(Photo credit: Lauren Memarian)
Award-winning Ladyfingers Letterpress is a Queer and Trans-owned-and-operated stationery and gift brand based in Colorado Springs, CO founded by designer+printmaker couple, Arley Torsone and Morgan Calderini.
We launched our business in 2011 when our own wedding invitation went viral and we quickly became very busy producing (totally insane!) one-of-a-kind wedding invitations for the most creative and amazing clients. After the weddings were over, our clients would come back and ask if we had any letterpress cards to celebrate holidays, birthdays, etc. As a result, we decided to launch a humble line of greeting cards at the 2013 National Stationery Show and to our surprise, the line took off and our products are now sold in over 1,000 stores around the world.
In 2016 we opened our flagship store in Colorado Springs where we also host workshops and classes and offer a wide variety of boutique stationery and locally-made gifts. From this post we operate our letterpress and design headquarters and customers can see the presses running and witness our products being made. In 2020 Ladyfingers Letterpress was invited to be the in-house retailer at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center at Colorado College. With two locations in downtown Colorado Springs, we find ourselves immersed in the arts and community: our two most favorite things!
In recent years, we have used our platform to promote women's, LGBTQ+, BIPOC and immigrant rights, using our "power of the press" to produce work that helps mobilize social movements.
We believe that you don't have to be a large company to make a big impact. We take pride in making things by hand, locally, and sustainably. If it's not made in our shop, you better believe we've done our best to research other environmentally-friendly businesses to collaborate with.
Ladyfingers Letterpress has been featured by The New York Times, Forbes, Google, Martha Stewart Weddings, Vogue and more, and is also the proud recipient of the 2015 Card of the Year as awarded by the Greeting Card Association.
Letterpress Operator, Studio Manager, Magic Maker
Morgan Calderini surrounds herself with rather odd yet satisfying specialties: hot air balloon building, printmaking, and pie baking are all things she takes very seriously. After having received her BFA in Printmaking from RISD in 2007, Calderini chose to redefine the hierarchical printshop archetype by establishing and managing Rhode Islands only community printshop at AS220 with a grant from AmeriCorps VISTA. She has taught letterpress at the AS220 Printshop and Penland School of Crafts. When she’s not baking blueberry pies or hunting for long lost litho stones that people have been using as door stops, she’s flying Atlas, her 70 foot, 54,000 cu. ft. hot air balloon that she built in 2007.
Designer, Letterer, Illustratorer
Is this the place where I'm supposed to list like, accomplishments and shit? Does it even matter anymore? Just the other day, the bio of an old "acquaintance" popped up on my screen and I was like, "Is this seriously the same guy who crashed our houseparty years ago and graffiti'd our bathroom and stole our booze?" Because on the internet, he made himself sound like he was a friggin genius who pooped gold. All I'm trying to say is, don't trust what people say about themselves. Let the work speak (or yell, or laugh, or cry!) for itself.
BUT IF YOU MUST KNOW, I like to eat, nap, draw, play music, hang out with my kids, nap (more), and I graduated with a BFA from Parsons and also studied at Central St. Martins in London. One time I performed without any pants on at MoMA PS1 with the Dirt Palace, a feminist art collective that I was (am still? will forever be?) a part of. Oh, and one time I saw Cat Power at a party and I was like OMG HAS ANYONE EVER TOLD YOU THAT YOU LOOK LIKE CAT POWER? to which she replied, "I hear she's a lesbian." The end.