel incredibly free and excited again about the future, which includes a long trip to Australia in the short term and training for a new profession in the very, very long term.

Thanks for taking the time to read all this. I really hope this finds you well and wish you all the best for the future! Rachel xx

Tags closing
13 Nov 2017

To close my business I’ll be holding my final event this Saturday 16 November, 11am until 1pm at Brixton Pound Cafe, 77 Atlantic Road, SW9 8PU. Upstairs I’ll be running a FREE letterpress workshop where you can print a postcard with me for the last time and downstairs a ‘PAY WHAT YOU CAN’ sale will be happening. Literally, grab a bag, as many cards as you like, and pay what you can. Bring family, friends, strangers, kids etc – I hope to see you there!

12 Nov 2017

Let me be a bit direct for a moment – if you follow a designer/maker on social media that you love please put your money where your emoji is. They cannot trade “likes” and emojis for rent and food. If you want to see them stick around then it is up to you to support them with cash Check out the “Just a card” Campaign that started to encourage this exact thing. If you don’t know many other designer/makers and you would like to give some more interesting Christmas presents this year I massively recommend Crafty Fox’s ‘Shopping with Soul’ directory.

Tags emoji
31 Oct 2017

I am looking for someone who would like to loan my press for a minimum of 12 months starting late November / December 2017. I am closing my printing business but plan to keep the press in the long term. In the short time when I know I won’t be printing frequently I would like to loan out the press to ensure she’s being used regularly and to make a bit of room in my home. I’m not sure how long I want to loan it for but I imagine somewhere between 2 and 5 years.

About the press

Fully functional Printing Press Treadle operated Chase size: 12 x 8 inches Approx Outer Dimensions: 104cm wide, 122cm long, 125cm high Approx weight: 500 kg Named: Gee Gee Photos: https://photos.app.goo.gl/ms6DltV2tJwdJ4lo2

Included in loan:

  • 12 x 8 inch Chase
  • 3 rollers (used but in good condition)
  • A base plate to use with polymer plates (I normally order mine from Lyme Bay Press: http://main.lymebaypress.co.uk/letterpress-polymer-plates/)
  • Sheet of Aluminium - 240x380mm (size of platen)
  • 2 wooden battens and sheet of plywood to put under the press to raise it + protect your floor
  • A tutorial in how this particular press works - online or in person (I will be expecting the person who takes it to have some printing experience)
  • Extras: I also have some inks, materials and type that you can buy from me at half price if interested.

Terms of loan:

  • No charge except removal fees.
  • Organise + pay for the removal of the press by professional movers in November / December 2016.
  • Have some prior knowledge of printing (preferred, not necessary)
  • Have a suitable space to house the press
  • House her for a minimum 12 months
  • Not to loan it on to someone else
  • Return it when requested after the 12 months
  • Provide a guarantee that they will take good care of her
  • Organise + pay to have the press returned to my home by professional printing movers, wherever that might be in the UK (please see notes below)
  • Sign a contract agreeing to the terms above
  • Any damage to the press will be repaired and paid for

Moving the press:

  • Please be aware that this press is very heavy and needs professional printing movers to move it. I won’t accept someone trying to collect or return it without professional printing movers.
  • I have used Giles from AMR (http://www.amrpress.co.uk/) to move the press. Each time I have moved the press it has cost me £500. But please call them for an exact quote. I live in Brixton, London.
  • If I am no longer living in the UK then we would work out the fee for moving it within the UK and I would pay to have it shipped beyond the UK.

Housing the press:

It’s currently kept in my living room on the ground floor. I would recommend it’s put on the ground floor, on a sturdy floor due to it being so heavy. We have wooden supports under the legs and a sheet of plywood to protect the floor. These are all included in the loan, should you want them.

Loan length:

The loan is for a minimum of 12 months. After that we would renew our contract every year. I would give 6 months notice when I want it returned.

Sale

If you feel very strongly that you would rather own than loan the press then make me an offer.

If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to get in touch: rachel@pricklepress.co.uk

23 Sep 2017

I’ve just been checking I’ve got everything ready for my last market tomorrow. It’s strange that I don’t really need these business cards anymore and to think this is my last market. I’ve been doing them since 2009. I shudder when I think of that first year, my designs, my set up, my market stall design and how I much I forked out for a table at a market with such a low footfall. I’ve learnt a lot since then. I’ve learnt how much stock to take, to pack ahead of time, not to stress too much and be prepared without over packing!

I also learnt to pick the markets I took part in carefully and @craftyfoxmarket has always been a no-brainer. You know that Sinead and the team will always put so much effort into finding a brilliant venue, market it to bring as many customers as possible and that you will be surrounded by friendly makers. I’ve always loved taking part and been so grateful to Sinead for being so supportive over the years.

I’ve always loved and hated being at the markets in equal measure. Meeting customers face to face is such hard work. You put your products out there (which feel like extensions of yourself) for people to judge. You sometimes can’t help being affected by every person who walks past your stall totally unphased. You want to scream “do you know how much love and sweat I put into every detail here?!”. My worst market I can remember I sold just one card for £2.50. I went home and vowed never to do another - but of course I did. And I learnt over time not to be so affected. Sometimes markets aren’t all about the money you take on the day but about the people you meet - a new trade stockist, a future bespoke client both who would bring in more than one market ever could. While I could never be sure that every market was worth it, whenever I stopped doing them for phases I always saw a drop in interest and sales and so keeping them up has always been a necessary part of my business.

All in all, however, it will be one of the things I don’t miss. I’m not a natural salesperson, I’m a much better shopper! I hope to see some of you shoppers there tomorrow and to get rid of as many cards as I can!

Details for the market are here

Crafty Fox Market, Sunday 24th September 2017, 11am - 5pm

The Department Store, Squire & Partners, 248 Ferndale Road, Brixton, SW9 8FR

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