A unique way to shop local: Send these holiday greeting cards from Rochester artists

Tracy Schuhmacher
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

I enjoy the tradition of sending and receiving holiday, but my usual approach just didn't feel right this year.

A family photo? Didn't take one. Plus, I'd usually order cards from one of the big national card companies, and I have been focusing on supporting small local businesses.

I figured that artists surely were hurting this year, what with canceled arts festivals, closed retail stores, smaller weddings and so on. 

Once I started looking for possibilities, I was wowed by what Rochester's artists have to offer with many different styles available. The cards are pricier than mass produced cards, but I'll probably send fewer of them and actually hand write some notes.

Here are some of my favorites.

Ink & Pine Design

Kelsey Werzinger, owner of Ink and Pine Design, stamps each card by hand.

Card: Hand-stamped cards with a festive Genesee Beer design or ornaments with the Rochester logo

Price: $15 for a set of five, or $4 each.

Other possibilities: Non-holiday cards with Rochester themes

How to purchase: Purchase online at inkandpinedesign.com or at several local shops, which are listed on the website.

About the artist: By day, Kelsey Werzinger teaches art to middle and high school students. By night, she carves stamps in her home-based studio. Each card is one-of -a-kind, as they all are hand stamped.

Type High Letterpress

This "moose-nora" card from Type High Letterpress has a blue letterpress print and foil stamped candle light. The illustration was created by Rochester artist Magnus Champlin.

Card: This "moose-nora" card from Type High Letterpress celebrates Hanukkah with a blue letterpress print and foil stamped candle light. The illustration was created by Rochester artist Magnus Champlin. The inside message: A little more fun, a little more love, a little more light every night. That's the joy of Hanukkah.

Price: $40 for a set of 10, or $6 each

Other possibilities: Several Christmas designs, many with naughty or edgy themes.

How to purchase: Order online at typehigh.com. Visit the studio from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily in the Hungerford Building at 1115 E. Main. St., Suite 246. Or call (585) 281-2510.

About the artist: Tony Zanni is the owner, creator and printer at Type High Letterpress. His studio in the Hungerford Building is filled with 800 cases of type and five different presses for producing his creations.

Patent Press

Bob Hickey, owner of Patent Press Greeting Cards, creates cards from patent art.

Card: Patent art for an electric menorah for Hanukkah. The inside is blank.

Price: $3.95 each

Other possibilities: Christmas designs, including the iconic leg lamp from A Christmas Story, a sleigh and a wind-up Santa Claus bank. Some are black-and-white and others are color.

How to purchase: Purchase online at patentpressgreetingcards.com. Some of the company's cards are sold locally at Record Archive, 33 1/3 Rockwood St., and Parkleigh, 235 Park Ave.

About the artist: Bob Hickey, owner of Patent Press, creates cards that feature artwork that accompanied patent applications filed with the United States Patent & Trademark Office. The patents run the gamut from iconic to fantastical, and the greetings inside can be sweet, funny or edgy. The cards have won several awards.


This Christmas card from ShopSophies in Spencerport features a Rochester skyline.

Card: A cheerful Christmas shopper with Rochester skyline behind her. Each card is hand embellished with glitter and packaged with red shimmer envelope. Available blank or with a greeting.

Price: $24 for 10 

Other possibilities: A Santa version with Rochester in the background, as well as several non-Rochester Christmas designs.

How to purchase: Order online at celebratewithsophies.com; curbside pickup is available at philoSophie's Stationary and Gifts, 123 S. Union St., Spencerport. Call (585) 352-7044.

About the artist: Joanna Alberti created Sophie, a character who inspires friendship, love and confidence. Sophie is featured on many — but not all — of Alberti's cards. The character and cards can be customized. Alberti has owned philoSophie's in Spencerport for the past 12 years. 

Cordell and Rachel Cordaro

These fanciful Santa cards were created by husband-and-wife artists Cordell and Rachel Cordaro.

Card: Set of four fanciful Santa cards are a collaboration of husband-and-wife artists Cordell and Rachel Cordaro. They are blank inside.

Price: $20 for a pack of four from Rachel Cordaro on her website. $16.50 for a pack of four from Cordell Cordaro's website.

Other possibilities: Rachel Cordaro also offers a set of Christmas trees. Cordell Cordaro also offers a set of fanciful birds.

How to purchase: Order online at rachelcordaro.com or cordellcordaro.com.

About the artist: Rachel Cordaro creates playful and vibrant paintings, mostly of flowers, using acrylics. Cordell Cordaro is a fine artist whose paintings and ink drawings often include a colorful crowd of characters, some set in party scenes.

Vicki McArdle

These poinsettia cards were created by Vicki McArdle, who has a studio in Caledonia.

Card: Set of four poinsettia note cards have a pearlescent finish. They are blank inside.

Price: $13 for the set of four

Other possibilities: Other floral non-seasonal greeting cards.

How to purchase: Order online at vickimcardleart.com

About the artist: Vicki McArdle is an artist who also teaches art to grades 7 to 12. She also teaches evening classes to adults.

Salty Lemon Studio

This watercolor cardinal note card is from Salty Lemon Studio, which does business on Etsy.

Card: A watercolor cardinal note card with a blank inside.

Price: $4. Mix-and-match card bundles are available including 3 for $8; 4 for $10; 6 for $15; and 10 for $20.

Other possibilities: Another note card is of winter evergreens.

How to purchase: Shop online at etsy.com/shop/SaltyLemonStudio.

About the artist: Michelle Weston is a watercolor and hand-lettering artist who especially enjoys painting flowers and using golden accents.

Moon Rabbit Press

These snowy cards were created by Chris Charles of Moon Rabbit Press.

Card: Two jolly snowmen are a 4-color print, made from hand-carved linoleum and custom made plates.

Price: $5 each or $29 for an eight-pack of letterpress printed cards. For larger quantities, email chris@moonrabbitpress.com.

Other possibilities: A hedgehog, penguin and yeti, all with a similar look. An assorted holiday card 8-pack is available.

How to purchase: Purchase online at moonrabbitpress.com. Beginning the weekend of Dec. 5, Notion, 50 State St. in Pittsford, will carry Moon Rabbit Press products.

About the artist: Chris Charles uses hand-set type, carved linoleum and custom made plates to create original designs that are printed on vintage presses. 

Laura Wilder

Artist Laura Wilder offers several note cards with snowy scenes. Her art is inspired by the Arts and Crafts Movement.

Card: Note card with a beautiful winter woods scene, created in the style of the Arts and Crafts Movement. 

Price: $3 for a single card; $2.40 each for six to 11 cards; $2.25 each for 12 to 19 cards; $2.10 each for 20 or more cards.

Other possibilities: Note cards with several other snowy scenes, including the George Eastman House; a holiday tabby cat; a holiday Scottie and golden retriever; and a woman holding mistletoe.

How to purchase: Purchase online at laurawilder.com.

About the artist: Laura Wilder was approved as Roycroft Renaissance Artisan in 1995 and soon was elevated to Master Artisan status. She makes block prints and paintings inspired by nature, the Arts and Crafts Movement and the simple things in life.

Little Bee Designed

Little Bee Designed offers hand printed cards made from kraft paper.

Card: Kraft paper cards hand printed with an original mitten design.

Price: $2 each; $8 for an assorted set of five; $14 for an assorted set of 10.

Other possibilities: A tree, mug, ornament or house with the same look. Or sign up for a class through The Rochester Brainery, and learn to make your own cards, tags and more. The class will be held at 1:30 p.m. Dec. 20 on Zoom, and includes supplies. The cost is $43 to $53, depending on supplies chosen.

How to purchase: Order online at littlebeedesigned.bigcartel.com. Local pickup in Brighton is available.

About the artist: Amy Bonner Oliveri is an arts educator and director of the Center for Entrepreneurship at Allendale Columbia School. She also creates custom chalk art pieces for weddings and events.

Greetings 4 Good

Greetings 4 Good is part of Central Creatives in the Piano Works Mall in East Rochester.

Card: A greeting card with whimsical trees; the inside reads, Peace, Joy and Love to you & your family

Price: $5

Other possibilities: Several Christmas, holiday and Hanukkah cards in a variety of styles.

How to purchase: Buy online at greetings4good.org. Visit Central Creatives at the Piano Works Mall, 333 W. Commercial St. in East Rochester by appointment only; call (585) 210-3161 to schedule.

About the artist: Susan Carmen-Duffy started Create Art 4 Good as a pop-up gallery in 2010. Two years later she moved to the Hungerford Building, where she remained for eight years. She moved to Central Creatives in the Piano Works Mall earlier this year.

Send story tips to TracyS@Gannett.com. Follow her on Twitter or Instagram as @RahChaChow. Thanks to our subscribers for supporting local journalism.