At Miemiko Atelier, it’s easy to get lost in the array of print creations that fill the cozy shop, including stationery that celebrates nearly every type of occasion. “I’ve always liked paper,” says owner Cari Nakanishi, who has long been more fascinated with the packaging details of things she purchased than the products themselves. But it wasn’t until a friend enlisted her to create a party invitation that Nakanishi’s foray into stationery was realized.
Ready to deepen her skills, Nakanishi enlisted in a weeklong course in San Francisco to learn how to operate a letterpress. Not long after, she serendipitously received one of her own as a gift. What drew Nakanishi to the letterpress was its tactile nature. The printing press provided Nakanishi, a self-proclaimed “lover of process,” the opportunity to learn and make mistakes.
“It wasn’t something that was immediate,” she says. “You have to learn through it, too.”
Today, Nakanishi’s paper goods, which range from invitations to business cards, are printed by hand and run through her massive 120-pound press. Her creations bear delicate imprints of Diamond Head or Hawaiian flora—the perfect medium through which to send a bit of aloha. Nakanishi says: “I just want people to feel some kind of joy from my products and also use it to connect with others.”