Meet Amber & Jenn @ The Shop at Flywheel Press

It all began with a clever tweet from the proprietor of Porridge Papers in Lincoln, Nebraska asking, “Who wants some swag?” Forming fast friends over their love of all that is letterpress, and a little thing called Love on the Run, Flywheel Press realized an amazing opportunity to give back to the community and spread local love. This annual event is just many of the reasons we adore The Shop at Flywheel Press. It’s more than a shop, more than an event – it offers everyone a chance to celebrate their inner creativity, individuality and to manufacture new ideas. Woven together like the tiny fibers in paper, talent and zealous determination are deeply pressed into San Mateo’s The Shop at Flywheel Press. The Shop at Flywheel Press is community building in its truest form.

Talents converge @ The Shop: Letterpress printer meets architect. Meet Amber Seguine and Jenn Ludwig, the talented ladies behind The Shop at Flywheel Press.

How did you two meet?
We actually went to school together since we were in 6th grade! After leading separate lives in graphic design and architecture, fate and a desire to cultivate creativity in our community brought us together again in the form of The Shop.

What areas do each of you lead in the business?
We really pride ourselves on being a team, although on the surface we might seem to be opposites we are a lot alike. So all the tasks at The Shop, be it coming up with awesome new ideas or figuring out the logistical side, we share. It might be fair to divulge our official titles.

Jenn: Creative Voice of Reason and
Amber: Passionate Mastermind….need we say more?

How do you come up with your curriculum? What is the inspiration behind the subjects?
The Shop was created to highlight all the local creative talent. That is the guide for our curriculum. We feel the important part of our creative placemaking is to utilize what amazing talent San Mateo has and be that intersection point where amazing things can happen.

What’s the most popular class you offer for kids 8 and under? Toddlers?
Our “Toddler Time” class is a huge hit among adults and little’s alike. It meets on Tuesday mornings and focuses on all kinds of sensorial activities. It’s an amazing time to get creative with your child, make a mess and leave clean up to us. Our “Birthday Parties” are also popular because all the kids walk out the door with something they made all by themselves. Among the countless themes, the most popular design projects have been screen printing tee-shirts and tote bags, or letterpress printing and binding books. Of course most of our parties end with singing Happy Birthday while enjoying a Sibby’s Cupcake since this city is also home of the Bay Area’s best cupcakery, right? Life is good here in San Mateo.

Describe the momentum behind First Fridays in San Mateo, from the first one to the latest…
First Fridays began in April and have been growing bigger and grander every month since. The quickly growing turn out and positive feedback from the public has been even more amazing than imagined. And trust us, our imaginations are big! It really has been incredible for us to see our featured artists’ excitement not only during an opening but then being witness to their continued involvement with the San Mateo art scene after a First Friday at The Shop. We have grown from a single person show to hosting full blown group shows, complete with live music, food trucks and a street market filled with local vendors selling their handmade goods. Our November show is titled “Process” and we are thrilled to have some of our past First Friday artists returning to do live demos of their work. We also are working on a collaborative community project too so everyone in San Mateo should plan on being there ready to make some art!

A few of our favorite things:
Sibby’s Cupcakes: Easily the best cupcakes in the Bay Area! Oh, did we already mention that? Well, that’s how good they are! If you haven’t indulged already then you are truly missing out!

Local Artists: Lorna Watt (San Mateo’s artist in residence) Pelham Houchin III, Bonnie Jean

Lawless, Ginger Slonaker, Dan Gribben, and Fleur Spolidor just to name a few who are creating amazing art and making our community a better place. Check them out along with all our First Friday artists.

Food Trucks Who Care: Mo Bowl and Kona Shave Ice

The DSMA: Jessica Evans is a huge supporter of local art, and just community in general. It takes people like her to create the kind of San Mateo we are all proud to call home.

What can we look forward to in 2014 at The Shop at Flywheel Press?
The Shop’s vision is continually growing and ever evolving, and so our list of fun, creative offerings is always expanding. We’ve recently added a “Drink and Draw” which takes place the third Wednesday of every month where you bring your own pen and paper and The Shop brings the model, libations, and promises of a good time like all our events. On February 8, 2014 don’t miss our collaboration with Flywheel Press’ annual “Love on the Run” event. We will also be expanding our class, camp, and workshop schedules to include both children and adults. Not to mention hopefully getting closer to our goal of a full digital media lab and sewing lab. Be sure to sign up for The Shop’s newsletter or find us at TheShopFWP on all social media venues to make sure you are up to date on all the ideas we are manufacturing daily!

Just for fun:
Amber: I find inspiration in my family and my community.
Jenn: I find inspiration in the everyday.
Amber: My current obsession is all things relating to fall…my favorite time of year.
Jenn: My current obsession is finding interactive bedtime books.
Amber: Vintage industrial is the new black.
Jenn: Motherhoodis my new black.
Amber: My favorite font (today) is FLORENCE EXTRA LIGHT and Storefront Pro (can’t choose just one!).
Jenn: My favorite font (today) is Wireframe…hm…or Le Corbusier. Seriously, you can’t ask designers to choose a font. Is this a trick question?
Amber: 3 words to describe San Mateo: vibrant, unique, authentic.
Jenn: 3 words to describe San Mateo: original, progressive, possibility.

In a world where we rush around for speed and convenience, it’s inspiring to know at The Shop you can take a step back, slow down and enjoy the beautiful ways to gather as a community, learn new crafts, find a favorite maker, or truly celebrate your occasion.  The community in San Mateo is a little more creative and neatly pressed with these ladies in town.

As we develop community, we want to see how you live or play at Bay Meadows. Share your fun lifestyle photos with our community by using #baymeadowslife. You could WIN $50 or our Grand Prize of $500 at the end of 2014 and be featured in a live pop-up gallery exhibit event.

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