• In Good Co. | Beth Lehman

    May 13th, 2016

    We have the privilege of getting to walk alongside some inspiring, growing, and dynamic creatives as we navigate the small biz world as creators ourselves. In our blog column, In Good Co., we want to feature some of these artists and share a little of the story behind their craft, how they create their work, and what makes them tick as artists.


    For this In Good Co., we get to feature not only one my favorite small businesses but one my favorite people of all time, Beth Lehman (or as she was introduced at a wedding by the DJ, “give it up for the bridesmaid, Bethleham!”) HA! But in all seriousness, as I began to look through the curtains into the paper business I wanted to explore, Beth was there with me. We had our faces pressed against the window, and we wanted to step into this beautiful but crazy, detail-oriented, and deadline driven business. I can honestly say that I still might have my face pressed against the glass if not for Beth– her keen eye, incessant encouragement, and tireless work ethic has pushed me and kept me going. And talent– this girl amazes me with her skills! She’s taught me how to be brave and keep my heart light. She’s a true craftswoman, she’s my neighbor (seriously, she lives right down the street!), and she’s a fiercely loyal friend. This business might still be a side hobby if not for Beth helping me step past my scheming and into reality of EOH’s creation. In all my insane days, she is sane – in all my stress, she is calm – in all my brainstorming, she is smart & steady. Thank you, Beth, for being a dear friend and an amazing artist in Nashville. Those who get to work with you are lucky, lucky folks. Read on to hear more about Beth’s story and check out her amazing work!!


    What’s your story?

    I’ve known since I was a teenager I wanted to own and run a business, so my story has been a search for the best use of my gifts. I’m naturally efficient, can hyper focus on a project for the duration of it, a strong problem solver, and enjoy refining the work of others to make them look even better. 

    I worked in an administrative role at a small company when I hit my limit— totally burned out and really bored. Emily, at that time, was launching her own paper design business (EOH), and I was very drawn to helping her with production of her bigger orders. Production is ultimately what I do in being a letterpress printer, and it is what I have found I’m best at. A paper store in town was working with her to design a line for them when their production manager left, and they offered me the job. I took it, but was still working with Emily on the side. Here is where I was the most exposed to letterpress work and started learning about it. I fell in love with the feel, look, and process of this niche, specialty print method, and started to imagine what it would be like to do this all the time. After working at the paper shop for a year and a half and realizing I have no love for working in conventional retail environment, I left to care for my mom post-knee replacement surgery. Wanting to stay in the paper production world, I started to research letterpress printing while taking my mom to appointments. I bought my press off eBay, started watching tutorials online, downloaded manuals for my vintage press, and began to practice in the evenings. I launched my press biz shortly after and am so shocked at my small success.

    What’s your craft?

    I am a letterpress printer, which basically means, I use an old manual press to make an inked impression into paper. My press is a table-top platen called a Craftsman 5×8. All this just means there is a disc for the ink and a lever to pull after hand setting each piece of paper. 


    Where do you find inspiration?

    I find inspiration from the working women in my life. Seeing how they juggle work and family while navigating different business scenarios with grace has strongly influenced how I approach every workday. I’m so lucky to have gotten to work beside Emily as well as other professional women.

    A quick story: when I was just building momentum in the early stages of my business, I was buying paper and the salesman asked me what I did, and I told him I was a letterpress printer. He paused then said, “Little girl, you don’t look like a printer.” I am somewhat competitive, so this interaction struck a chord with me, making me both furious and at the same time pushed me to be the best I can be. 

    What’s your favorite EOH paper?

    I adore anything Emily water colors and draws. Emily is so so so talented. Her work is the definition of lovely. Her watercolors are complex yet graceful, and her drawings are sweet and interesting. I also love how she lays out text, mixes fonts, and captures the vision of her clients. Bottom line is that I’m a BIG fan of EOH. Lucky for me, Emily is one of my dearest friends and has been overwhelmingly supportive of my little biz. She has helped it to become what it is today, and I’m forever so very grateful!

    photos: Davis Camp

    words/edits: Paige Woods & Holly Patton