Our fine friends over at DIME feature a seller/artist with us once a month. Check out their new store on South Locust when you have a chance, and read on to hear all about this month's featured artist.
There’s more than a little excitement brewing around Triple Threat Press these days. The letterpressing duo is gearing up for the DIME Summer Bazaar, trying to keep their popular work in stock at the DIME Store, and planning their speech for May 13th’s Creatives Mixer at OSDH. Nonetheless, we found a bit of time in their schedule to hassle them about how awesome they are.
How/when did you guys decide to start your business?
Laura: In May of 2012 I graduated with my MFA in Printmaking from UNT. I was looking to purchase a press so that I could continue to print my own artwork, and when I finally found our Kelsey Excelsior letterpress in Sanger in early July, Dave planted the idea that perhaps we could use it to make a little bit of money.
Dave: In hindsight, it was a little foolish on my part because I didn’t know the first thing about printmaking. Luckily, Laura knows a lot about it. With her help, and through helping restore the letterpress, I was able to gain a working knowledge of how a it all works.
Why did you choose the name "Triple Threat Press"?
Laura: Growing up around theater, a "triple threat"–a talented singer, dancer, and actor–was something I always aspired to be. Triple threats are fiery, committed to their talents, and they are always in demand. While naming the business, we tried to pick a moniker that would comment on our dedication and drive as well as our services. We both have backgrounds in design, Dave is an incredibly talented coder, and I know my way around a printshop pretty well.
Dave: The other reason we picked it was because we thought of a lot of names that were very descriptive of us as people and we thought that it would be better to have a name that was descriptive of what we do. A lot of people ask us, “So, what are the three threats?”. We don’t have to go around telling people what we do. The name starts the conversation for us.
What drew you to letterpress over other forms of printing?
Dave: One of the things that we took away from the first Etsy Denton sale that we attended was that there was a real market for letterpress items in Denton. Basically, there wasn’t anybody doing it here. We figured that with good designs and well-made products, we could make a splash pretty quickly.
Laura: Also, letterpress is one of those printmaking techniques that allows an artist to create hundreds–if not thousands–of identical pieces of art from just one image. Large letterpress editions help us keep our cost down, which makes it that much easier for us to sell our goods and services at affordable prices. Thus, nearly everyone can afford to own something that we made. That might be the most beautiful thing about this process: because letterpress was initially utilized to create reading material for the masses, it truly is “the people’s art”.
What is it like to work in a business relationship with your significant other?
Dave: It's really great. (And not just because I'd be in trouble if I said anything to the contrary.) I think that we work really well together and it is fun to be able to bounce ideas off of each other whenever they come up, instead of only between the hours of 9-5.
Laura: I think that I might just be the luckiest woman in the world. To have a significant other who believes in me so much and supports me so fully that he wanted to start a business with me has got to be the greatest gift that I have been given in life. I know how mushy that sounds... and all of my friends will probably make fun of me for saying so, but that is genuinely how I feel. Put that in your press and print it.
How did you become involved with DIME?
Dave: After we restored our letterpress, we started designing things like greeting cards and notebooks. We thought that the Etsy Denton Handmade Harvest would be a great place to try selling them. When we applied, we didn’t even have an Etsy store set up. Thankfully, we were able to sell at that event and it went really well. When the DIME Store opened, we quickly applied to be a part of it and were even asked to do a chalk mural on their wall.
Where can we shop your work?
Dave: We have an Etsy store. You can also find our work for sale at the DIME Store, and we will be selling some stuff at the DIME Summer Bazaar on June 8th. If you'd just like to keep tabs on what we're up to, there is our Facebook page, Twitter, or triplethreatpress.com.
Triple Threat Press is one of the featured speakers at May 13th's Creative's Mixer. How do you feel about being looked to as a voice for the creative community in Denton?
Dave: I still can’t get over the fact that somebody somewhere wants to hear what I have to say.
Laura: Dave still doesn’t understand that we’re not just some do-nothing teenagers anymore. We’re adults, and because we have worked hard to hone our adult skills, we are actually getting to be somewhat good at what we do. Imagine that, Dave. We do our jobs well.
Dave: I know a lot of people who do their jobs well... that doesn’t mean I want to hear them talk about it! I guess it is just crazy to me that this time last year, nobody knew who we were and now, people are going to sit and listen to us talk.
What did you get out of the first Creative's Mixer last October?
Dave: We showed up not really knowing what to expect. At that point, we weren’t even a business yet. We were just a couple with a letterpress. It was very neat to see so many people come out and to hear about what other people were doing in Denton. I think it gave us the assurance that what we were doing was good, that we had a market in Denton, and that people around here would support us.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists who are looking to start a business or become an active part of the Denton creative community?
Dave: Know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s really easy to make things and put them out there for people to buy, but there is a lot of behind the scenes stuff that you might not really think about (More on that at the Denton Creatives Mixer on May 13th!).
Laura: It is really important to understand that there is a significant amount of time that must be devoted to creative work, and having realistic timelines in place to complete this work is essential to success. One last thing: No matter how hard you need to work to meet a deadline, try to schedule at least one hour of solitary time every day. Spend this time on yourself, not the business. If you’re anything like me when we first started our business, you’ll have a hard time turning off work. That’s not healthy. Take care of yourself, y’all.