“To live simply, but beautifully.” That is the core of Sycamore Street Press’ philosophy, and an idea that blossomed during the honeymoon of co-founders Eva and Kirk Jorgensen. “I told him that instead of a fancy ring, I wanted to explore the world,” she writes on their about page.
“And so we took off, a modest silver band around my finger. We slept on floors and carried our belongings on our backs. In Denmark, we worked on an organic family farm in exchange for room and board. It was like getting a peek into a magical world. The husband and wife worked together to raise their children and earn a living. They made or grew much of what they needed. But they also spent their money on a few carefully curated items: a well-designed telephone, a carved wooden table, brightly printed kitchen curtains …
“Since then, Kirk and I have tried to create that kind of life for ourselves — a hand drawn life. We are proud of the simple, beautiful things that we make. And we are proud to make them with quality, sustainable materials in the beautiful Utah mountains we call home.”
Sycamore Street Press is named for the row house’s address in which Eva started printing her drawings on a vintage letterpress. “Late at night, neighbors could hear the click clack of the press through our dining room walls,” she recalls. From the start, their creations beamed a homemade charm and arresting directness.
Personally, I am really partial to their floral- and fruit- adorned designs, as well as their brand-new wedding collection and custom stamps — and don’t even let me get started on the hand-lettering! So much attention is lavished on each character, with exquisite effect. Foil stamping resonates much more when applied sparingly.
It’s not too surprising that not only has the line distinguished itself, but that Eva and Kirk have become quite celebrated in social media, a “brand” not created in a board room but that one that evolved organically and authentically.
Their Pinterest boards takes you into their world of simple yet timeless treasures, and swing by Instagram for a glimpse of the sweet life Eva and Kirk share with their adorable toddlers. Eva was one of Stationery Trends’ 10 Designers to Watch in 2013, but frankly, many eyes are still firmly fixed on her — and will be for some time. With so much going on, I am thrilled Eva answered TPC’s Five Questions.
1. SS: How did you get into this crazy business?
EJ: I grew up with an artist mother and entrepreneurial father, got a BFA & MFA in printmaking, and decided to get a letterpress after graduating so I could start a little side business selling cards and prints. It all kind of spiraled out of control from there. 😉
2. SS: Are there any design or lifestyle trends you are finding yourself particularly intrigued with these days?
EJ: Black & white, looser drawing & lettering styles, and the rise of so many independent creative businesses.
3. SS: What letter, card or invitation first comes to mind as the best you’ve ever received?
EJ: A heartfelt letter from my dad written on yellow lined paper when I was 21 and living overseas.
4. SS: What are your three favorite paper lines aside from Sycamore Street Press?
5. SS: Is there anything you do personally to keep letter-writing, card-sending and invitation using alive?
EJ: Now with a baby, toddler and a business to run, it’s harder for me to find the time to send the long letters and elaborate packages to friends and family like I used to. But I still send thank you notes pretty often (and) write the occasional long letter.