Muse of January

We are one month into 2018, and we decided to celebrate by hanging out with Meghan, the force behind And Here We Are. You can find her creations in our shop (the boob mug is a staple), and her letterpress designs make giving cards feel cool again. See what she had to say when we talked shop!

how in the heck do you pronounce your married name?! Sokorai.

Blame my husband for that one. Our last name is actually Hungarian, and it’s pronounced “Suh-kor-uh”… just imagine it without that last - i - at the end.

What's the story behind The name, And Here We Are?

I wish I had a better story to tell you, but way back in 2012 I started my first Etsy shop, and names it And Here We Are as a counterpoint to my blog, Here I Am. Back then I was exclusively doing custom paper goods, especially invitations and announcements. “And Here We Are” celebrates being in a new stage of life (And here we are, getting married! And here we are, having a baby!). I think it still makes sense in the context of gifts and stationery, but mostly I kept it because it’s fun to say.

any resolutions for the year? How are they going?

After a crazy holiday season (work AND personal), I guess my resolution is to take it slow for a bit. So far, I’m not doing too great, it’s only January and I just put out a product release, launched a new website, and am working on acquiring a new press for the studio.

Along with your retail line, do you also offer custom work?

Yes, I often do custom lettering, illustration, and design work for commissions and licensing projects. We also do custom print commissions (i.e. wedding invitation suites) on a limited basis.

any business goals for the year?

We’ve got a busy year ahead! We’ll be attending the National Stationery Show in NYC again this May, and are already working on our new catalog for that. I’m hoping to do another trade show later in the year as well. I'm working on bringing in a new letterpress to the studio. And, I’d really like to start hosting events in my new studio space (I moved into 1,000 sq feet last year).

When do you have your best ideas?

Everywhere and anytime; I keep a running list on my phone and a notepad in my bag all the time. When I have a new release coming up, I take a week or two and sort through all my random ideas and flesh out the ones that seem like they could have legs, then narrow down from there.

It’s important to get out of the studio once in a while to travel, see movies, listen to music, go to art shows, and just participate in the real world as much as possible. Most of my inspiration isn’t found in the world of stationery, but in pop culture, interior design, houseplants, pets, or whatever might be going on in my life at the time. Sometimes I work backward from an ink color I really want to use or a print method I want to try.

Get it Girl 8x10 Art Print - AND HERE WE ARE

Imagine you get only one outfit for the rest of your life... what would it be?

It would probably have to be my usual jeans and a tee since I’m climbing around in my presses and covered in graphite or ink about 70% of the time.

Out of any of the ONE SIX FIVE jewelry that you have (or other small items, or something that you don't own, but like), what is your favorite? Why?

As much as I love big statement jewelry, I mostly have to stick to small pieces (not just because it’s not too practical around heavy machinery but also my toddler LOVES to grab it). I love all the earring studs that I can mix and match (Inverse, Kate, Wren). But when I can get away with it, I also love my Harlon choker and my most recent purchase, the Hildi necklace in pink.

how DID YOU START doing letterpress?

I was a graphic designer in the corporate world for a long time; most of the work I did was digital, and we hardly ever saw the physical results. I was always interested in letterpress printing, but I was hooked after I took my first class at The Arm in Brooklyn in 2011; there is something so gratifying about a tangible stack of prints that I made with my own hands.

I think living in such a digital world is a big reason there are so many of us going back to the older techniques; we (and ultimately, our customers) are looking for that satisfaction of creating something real, that we can see, touch, and feel. Finding, owning, and maintaining these machines is as much a lost art as the printing itself, and I spend a ton of time on web forums and talking on the phone with printers all around the country!

I began by renting presses in Brooklyn, but when we decided to move to Ohio, the owner of the studio helped me procure a 1961 Vandercook SP-15 letterpress from upstate that we loaded up on our moving truck and brought with us. We bought our little Pilot press from a printer in Indiana, and I am in the process of purchasing a Heidelberg Windmill from another printer in Cincinnati!