Biely Shoaf Presents Louise Mulgrew

Letterpress Metaverse: Sad Girls Bar x PE

Until last week, I didn’t know what the Sad Girls Bar was — but that all changed when an embargoed email from stationery’s own avante-garde dynamo, Victoria Venturi of Paper Epiphanies, hit my inbox .

“We are excited to announce that our first crossover collection derived from NFTs — Sad Girls Bar x Paper Epiphanies —  launches next Thursday,” it read. “This collection is WOW WOW WOW and the future of what is possible with our industry as it relates to Web3. As this collection is truly the first of its kind on earth, I would love to blast it from the roof tops!”

That was absolutely no problem, I just had to understand a bit better for myself what it all meant first. So yesterday afternoon I took a deep dive into all things Sad Girls Bar, Web3 and Discord, starting at what seemed like the beginning: the Sad Girls Bar (SGB) site. Although the collection is squarely on the cutting edge, the roots of the idea of Sad Girls is centuries and centuries old, writes artist and creator Glam Beckett on Medium.

“Sad girls have always been a popular topic in the media, from the meditative figures in the Middle Age paintings to the pop culture images today. Sadness as a central theme is fundamental to the aesthetic experience,” she writes.

“Sad Girls Bar collection showcases sad yet strong girls with rebellious style and attitude. Sad Girls might look fragile and sensitive, but yet they’re confident enough to express themselves, explore emotions and entertain ideas that might otherwise be described as too dark, melancholic or mysterious. Sad Girls represent a full spectrum of emotions and styles, from yearning to loneliness, blues to anger, boredom to disappointment to the realization that their personal growth is something to celebrate.”

It’s definitely a compelling visual language for women navigating our crazy times, and as such I’m smitten. Glam continued, “Sad Girls’ sadness isn’t quiet, embarassing or shameful — it’s active, autonomous and empowering. Instead of ‘forced optimism’, sadness actually can be perceived as a very appropriate and informed reaction to the world around us. For Sad Girls it’s a way of fighting back. SGB collection lets people find their unique digital identity, a new way to express themselves and learn that they are not alone in the emotions they are feeling. It’s a moment of solidarity and support for those who identify with the sad girl’s experience.”

Suddenly I found myself on Discord, perusing and falling in love with countless Sad Girl NFTs, even contemplating acquiring my own to use as a digital avatar, like Victoria has done with her personal IG feed.

To Victoria, this Web3 crossover collab is a glimpse of what’s to come for all of us. “Web3 is the future of technology and there is no reason physical consumer products cannot grow right along with it,” she explained. “Female founded, Sad Girls Bar is the perfect fit as our NFT launch partner. Not only is the art incredible, but the tone of the Sad Girls Bar universe aligns perfectly with Paper Epiphanies’ mission to empower real conversations. ‘Sad Girls’ are both emotional and strong, a dichotomy that truly reflects the power of women.”

The collaboration includes seven letterpress greeting cards and two letterpress art prints, all created from NFT art owned by Paper Epiphanies. The collection, first conceived in January 2022, is printed to letterpress life at the Paper Epiphanies’ flagship store in Portland, Oregon, using vintage Heidelberg Windmill presses.

“It is wonderful to watch Sad Girls Bar expand into other industries like greeting cards,” said Sad Girls Partnerships Manager, Eugene Myalenkov. “Our brand proves to be a powerhouse in both the metaverse and now, the physical universe.”

Shop this fabulous stationery collection here. Meanwhile, the digital blockchain NFTs will be displayed on screens alongside the letterpress collection at Paper Epiphanies’ flagship for a truly immersive and dare I say, one-of-a-kind stationery experience. While this powerful tribe will hit other brick-and-mortar stores later this summer, for now Paper Epiphanies is the only place to adopt your one-of-a-kind letterpress Sad Girl … and then send her out into the world.