root is a fresh new stationery & design brand that we’re just totally in love with.
Their intricate handmade process delivers a tangible, old-school feel you don’t see that often anymore. They use heat embossing with woodblock and rubber stamps to create a glossy, raised finish. The designs bring together an eclectic mix of traditional Indian motifs and minimal & modern elements that are just lovely.
Founder Katie Bellas just launched her shop this Spring. Her vision for root is to provide a beautiful means for people to reconnect with each other, especially in this digital age. She tells us more about how she got her start, root’s plan for the next few months, and her two Park Slope mainstays.
A little trivia about yourself
– Born & raised: Manhattan, NY
– Cups of coffee a day: 2
– Currently reading: The Atlas of Forgotten Places by Jenny D. Williams (fantastic!)
– Favorite pizza place: Paulie Gee’s in Greenpoint
– Hidden talent: Jigsaw puzzles. I love a good thousand-piecer.
– If I didn’t do what I do, I would be a… Well, my other job is writing. I used to work in publishing, editing children’s picture books. Since then, I’ve received my MFA in fiction writing from Brooklyn College, and I’m currently working on a short story collection. So I’d have to say that!
What inspired you to start your business?
As a teenager, I worked at a small paper shop called Papivore in Soho for the lovely and talented Laurie McLendon. It had the most beautiful paper goods from all over the world and, best of all, a full printing press in its basement. In other words, it was heaven. I suppose my inspiration to start root came from Laurie and that experience.
What makes your products different?
Our process involves heat-embossing, using woodblock and rubber stamps to create a glossy, raised finish. Since every card is handmade, no two are exactly alike. So I like to think that each one offers buyers a small piece of original art to share with loved ones at an affordable price.
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you started?
I’m still in the beginning stages of starting root, but I do wish I’d known more about the importance of professional product photos from the start. I take all our photos myself, and it’s been a huge learning process! That, and to not be afraid to show my cards to others. It means having to risk embarrassment and failure, but, more times than not, it’s worth it.
Any exciting plans for the next few months?
Yes! I’m currently working on cards that are hand-stitched but still have a heat-embossed element. I’m also starting to hand carve stamps, which is a fun but daunting task. Starting in early fall, I’ll be selling at the Brooklyn Flea in Dumbo on Sundays. Hope to see some of you there!
We’ll be keeping an eye on root’s beautiful & growing collection! Find them on their Etsy shop.