Our Story

[vc_row type=”boxed”][vc_column][nm_banner_slider pagination=”1″ infinite=”1″ animation=”fade” speed=”1000″ autoplay=”8000″][nm_banner image_id=”1146″ alt_image_id=”1137″][nm_banner layout=”boxed” custom_link=”url:http%3A%2F%2Fwww.whiskerprints.com%2Fshop%2F|||” image_id=”1147″ alt_image_id=”1138″][nm_banner image_id=”1148″ alt_image_id=”1006″][nm_banner image_id=”1149″][/nm_banner_slider][vc_empty_space height=”15px”][vc_wp_custommenu nav_menu=”49″ el_id=”rrmenu” el_class=”rrmenu”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row type=”boxed”][/vc_row][vc_column][/vc_column][vc_empty_space][vc_row type=”boxed”][vc_column][vc_single_image image=”1104″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_circle_2″ el_class=”mariaimg”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][vc_custom_heading text=”So, this is what we’re all about.” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:45|text_align:center|color:%237a6f6f” google_fonts=”font_family:Averia%20Serif%20Libre%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic|font_style:400%20regular%3A400%3Anormal” el_class=”ohcheading”][vc_empty_space height=”20px”][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row][vc_column width=”1/6″][/vc_column][vc_column width=”2/3″ el_class=”ostext”][vc_column_text el_class=”ourhistorytext”]My name is Maria, and I’m the owner of Whisker Prints. Together with my husband, we work from our home studio in Glendale, Arizona crafting designs of our favorite quotations and printing them on pages we upcycle from vintage dictionaries we find in disrepair.

My husband is a professional designer and illustrator and we make a great team – he’s my best friend. We’ve been married over 22 years and we have a son and daughter in middle and high school. Sometimes they help us out with production and mailing when we get swamped, and they’re pretty wonderful.

My husband and I are both avid readers and we love great quotes. There’s something magical about a singular, encapsulated thought that can both illuminate our humanity and uplift our spirit. When a writer or a statesman or a scientist or someone’s grandparent can put something so well and so clear that it touches you, then there’s great power in that. That’s exciting to me. It makes me feel good and I love how, when you share it with someone who gets it too, it creates a bond.

That’s why we started making these. It started out as a craft project for gifts with friends and family – we found quotes that fit how we felt about each person and was meaningful to them, and designed them graphically to bring out the personality of the quote. They were a hit, and they started asking to buy extras so they could give them as gifts as well.

We had fun making them and word got out to local shops so we started selling more and more, and one day it hit us as to why they were so popular.

Anyone can buy a gift card, or a nice sweater and while it’s a very nice gesture and totally appropriate for certain situations, if you need something more personal, it can lack… meaning. What our customers found in our prints was that they got to say something that said something about them and how they felt about the person they were giving it to. They were connecting on an intellectual level and an emotional level in a way that a sweater could never do. No matter how much they paid for that sweater, or how pretty the pattern or luxurious the material, it couldn’t touch your heart like the quote you chose that shows them that you get them, you understand who they are and that you love them.

That’s the greatest thing about our little home business, we love to hear the stories!

We’ve heard from sisters that share an adoration for the movie “Elf” (and Etsy) and each bought one of our quotes for the other on Christmas (without the other knowing, too… a total “Gift of the Magi” moment), parents that give them to their kids’ teachers and librarians to show appreciation for their dedication and hard work, and messages of strength and solidarity for friends going through illness or the loss of a loved one. As a custom request, we once designed a special quote from J.R.R. Tolkien (“I am looking for someone to share in an adventure that I am arranging”) that was given as part of a marriage proposal. Since then, we’ve created framed prints of that one to be gifts for a wedding party or as table decor. In fact, we’ve now started selling to wedding planners as well as our regular book store and gift shop customers.

In addition to the substance of the quotes and the thoughtfulness of the design, a big part of the appeal of our prints is the vintage paper we use. We cull whatever usable sheets we can find from long out-of-date dictionaries that have sat neglected on shelves or stored in boxes for decades, slowly falling apart. By stripping away the ragged portions we sometimes find a great number of usable pages in the middle that we can upcycle and give new life as an art print.

We look for the shabbiest ones that are almost a hundred years old. Over that span of time the paper has acquired a golden, aged patina and sometimes there’s foxing (small brown spots), tiny tears along the edge or corner creases – each page is unique, sometimes with beautiful spot illustrations accompanying a few of the entries. It’s always a surprise to see how a particular design will interact with each page’s unique properties; the random quirkiness is a big part of the charm.

Thanks for taking a moment to learn more about us, and if you have a special quotation or something unique that you’d like us to create custom for you, please contact us and we’ll do everything we can to design the perfect gift that says exactly what you want to say.
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