Scene

Paper Trail

Handcrafted goods have become a worldwide obsession—and good business.

February 2014

Thanks to the overwhelming popularity of websites such as Pinterest and Etsy, handcrafted goods have become a worldwide obsession. And good business: Local, independent shops that would otherwise be limited to small markets can now reach a global audience. Take Idea Chíc, for example. Papermakers David and Julie Sandusky have sold letterpress greeting cards and calendars from their Glendale studio since the line launched in 2009, and their merchandise now graces the shelves at local retailers such as Highland’s Wordshop and downtown’s I Heart Denver Store. But they’ve seen the most sales online—particularly their wildly popular “A Baby Is Brewing” tea and coffee favors (they’ve filled 241 orders in the first two years) and peony letterpress stationery with hand-sewn envelopes. And thanks to e-retailing, the husband-and-wife duo doesn’t even have to consider leaving the Mile High City to grow. In fact, the first step in their 2014 expansion plan is a 100 percent Idea Chíc retail location in Denver. “It doesn’t matter what happens in the future,” David says. “Our manufacturing and home base is going to be here.” ideachic.net 

Watch a behind-the-scenes video of Idea Chíc's 1930s letterpress, nicknamed Hazel, in action here.


—Photograph by Jeff Nelson