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Monahan Papers: Flight of Fancy

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Stephanie Monahan’s Cards Take Flight

Stephanie Monahan’s greeting cards are literally flying out the door and around the world. Until last year, Monahan Papers [monahanpapers.com] produced about 5,000 cards per week. In the past twelve months, that volume has quadrupled – and during several crunch periods, weekly orders flew past the 25,000 mark.

 

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Stephanie Monahan in her company’s booth at
the National Stationery Show in May 2014.

Monahan Papers prints all of their paper products – from place cards and greeting cards to place mats, posters and long rolls of wrap – right on their own premises in Troy, Missouri. Stephanie originally planned just to handle product design, inspired by a huge cache of family ephemera. But after some research, she concluded that the only way she could keep her price point low enough for the European market was to print in-house. So far, so interesting.

 

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Mix-and-match designs: Monahan’s customers can order
any design on any product. Photo courtesy of Michael Carabetta.

The incredible twist: After items are printed, they go into a dye-bath to age them. Then they are racked to air dry. Then they are ironed. Until recently, every card underwent this time-consuming, labor-intensive process. Until Stephanie realized that something had to give – so she gave herself the assignment of finding a “pre-aged paper” whose look and feel would complement her designs and suit her customers.

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Stephanie Monahan says, “The color of Neenah ASTROPARCHE
we use just happens to be called Aged.”

Stephanie assembled a power assortment of swatch books for side-by-side comparison, settling on Neenah ASTROPARCHE® Papers. She says, “The ASTROPARCHE has a marbled effect, a certain graininess, like an old bookplate or a piece of antique linen. Most of our designs have backgrounds that come from 16th, 17th, 18th or 19th century ephemera, so the aged look is what we’re after.”

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Cards are printed on Astroparche Aged 65# Cover,
paired with a matching A-2 envelope. Photo courtesy of Michael Carabetta.

Stephanie continues to shop for more old documents, but her personal collection of family correspondence and memorabilia is a treasure trove. Her oldest piece is dated 1690. Several collections in Monahan Papers’ card line feature original illustrations by Stephanie; she also uses copyright-free imagery.

leaping

Leapin’ lively: Stephanie Monahan leapt at the opportunity to be featured
at the Maison & Objet lifestyle trade show in Paris (Sept. 5-9).

Monahan Papers are sold through several showrooms across the US and are also available through five international stocking distributors. One of them, Brevi Manu [brevimanu.de] of Germany, is dedicating almost half of their double booth at Maison&Objet [maison-objet.com/en] in Paris (Sept. 5-9) to Monahan Papers. We wished Stephanie bonne chance – and armed her with a list of our favorite papeteries and pâtisseries.

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Made in the shade: Lampshades, printed in Missouri, are one of
Monahan Papers’ signature products. The paint line (cans at lower left)
is new this year. Photo courtesy of Michael Carabetta.

 

Except as noted, images © 2014 StudioAlex.

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