As you’ve probably gathered, there’s only two of us behind the scenes of the Grove Street Press. Anna, the head designer, and I (Kate!) am the press operator. We’re cousins and have lived near to one another (besides the years we were in college…) for our whole lives.
As kids, we spent the long Louisiana days on the lake of Lake Charles, our hometown, crabbing on wharves and making up synchronized swim routines in the family pool. Our moms are sisters, and we would follow them around on shopping excursions when we were older and talk about how we could open a shop one day.
Fast forward a little. I majored in English at the University of Dallas, and Anna got her BFA in graphic design. I had become interested in letterpress after stumbling on a YouTube video of a press operating and had immediately emailed it to Anna with the caption “THIS is what we should do!” As fate would have it, a friend of our family gave me a printing press the summer after I graduated from college, and I spent my days refurbishing it and teaching myself about its operations.
There was always a family joke that Anna and her sister did whatever I did. Whenever we’d get lunch all together, Anna’s mom would just ask “Kate, what do you want?” and then order three of the same, knowing that they’d repeat my order anyway. Well, after Anna graduated from college, I was very happy that she was still willing to follow my lead and lend her design skills to this crazy idea I had to start my own print shop. GSP was born in a shed in the back of my parents house, using a non-motorized printing press that we’d take turn spinning by hand.
We’re now where you know us — in a little shop nestled between the French Quarter and the Garden District, on one of New Orleans’ last remaining cobblestone streets. We’ve since added two more presses, a retail storefront, and Mildred the Labradoodle (more on her soon!)