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Bespoke Letterpress is one of the world’s leading letterpress studios designing and printing fine letterpress and hot foil stationery.


Founded by Alischa Herrmann in 2007, what began as a small business based under an old timber house by the sea, Bespoke Letterpress has since grown into an international recognised and celebrated brand. 


Alischa wears the Wren Linen Maxi Dress in Moss - captured by Lean Timms

Q: Thank you so much for taking time out of what must be a busy schedule to lend us your insight. As young female creative entrepreneurs, we’re inspired by your career as a designer and the business that followed the passion, Bespoke Letterpress. What would you say are 3 essential ingredients to the success of a business (so far?)

Most definitely heart, so much heart! For many of our early years, when it was just me, designing, printing, admin, production and all the work that goes into a one-woman band, it was most definitely heart that saw my dedication, and in turn, our products shine. I never set out to create a company, open stores, sell around the world.

I was just following my heart and allowing my love for what I was designing and creating to dictate how I was choosing to position and run my business. I was very much paving my own path and following my heart to trust I was on the right course.

The next essential was always believing to follow my instincts. Not to be dictated by profits, or trends, or what I thought others perceived I should do or create. But following those feelings that deep within felt right and I was comfortable with. Learning to trust my own instincts has been a huge and vital essence to the path our business has taken over the last 14 years!

And finally, the next essential has been to stay humble. At the end of the day, I’m just a designer, designing paper stationery, it is nothing special. Although I love it, actually, I adore it, it isn’t remarkable. I think it’s really important to stay grounded.

It’s important to always honour and remember that without our beautiful staff, or legions of like-minded paper lovers, we wouldn’t be here today without them. Although I started the business, it’s a team effort to bring it to life, and I’m so grateful and humbled by those who choose to work with us and buy from us. It’s truly humbling.

Alischa wears the Tala Linen Maxi Dress in White - captured by Emily O'Brien


Q: You are mum to 4 beautiful children, founding director of a flourishing printing press, an iconic cafe, and the creative behind Arafel Park Luxury Accommodation. Of course, even with help, it’s a lot! You also seem to be able to balance it all with such grace. What are your trickiest moments day to day and how do you approach them?


Oh gosh, I feel I never get to give anything 100% and have had to learn to accept that a level of percentage depreciates the more children we’ve had, and the busier life has become!

Although it was so hard decision to make, we sold the cafe in late 2020 as it was just too impossible to give anything the love it deserved. It’s now owned by a beautiful local family, and although it was hard to let one baby go, it definitely was the right decision for us to allow other babies to flourish!

The trickiest moments are definitely when you are trying to wear all hats at the same time-breastfeeding a baby, doing emails on my phone, a staff member messaging with an issue, a toddler needing attention (and not understanding in the process they are waking the just asleep baby), an older child also needing you because ABC Kids has just kicked them out, plus an even older child needs to be picked up from school all at the same time. In those moments gosh it is so hard. So hard to prioritise, keep calm and understand that my children are only going to be so little for so long, my staff need my guidance, and I can’t leave the school kids at school past 3.15pm. When all the hats get thrown on at the same time, that’s when it’s hard and impossible to feel like I’m succeeding at anything!

Bespoke Letterpress Flagship Store - Shop 2B, 310-213 Bong Bong Street, Bowral

Q: How do you begin the design process for a Bespoke Letterpress collection and what are your sources of inspiration?

As I find I get less and less time to sit and design at my desk, I spend a lot of time thinking and visualising designs to come in my head. I analyse, plan, 3d mock-up in my head as to how and what I want products to look, to feel, how I want the end user to experience the product, its packaging, and its functions. So, by the time I actually have time to design it on the computer I feel like I’ve already done the groundwork in my brain!

In terms of inspiration, I really don’t look for inspiration or what other brands are creating. I always go back to my own heart, what I love, and have faith in my own style and where I feel beauty belongs!

Bespoke Letterpress Strand Arcade pop up store - Ground Floor, 412-414 George St, Sydney

Alischa wears the Emmie Linen Dress in Cerulean Blue - captured by Lean Timms


Q: What are your favourite pieces by Amelius so far and where do they fit in your daily wardrobe?

Oh gosh, I have quite a few beautiful Amelius pieces now! As I’m not much of a shopper, I definitely value slow fashion, and choose items to wear on high rotation, classically beautiful and able to dress up or down. I don’t really enjoy (or have time!) to hit the shops, so I don’t buy clothes often, so when I find a brand whose style I love, whose aesthetic I appreciate, whose morals I align with, and whose story I resonate with, I really feel at home in their pieces.

My favourite pieces on high rotation have been Wren Linen Maxi Dress in Moss, Tala Linen Maxi Dress in White, and Emmie Linen Dress in the most beautiful Cerulean Blue. Having grown a baby over the last year, and now breastfeeding I’ve found these dresses really pregnancy and breastfeeding friendly, but still flattering in those post-partum tubby stages! I really appreciate how the Linen breathes, the solid block colouring and the simplistic yet flattering beauty. They are easy to dress up or dress down, and they’ve served me well in this stage of life and babies!

I also recently bought an Odessa Linen Maxi Skirt, and I’m quite enjoying wearing skirts again in this in between Autumn weather!

Alischa wears the Emmie Linen Dress in Cerulean Blue - captured by Lean Timms


Q: Any final insights for young women in business?

Gosh, business is tough. So tough. But yet so beautiful, and so rewarding. It is beautifully tough all at the same time!

There is always something to learn, and something to improve. I think it’s so important when starting a new business is to always follow your heart. Don’t pursue an idea because it’s a “trend” – as trends always fade. Don’t pursue it for a quick dollar, or because it will be easy, as I promise business is never easy, and you’ll spend that quick dollar quicker then you’ve made it.

But do it because you love it. Because when you talk about it, your joy will radiate, and the love for what you are doing, will shine. Your shine will attract those who love what you are doing, and this, this is what will keep you motivated. Also don't underestimate the power of a good visual team. Invest in a brilliant graphic designer, a branding and web experience expert, and definitely a product photographer. Maybe save in other areas. Fancy desks and packing stations, branded mailer bags and fancy tissue paper. They can all come in time. These things don’t encourage a buyer to buy your product. But presenting it visually online, in the best light, in the first instance they see it, this can be the difference between them buying from you or not.

Invest your initial business funds in capturing your buyers attention and use your love to share your story and radiate that joy for your products or business. Be prepared to work hard, and that it may take years, many many years. But if you love it, really really love it, those years will fly buy and 14 years later you’ll still be dreaming about new ideas every night.

But mostly, follow your heart. Believe that you can. I had many folks in my early days, whilst I was working up an inky messy sweat as I foot treadled our first ever 1893 letterpress press look at me and shake their heads. This couldn’t be a business; this wasn’t a viable way to make a living. And the reality, no it wasn’t, not in that model. But what it was the start of a dream, and every dream has to start somewhere. And as my experience grew, my knowledge grew, my passion never wavered, and the dream only grew. Believe that you can, as anything if you set your mind to it, combine it with dedication and passion, is possible.


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