Earthworks and the Dirt on Dirty Gold

Just as our printers enjoy telling stories of how they came to love letterpress, every bride knows the importance of a good engagement story… you want to tell the whole world how he presented that little box with the sparkly ring.

And let’s be serious — we love gold. It’s shiny, it’s pretty, and when placed on the left ring finger, a gold ring symbolizes never-ending love and commitment to our one-and-only.

When I started ring shopping with my fiance, I was torn. I knew I wanted a ring, but I was concerned about the environmental and social impacts of this particular “symbol of love”. From the beginning, I was adamant that I wanted a conflict-free diamond, but it wasn’t until I started digging into the facts that I began to understand the effects of gold mining on communities, mining workers, and our environment.

conflict free engagement rings

You may have noticed that proceeds from our Labor Day Sample Sale (a huge success by the way… thanks!!!!) went to support Earthwork’s No Dirty Gold Campaign. Earthworks is a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting communities and the environment from the impacts of irresponsible mining (Earthworks is also one of the eco causes we support as a member of 1% for the Planet!). I wanted to share with you some of what I have learned from Earthworks, and give you resources that will allow you to make informed purchases in the future.

Did you know that:

- One ring (if using traditional mining practices) produces an average of 20 TONS of waste!?!
- Gold mining is one of the world’s dirtiest industries. It wreaks havoc on local economies, causes illnesses, destroys streams, contaminates soil, and contributes to human rights abuses.
- Mined waste includes all sorts of toxins such as cadmium, mercury, arsenic, and lead. These metals enter local watersheds, contaminating drinking water for local residents.

Yeah. That’s pretty heavy stuff. Still, there are things you can do to help!

- Recycle old jewelry. You can have old rings melted down to make new ones. Support jewelers that offer products made with recycled gold.
- Buy vintage or antique jewelry.
- Love your ring. Take care of it and eventually pass it on to a child or friend.

To learn about more ways you can have an impact, or to learn more about the “No Dirty Gold Pledge”, visit the No Dirty Gold Campaign website today.

by Jenna Tulman on September 16th, 2011. Category: Green Wedding Ideas,Inspiration,News + Updates | No comments

The Sample Sale is Back! $1 Letterpress Invitation Samples — Help Save the Planet!!

It’s that time of year again — our sample sale is back! Now through September 8, all of our letterpress invitation samples will be on sale for just $1! All proceeds from the sale will benefit Earthworks and will help aid their efforts to end dirty gold mining practices around the world. Sign the pledge today and make sure you know where your gold is coming from! The inventory for a few of our designs is limited, so you may receive samples in colors that are different from what’s shown on our website (but don’t worry — they’ll still be pretty!!).  Samples may be ordered on our website – just click on your favorite designs, then select “order a sample” and proceed to checkout after you’ve selected all of the designs you’d like to see! The sale ends at 11:59pm on Thursday, September 8, so don’t wait — buy your samples today & help the environment in the process — it’s a win-win!

**The fine print: availability for select designs may be limited. If our inventory runs out for a sample that you’ve ordered, we’ll contact you to determine a suitable replacement option or to arrange a refund if necessary. We appreciate your understanding on this!**

by Erica Henriksen on September 1st, 2011. Category: Green Wedding Ideas,News + Updates,Promotions + Giveaways | No comments

Announcing a Bella Figura Promotion — Free Envelope Liners to Same Sex Couples!

We’re so pumped that New York has joined the ranks of the small (but growing) number of states offering equal rights to same sex couples. In honor of this human rights triumph, Bella Figura is helping celebrate by offering free envelope liners to any same sex couple who orders their wedding stationery from us!

In addition to the promotion, we’ll be showcasing some recent real weddings, giving tips on wording, and offering advice from etiquette expert Mark Kingsdorf – an event planning pro who’s worked with the Emily Post Institute on several books.

The promotion runs from August 25 – September 25 — stop in to one of our Bella Figura retailers to place your order today! If you don’t have a retailer in your area, get in touch & we’ll help you get started.

by Erica Henriksen on August 25th, 2011. Category: News + Updates,Promotions + Giveaways | No comments

7 New Letterpress Wedding Invitation Designs from Bella Figura!

We’re so excited to show off some of the pretty new things we’ve been working on over here at Bella Figura! We’ve just added 7 gorgeous new letterpress invitations to our collection and couldn’t wait until next year to share them.  Check out the new designs below!

Modern Light – designed by Ian Koenig – features clean typography and minimal design – ideal for a modern celebration.

 Simple Stripes, designed by Jessica Tierney,  is modern and sweet – we love the playful fonts used throughout the suite!

Four new cities! Charmed Sydney, Charmed Washington DC, Charmed Chicago & Charmed San Francisco. Also designed by Jessica Tierney (and based on her Charmed New York design), these cityscape invitations are perfect for an event based in any of these iconic cities.

Read the rest of this page »

by Erica Henriksen on August 10th, 2011. Category: News + Updates | No comments

Bella Figura Debuts at the National Stationery Show with Smock!

We’re back from our first ever appearance at the National Stationery Show where we were blown away by the response to our new letterpress wedding album. We had the most amazing time. Much love to all of the awesome retailers who dropped by to say hello and check us out! Here’s a little peak of what the booth looked like – you can visit our sister company Smock for a full recap! We’ll see you back here next week for renewed inspirations and lots of letterpress love. Happy weekend!

by Cynthia Converse on May 20th, 2011. Category: News + Updates | No comments

Bella Figura at the 2011 National Stationery Show

For the first time ever, Bella Figura will be at this year’s National Stationery Show! If you’re attending the show, drop by and say hello! We’ll be in booth 2241 with our BFF Smock. We’re so excited to share our passion for really gorgeous letterpress invitations so make sure to pay us a visit. See you soon!

Many thanks to our friend and calligrapher extraordinaire Sarah Hanna for lending her beautiful calligraphy to this year’s NSS invitation, too!

by Cynthia Converse on May 9th, 2011. Category: News + Updates | 1 comment

Pattern This: Crazy Cool Envelope Liners for 2011

All new for 2011, we’re really excited about our new patterned envelope liners to coordinate with our letterpress invitations. They are super eco (digitally flat printed on 100% post consumer recycled paper) and super custom (in your choice of colors and patterns to make your letterpress invitations one of a kind). Our new liners are modern and traditional, vintage inspired and contemporary, and crazy cool. Pick stripes or solids, geometrics or florals, choose your favorite color and get started dreaming up the perfect letterpress invitations for your celebration!

by Cynthia Converse on January 31st, 2011. Category: News + Updates | (2) comments

Welcome to Bella Figura 2011!

It’s here! With great excitement we welcome you to our 2011 letterpress wedding collection! Created by an exclusive team of 20 of the hottest designers and illustrators from across the nation, our letterpress designs are even more inspired than ever before. New for 2011, check out our new patterned envelope liners, new eco pocketfolds in exclusive colors, new calligraphy styles, our new monogram and cartouche library, and our updated letterpress inks and fonts. Our letterpress samples are now just $3 making it even easier to see all of your favorite designs in person!

Get in touch! Our team of stationery experts look forward to helping you create personalized and inspired letterpress stationery perfect for your celebration.

by Cynthia Converse on January 25th, 2011. Category: News + Updates | (2) comments

A New Year’s Celebration – 2010′s Top 10

As 2011 nears, we thought we’d pause a moment to recognize 2010 by celebrating our top selling letterpress wedding invitation designs from this past year. From the traditional and sophisticated to the modern to the vintage inspired, these wedding invitations were our clients’ favorites in 2010. A huge thank you to our amazing clients for making this past year the best one yet – we’ve got lots of exciting new things coming for 2011 so stay tuned!

{Deveril letterpress wedding invitations from our Signature Collection.}

{Classic Calligraphy wedding invitations by Debi Zeinert.}

{String Calligraphy wedding invitations by Patricia Mumau.}

{Harlow letterpress wedding invitations from our Signature Collection, designed by Jessica Tierney.}

{Urbanity letterpress wedding invitations by Tara Hogan.}

{Birch wedding invitations from our Signature Collection, designed by Jessica Tierney.}

{Vendage letterpress wedding invitations by Kamal.}

{Tara letterpress wedding invitations by Ben Whitla.}

{Victoria Calligraphy wedding invitations by Sarah Hanna.}

{Irving letterpress wedding invitations by Ben Whitla.}

by Cynthia Converse on December 29th, 2010. Category: News + Updates | No comments

The Letterpress Open Studio is Here!

This fall Bella Figura, our parent company Boxcar Press and our sister company Smock got a lot larger and moved into some shiny new digs. Our expansion (17 letterpresses, 55 employees, 24,000 square feet) makes us one of the largest letterpress shops in the country. For the past few months we have been packing up, building new walls, moving presses, expanding our print shop and moving our operations from one end of an old warehouse in downtown Syracuse, New York to the other. Now we’ve cleaned up our dust and we’re inviting you to come check us out!Come for shop tours, printing demonstrations, free giveaways, holiday shopping with Smock, refreshments, live entertainment and more. Letterpress lovers of all ages are welcome – we’ll have lots of fun activities for kids, too! We look forward to seeing you on Saturday between 10 and 4 – see you soon!

by Cynthia Converse on December 8th, 2010. Category: About Us,News + Updates | No comments