I’m Erin Berkowitz, the owner and designer behind paper goods line Yellow House Handmade. I live in Los Angeles and work out of a studio in the arts district in downtown LA.
My background is in creative writing and graphic design. I’ve always been a letter-writer and card-sender; after leaving my 9-to-5 a couple years ago, I craved working with my hands and knew I wanted to create a line of handmade paper goods. I took a one-day screenprinting class at a local art store on a whim, and I immediately fell in love with the raw, hands-on process.
The writer in me often steers my creative process. A phrase or sentiment will pop into my mind, and I immediately break out my sketchbook to jot it down and start hand-lettering. When I’ve settled on a final sketch, I’ll scan it in, touch it up, and outline it digitally. The screens I use for printing are then “burned” with these finalized designs in negative, and ink is pulled through the open parts to make a print, almost like a stencil. I hand-pull all of my prints, and each ink color requires an additional pass.
Etsy has been an integral part of my growth from hobbyist to full-time screenprinter and business owner. My designs would not have fallen into so many hands without Etsy’s wide reach. Seeing what my peers are creating and selling has been a huge source of motivation and inspiration, and hearing feedback from my customers is by far the most fulfilling part of owning my business.
This year, I’m hoping to add a selection of screenprinted gift wrap and textiles to the line. I’m also planning for a 2016 debut at the National Stationery Show. That will be my first trade show, and it will introduce Yellow House Handmade to a wider wholesale audience – both in the US and internationally.
Photos by Jessica Castro.