Thimblepress | Owner and Operator
Kristen Ley, the founder and creative director of Thimblepress came by her success through equal parts talent, perseverance and faith. Her lifelong interest in art guided her growth all the way to what Thimblepress is today: a creative brand designed to make people happy. Read on to discover what she's learnt on her colorful journey.
Since I was very young, I was always attracted to art be it drawing, painting etc. In college at Mississippi State University, I majored in graphic design without really knowing what that meant; but I ended up loving it.
Soon after graduating, my friend and I opened our own studio. We were working with brands and companies. It was different and fun but it wasn't exactly what we dreamt of. We moved on to our own projects. I set off to work in a marketing job for a school while never giving up on my goal to create something bigger.
It was a series of fateful coincidences that led me to where I am today; beginning with a woman selling me her entire shop and letterpress in Kentucky. (That letterpress sits in my office today.)
I really relied on prayer and faith to guide me to where I should be. Every door started opening for Thimblepress and it became very evident that Thimblepress was what i should be doing.
Thimblepress is about creating products that make people smile and make them happy. We know even the smallest life moments need to be celebrated and cherished, because life is short. At Thimblepress, we strive to be synonymous with happiness, inspiration and kindness. Our hopes are to impact positive social & community change and encourage children in the world of creative pursuits and careers, just as I was encouraged as a child. We will continue producing innovative products, colorful environments, and have an impact in our own local and state economy. We want to continue to dream big – always.
As founder and creative director, I design all Thimblepress products and dream up the ideas behind them. I am also heavily involved in the marketing side because those are things I love.
When I hired a team (6 full-time employees and 10-15 part-time), I hired out my weaknesses and hired for things I didn't particularly like to do but perhaps others might like such as sales and accounting.
Stories are a big part of what makes Thimblepress. I'm a sap and I just love a good celebration and Thimblepress products are an embodiment of that.
You just need to start, do it and figure it out. Don't worry about perfecting your brand. I went into everything backwards. I didn't have all my ducks in a row. In fact, I didn't even have a website but I did have a passion and drive to fuel my fire to literally go beyond what was humanly possible.
Aside from that, I am forever learning and I recommend that everyone embrace the habit too. Use your ride to work productively by listening to podcasts, read books, do what it takes to stay on top of your game and inspired.