‘Greenwich Letterpress’ revives intimate messaging one card at a time.

by Francis Poon

Facebook may be gaining more and more traction by the moment with an award-winning movie and skyrocketing number of followers, but owners of the Greenwich Letterpress is sending a new message that requires more work than with the pressing of a “Submit” button.

Under a five-story apartment building in the heart of the West Village, Greenwich Letterpress is a gift store that specializes in letterpress stationery. In the tiny turquoise-colored room, hundreds and hundreds of greeting cards for Valentine’s Day, weddings and other festivities fill the wooden shelves around the four walls. Mini novelty gifts such as recipe cards, stamp sets and family tree charts fill the desk in the middle. “There is such as great variety of things. It’s so cute,” said first-time customer Adale Sholock. Her friend, Greg Ketteman added, “we found out about this store online and we like it. We’ll definitely come back.”

“But a card costs $4.60. Isn’t that a little too much,” I asked.

Without a second moment of hesitation, Sholock and Ketteman responded concurrently, “No.” “You pay the same amount for a Hallmark card and they are handmade- in high quality.”

Originally an English and graphic design major in college, owner Amy Swanson convinced sister and painter Beth Salvini to move to New York City to begin a new exciting business venture. Together, they founded Greenwich Letterpress and have been creating personally embroidered and designed cards for their customers. Using printing skills taught by their family, they have been continuing their grandfather’s letterpress techniques.

“These cards are so unique that they make great stocking stuffers for whatever occasions. I can buy packs of cards too during Christmas.” said Theresa Doctor who lives in the neighborhood and has been returning consistently.

Although it’s only been in the Village for less than six years, the store has been recognized in the Greeting Card industry and has garnered various honorable mentions in Martha Stewart Weddings, Vogue, New York, etc. and is sure to get more honorable mentions after lovers unite for Valentine’s Day.

Greenwich Letterpress can be found at 39 Christopher Street.

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