063 | Managing critics with Mary Bruno, Bruno Press

image caption text goes here

Mary Bruno is the owner of Bruno Press, a printer, artist, and advocate for her local creative community. She grew up in a small town in central Minnesota and learned the love of printing from her father Don Bruno. Mary has an irreverent line of greeting cards that is sold nationwide and she teaches the old school art of letterpress printing the way her father taught her. Mary loves to collaborate with other printers, poets, musicians, kids, designers, you name it. And, we’ll talk about some of those collaborations today.

On today’s episode Mary tells it like it is, shares her story and how she organically grew her business through hard work and learning as she went. We also talked about her personal growth—why she no longer let’s the criticism of one person overpower the praise of hundreds. She also shares about why she’s her ideal customer.


  • The oldest piece of machinery that she has in her print shop

  • Where she learned her love of printing

  • Her background prior to starting Bruno Press and how losing her dad lead her to taking over his print shop

  • How she decided on the product line she wanted to create

  • The backstory behind her logo

  • How she essentially fell into wholesale & working with sales reps

  • Her personal journey to not letting the criticism of one person overpower the praise of hundreds

  • Her first experience at the National Stationery Show

  • What the design process looks like for Mary

  • Mary’s work as an advocate for her local creative community

  • How Kid Collab got started

  • Mary’s advice for anyone just starting out in a product-based business

Download These Quotables to Save and Share


“I inherited my love of big iron machines from my dad. I dig how machines like this were built to last.” – Mary Bruno

“This ain’t Hallmark. I want to print the cards that nobody else is printing.” – Mary Bruno

“Sometimes I feel like if I don’t offend someone my shit ain’t doing its job.” – Mary Bruno

“I didn’t know there was other people making cards like me so I felt super alone in that for a long time. I just kept my head down and kept printing and people kept buying.” – Mary Bruno

“If I’m not goo goo staring at this card for the next three days then I shouldn’t even bother printing it.” – Mary Bruno

“A lot of the success that I’ve had with my business has been because of the support of my community and I don’t want to take that for granted and I want to give back and I want to make this community better.” – Mary Bruno

“The working with kids thing has been awesome. That’s something that fills my cup.” – Mary Bruno

“It’s interesting when you get into because it’s what was presented to you rather than something you sought out because you were so into it. The fact of the matter is that if my dad was a shoe cobbler or like a freaking offset printer my life would be a lot different. Maybe I’d be cobbling some shoes right now. I can’t say for sure that I wouldn’t.” – Mary Bruno

“I say my target audience is me. It has been from day one and it is still. I think that is sort of what defines my work.” – Mary Bruno

“I print what I think is cool or funny or needed or lacking in stores or whatever the case may be.” – Mary Bruno

“A lot of people helped me along the way and I want to be like that as well for people coming up because hopefully people will continue this forever and snail mail won’t ever go away and tangible cards will be a forever thing.” – Mary Bruno


Website: Mary Bruno | Instagram: @brunopress | Facebook: @brunopress | Twitter: @bruno_press

Connect with Katie Hunt

Katie Hunt is a business strategist, podcaster, mentor and mama to four. She helps product based businesses build profitable, sustainable companies through her conferences, courses and coaching programs.

Website: prooftoproduct.com  |   Instagram: @prooftoproduct

you might also like: