The Story behind Invite Site

Invite Site offers DIY packages and printed invitations, cards, programs and thank you's made from recycled paper and tree-free paper.  I recently asked Helen Driscoll of Invitesite to share some background on the paper and printing company.    Here's what she had to say:

Why did you decide to offer eco-friendly invitations?

We opened Fine Paper Company in 1995 -- a large handmade and fine paper store, in Old Town Pasadena. We stocked 2000 different treefree papers. We also stocked some really groovy 100% post consumer recycled papers -- but most of those companies went out of business by 1999.  I opened the store, because we wanted to introduce alternative fiber papers to the market. We were the first intense, specifically eco paper store in LA area. We were among the first letterpress printers and the first DIY go-to-place.
Fine Paper Company was fixtured entirely with vintage fixtures. I did not buy one new thing. We even repurposed the bars that were on the storefront windows into a paper rack. It was beautiful -- looked like a French paper shop. We had 3,000 sq feet in an 1900 building.
I got into non wood papers because I sold rare and antiquarian books to Hollywood elite  -- and I wanted books and paper to be beautiful like it was up until 1880's - when paper started to be made out of trees. (Plus -- Hollywood gets old...)
I got into letterpress printing in 1996.  Met Scott, my partner, in 1997. He is a graphic designer and really really good letterpress printer. Also, an avid environmentalist. Soon, we were "together".  We spent many years letterpress printing at night, and creating diy designs in the shop, in the day. So we burned out.  We had to choose between making stuff and running a store. We decided to move everything to the web, and close the store, and open a factory. Hence, Invitesite.com We launched Invitesite when eco was not trendy. We focused on beauty and used all eco materials. For years, about half our customers bought our stuff because they liked the designs (and were not greenies) -- and half because they wanted to do a green wedding.

Poetica: vintage inspired invitation

How is your business Green/Sustainable?

Our green business policies:

Fair trade:

Seedling: a plantable invitation with cosmo or marigold seeds

How are you green in your own life?

I have been shopping at farmers markets for 19 years now. Organic and mostly raw for most of my adult life. Vintage, most of my adult life.

Scott, my partner, helped his uncle build one of the largest recycled buildings on the west coast. It's a castle in Glendora, CA, built out of found stuff and river rock:
He built his first letterpress shop there.
Quiet Night: Eco Holiday Card
Thanks Helen for the interesting background on your printing company.  I also appreciate all the steps your business takes to be a green and socially responsible business.
In Green and Health,
G&G