PERRYSBURG — The celebrations don’t start without the creative world of paper and ink that is inhabited by Amy Lesniewicz, the owner of Alice-Louise Press.
“Weddings are the hugest,” Lesniewicz said, adding that she regularly does work for bar mitzvahs and bat mitzvahs, but also increasingly for quinceaneras.
There are also corporate events, birthday parties and the odd get-together that might need a twist of fine printed culture.
Lesniewicz gets creative by making unique printed creations for special events. The list of printed options is long, and it starts with invitations, but has included table numbers, signage, inserts, bags and even cocktail napkins.
“The custom cocktail napkins are great, like with fun facts about the person or event — they can get a conversation going,” Lesniewicz said.
She gets excited talking about creating something new for another party, and the enthusiasm is infectious.
Lesniewicz is a fan of classic word-of-mouth advertising. The quinceanera work began with a single event and spread in that classic fashion. It was an event she was almost completely unfamiliar with, until doing the invitations for one of the popular Latin American coming-of-age marker.
“Some of the quinceaneras are as big as a wedding for a 15-year-old girl,” she said.
Every event is an opportunity for a new design. Lesniewicz stresses that each creation is as unique as the person or event.
The three huge Heidelberg presses behind the Alice-Louise Press retail showroom at 107 Louisiana Ave. print the actual work. They vary in age from the 1950s to the 1980s. Each has its job at Alice-Louise Press, with one doing foil, one classic letterpress and the last one set for scoring and die-cutting.
Once the facts are laid out, then it’s design time.
“We come up with a lot of our own,” Lesniewicz said. “We don’t like to do the same thing twice.”
Lately, the challenge has been with paper. Two of the biggest paper suppliers went out of business during the pandemic, so Lesniewicz has been buying up as much as she can find.
Her advice: “Start early, because product is not always available.”
Supply chain issues have become a problem.
“After COVID, we’re going back. You’ve got to be patient again. It’s been challenging for our industry,” Lesniewicz said. “Plan ahead. … Believe me, if it exists out there, we will find it and get it, or we will make it, if we can. That’s the great thing about a custom shop.”
While certain colors, shades or textures of paper can be hard to find, she said that inks are not a problem. They can mix any color. Die-cutting and folding, the creation of custom shapes and arcs, gives many more options.
“We had a Western-theme party, out in Texas. The invitation was a die-cut of a cowboy hat. It’s gone viral,” Lesniewicz said.
Stop in the retail store, but realize that all custom orders for events require an appointment.
Make sure to browse the preprinted cards. She has them for all the typical occasions that you might find in the card section of a big box store, but hers are different.
“With the wholesale cards, I get witty, funny and sometimes a little crass, or crude,” Lesniewicz said. “The second side is the beautiful, aesthetic stuff. The wholesale is lighthearted, where I don’t have to take it so seriously. It can be more fun, but it’s just as creative.”
She said that the witty and crude side is rarely seen with the custom and unique celebration side, but a quirky smile comes out when she briefly considers the combination.
“I’m a designer at heart. I couldn’t stand to be a corporate artist,” Lesniewicz said.
Alice-Louise Press is open Tuesday through Friday from 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays from noon-4 p.m.