Tuesday, October 29, 2013

My Afternoon at...


When I get giddy, I act silly. My brain turns to mush, I can't put a comprehensible sentence together, and I begin to stand on my tippy toes out of excitement. Naturally, this occurred  when I met Beth Snyder and Carrie Shyrock — the amazingly talented creators of One Canoe Two Letterpress. I honestly wish I could have kept my composure, but this was a total pinch-me moment. Allow me to fill you in on these stationery rockstars:
Carrie and Beth are childhood friends who always loved to draw. Now the two are all grown-up and work together as professional illustrators, designers, and printers. The name 1canoe2 comes from years of the two dreaming up big ideas around a campfire and floating down a spring-fed Missouri river in a canoe. One canoe, two girls. One canoe, two. Carrie and Beth were just beginning their journey as a letterpress company when they asked Carrie’s sister-in-law Karen to join the team. Now three women strong, 1canoe2 is chasing bigger dreams and creating letterpress art that makes people happy.
Back in April, I professed my love for 1Canoe2 in this Etsy-related post. If you're familiar with One Fine Day, you might be rolling your eyes because I have a tendency to coo over all kinds of card stock. I guess I just feel a certain kinship to 1Canoe2 because the letterpress company hails from my favorite college town, Columbia, Missouri. I remember the first time I stumbled upon their note cards in a local store — it felt like I'd struck gold — and the look on my mom's face when she unwrapped one of their prints on Christmas morning. Eventually, I'd see their work pop up in magazines and blogs, and sold in some of my favorite stores (Anthropologie and Trohv, to name a few). It's just SO nice to watch a small company grow and reach such well-deserved success!

Not long after that post had published, I learned my sister is good friends with the shipping manager, Zach. Um, hello Kevin Bacon! How's that for six degrees of separation? I guess that tidbit of knowledge made it feel like 1Canoe2 was part of our family or something. We had this vested interest. Our connection to the beloved shop was even more personal, without ever personally connecting with either Beth or Carrie. Ha Ha! Our adoration turned into pride when we began to see more and more of their recognizable work displayed in stores across the country. Fantastic!

Fast forward a few months to October. Flyboy and I departed Hawaii and we were headed to Missouri for some time off with family. Zach sent me an unexpected message and asked if I'd be interested in visiting the 1Canoe2 studio. Say what!?! I called my sister to make sure I read it correctly. I was ecstatic! It was one of those opportunities that seemed too good to be true. It was Bucket List worthy!! We set up a time and ventured out into the country.

Now, picture the Richardson-Fine clan piled into a rental car with my dad hauling tail down gravel roads outside the city. This was a group on a mission, and we were busting at the seams with excitement. Amid acres of corn fields and a nearby maze, a charming red barn caught our attention. That's the studio! We parked, jumped out of the vehicle, and we were ready to start our tour of the space. It was hard to stay focused because every detail was just so rustic and perfect. I could see how this workspace could lend itself to creativity — it's peaceful and oozes with character! I loved the idea that the same barn Carrie played in as a kid became the place where she'd work and fulfill a dream alongside her childhood friend and the support of her family. 

While we made our way through the barn, Zach answered questions and allowed this snap happy fan to take pictures. The barn felt like a dream; I never wanted to leave. In fact, I could see my stuff in there. Would it be too much if I moved in? There was just the right balance of modern and traditional elements — large windows, giant beams, colorful pendant lamps, galvanized metal, and the most gorgeous original wood floors. I could definitely get used to this cheerful and resourceful space. In true Type-A fashion, I drew a bead on the organized shelves stocked with the most delightful inventory and other fun stuff like personalized stickers and baker's twine. 

I thought I was in heaven until I made my way into Carrie's office. I was so happy they'd yet to arrive at the barn because I know I would've been too nervous, and I probably wouldn't have taken it all in. I took my time, smiled like a buffoon, and absorbed all of the details. One thing I've always loved is a good office space, and it was my chance to get a glimpse inside these creative minds I adore. I was in awe of the paintbrushes, pens, and tubes of gouache paint. It was evident that art was in progress. This is one of those work spaces that has been loved. From the kind smiles of the people who work at 1Canoe2 to the random pieces of paper with test patches of paint color and a corner filled with globes for an upcoming project — loving what you do is contagious in this 100-year-old barn.


For more about 1Canoe2, visit their website, and follow them on Twitter, Instagram, or Facebook.
P.S. Can't get enough of 1Canoe2? You'll want to check out this interview on The Etsy Blog where Carrie, Karen, and Beth share some insight on running a business and more about the idea behind their shop!
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