One Canoe Two's Printmaking Business Keeps on Pressing

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CALLAWAY COUNTY - "And so I called a guy who knew another guy who knew another guy and we went to Iowa to pick it up," Beth Snyder said. Sounds like the start of a joke but it was really the start of One Canoe Two.

"We like to say -- one canoe, two girls, like we're both in the boat together," Snyder said. Beth Snyder and her childhood friend Carrie Shryock are the founders of a local print making business.

"We both really like print making and art work and I kept saying we can't get a big press. We have nowhere to keep this big press. Then, her dad said, "Well, you could maybe put it in the barn." So they did. "We take our drawings and we send them off to get stamps made and then we stick them on this big metal plate and that's what does the actual printing," Snyder said.

At 60 years old and 2,000 pounds, this letter press is a fairly modern version. "You just really have to focus. It is a precise movement to switch it in and out," Snyder said. Whether it's their "things that are round" coaster set or their state series, their work has the slice of life feel.

"It's really happy work. Just the every day that they draw attention to, and some of their other pieces are just kind of humorous," Karen Shyrock said. Shryock is One Canoe Two's first employee. "My role is just keeping them on task and doing all the things they don't have time to," Shyrock said. Like finding stationary shows or potential places to sell their work, "For instance, hail to the chief. We wanted to see if the Smithsonian might want to carry it in some of their gift shops," Shyrock said.

One Canoe Two started its online shop in May of 2008 and the business has taken off. "Yeah, I have to pay taxes on it this year which is kind of a bummer. Yeah, it's doing really well," Snyder said.

The company sold 1,000 recipe card boxes to the retail store, Anthropologie, and is working on a deal with Whole Foods. In December, One Canoe Two was the featured seller on the website ETSY. "Because of the internet now, we ship things all over the world and it's from our little place in the middle of a cornfield. It's pretty great," Snyder said.