I grew up on my grandparents’ Christmas tree farm on the Jersey Shore, fixing vintage tractors with my grandfather and drawing the surrounding landscape with my grandmother. It’s in that place I found my love for old machinery and art.
I majored in design and printmaking at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore. During the summers I participated in short internships at the historic Hatch Show Print in Nashville, TN and a variety of small print shops from New York to France. These experiences apprenticing and expanding on my craft cemented the idea of owning my own design and print shop one day.
After I graduated I moved to San Francisco to apprentice under some of the most influential book artists and printers in America. Working after hours in other print shops I started The Aesthetic Union, printing business cards for friends. In 2013 I moved The Aesthetic Union to its own brick and mortar location in the Heath Ceramics building in San Francisco. My shop now has a retail and gallery space, but the heart of the operation is the production area where I print in view of clients, shoppers and curious onlookers.
The Aesthetic Union specializes in custom work and original editions. We offer in-house design services and bespoke typeface for truly unique results. We also carry locally made cards, notebooks, and writing desk goods. Our gallery features current collaborations with local artists and original works that stretch the limits of the medium. PapaLlama produces a line of witty greeting cards and other specialty items that are distributed widely across the country.
Through our retail space and gallery we provide local artists, artisans, and designers with a platform to showcase and sell their work. We host and sponsor product launch parties, poetry readings, dance performances, and art exhibitions, serving an ever growing community of artists and creative entrepreneurs.
85% of our work is done on a Heidelberg Windmill press, which we take turns using. Having only one press has become a deciding factor in whether or not we can accept work. The neighborhood is developing around us. With a bakery moving in next door and new retail businesses cropping up all over the area we’re seeing an increase in foot traffic that will only continue to grow. New opportunities walk through our doors daily, and the time has come to bring another workhorse printing press into the shop.
With the $5000 loan we will purchase a 1963 Heidelberg Windmill ($4000), move it into the shop ($700), and hook it up to its own 220 volt, 3 phase electrical circuit ($300).