Talking PDX with Mackenzie from Cotton Flower Press
In this series, Urban Nest sits down with local PDX business owners to talk shop about what makes their store or business fit so well with Portland. Learn about new neighborhoods, new businesses, PDX community and more!
Hand-Pressed Paper Goods in SE PDX
In a town that has long recognized the value of handmade goods done "the right way", Portland residents are lucky to be able to choose from a variety of local, small-scale business operations run by honest folks that are dedicated to pushing their craft to new heights. Cotton Flower Press is a perfect example of such businesses, an in-home operation based out of a South East Portland attic that produces some of the most stunning business cards, stationary, greeting cards, and invitations you'll find anywhere, all available for custom orders. Mackenzie Raz leads the operation with an emphasis on helping clients materialize the perfect paper goods for their needs, including assistance in the design phase. Read on for our interview with Mackenzie.
UN: How long have you been in business?
Fall of 2010 was when we got our first order, for wedding invitations.
UN: What is unique about your business?
I feel like because I focus on a unique realm of letterpress work, that it sets me a part. There are a lot of people making letter press greeting cards, and I do those too, but I spend the bulk of my time focused on interacting with small businesses and helping them develop and find a cohesive aesthetic and vision.
UN: For you, what is most important about the customer experience?
I think particularly because I do a lot of custom work, it's important that my clients feel heard, that they feel like we have a really good conversation, and that I understand what they’re looking for.
I also want people to feel happy and excited about this kind of printing, I think it’s important that they can tell the difference between this kind of printing and the purely digital stuff.
UN: How would you describe the community that surrounds your business?
One of my favorite things about makers in Portland is that they're always interested in trading with one another. I love the fact that many business interactions don’t require cash, we can simply trade goods and services.
UN: What do you think makes your business a great fit for Portland?
Just the nature of letterpress in general really fits with Portland, the city is a marriage between the old and homespun and the new tech world, and that's essentially what I do. I think people in Portland really value history and things that are made by hand, and the true nature of craft is embraced in Portland.
UN: What is your favorite thing about Portland?
Shopping-wise, I have a (sometimes unfortunate) love affair with Schoolhouse Electric.
I love, love, love Sauvie Island, and I'm super inspired by it. I also love the Kennedy School soaking pool.
UN: What part of town do you live in, and what do you love about it most?
We just moved to Sellwood-Moreland area. Now that we have a baby, we love how quiet and safe it is, but we didn't lose the walkability. It was really important to us that we were able to get places on foot, and we have a lot of great amenities available just blocks away from our house.