66: Kristen Ley Launched Thimblepress
Since dressing up as an artist for her kindergarten career day, Kristen Ley has known what her future profession was meant to be. Even at that early age, she knew what creating art and beautiful things meant. Both her grandmothers were avid seamstresses and craft gurus, so they are a huge part of who she is today and she continues to honor them in her work.
After completing AP art classes, Kristen went on to Mississippi State University and did not hesitate on choosing art as her major, with an emphasis in graphic design and minor in marketing. After graduation in 2007, she opened up a successful art and design business called Cultigraphic Creative® with fellow MSU classmate Catherine Yerger.
In 2011, curiosity got the best of Kristen and she purchased a 1925 10 x 15 Chandler + Price from Lexington, KY and hauled it all the way back to Mississippi. With the press acquired, she decided to open up Thimblepress®. The name was derived from her childhood, now continued on to adulthood, collection of thimbles from her travels. Every time she traveled to a new state, she got a thimble to mark her visit. She still keeps her collection in old letterpress type drawers in her dining room.
Kristen hopes to make Thimblepress a reflection of her life, love of her family, and her favorite places in the world; one of them being Mississippi.
Have integrity, honesty but to always have fun and to trust my gut.
Her Advice to Aspiring Female Entrepreneurs
- Think about the real fear. If you chase after this (your business idea) what is the absolute worse thing that could happen.
- Think about why you are scared.
- Don’t be afraid to be your own PR agency.
- Dream big.
- Give yourself positive affirmations.