Success Story

Egg Press


Letterpress stationery and greeting cards


Portland, OR

Date Founded


Number of Employees



Since 1999, Egg Press has been creating original, inspiring, handcrafted letterpress greeting cards and lifestyle products that connect and enrich people’s lives. As one of the few pioneers driving the resurgence of letterpress printing as an art form, they have established our leadership position within the industry as well as within the handcraft movement.

Tess Darrow started Egg Press in Portland, Oregon as an outlet to combine her passion for graphic design with her degree in textile design from the University of Washington, where she began letterpress printing. In 1999, she left her product and brand design career at Nike to devote herself fully to building Egg Press. In addition to their consumer products business, Egg Press works on specialized communications projects and custom printing for individuals and businesses — from multi-national companies like Herman Miller, MoMA, Nike, Adidas, and Apple to local design-oriented companies like Ace Hotel and Schoolhouse Electric to boutique wedding designers. Egg Press’ team is adept at maintaining our creative entrepreneurial spirit while understanding the product creation timelines of companies of all shapes and sizes.



Reduction in Costs


Jobs Retained


Reduction in production, packaging, & processing time

The Situation

Through generous funding from Greater Portland Inc, OMEP connected with Egg Press for lean manufacturing assistance. The team at Egg Press had made significant changes due to the Covid-19 pandemic. After furloughing staff, they began to bring them back. Recently, they had also shifted to a new building. wanted support to improve inventory management. As is common in many organizations, managers had multiple dashboards for managing operations. These caused frustration as they did not provide critical information in an easily digestible manner or communicate with one another. Additionally, Egg Press sought support to establish minimum and maximum inventory levels to eliminate excess inventory and product reclaim. Additionally, the team hoped to have a more clearly defined product lifecycle and establish an inventory process that leverages minimum and maximum levels.

The Solution

OMEP began with Lean Fundamentals as a foundational continuous improvement exercise for all staff. This helps to build a culture of problem solvers throughout the organization, and primes the organization to get into the continuous improvement mindset by implementing learnings immediately, directly on the shop floor. Next, OMEP created a value stream map of all Egg Press processes. Value Stream Mapping establishes a critical understanding of the current state, so the company can make adjustments in the future. Without first understanding a starting point, improvements are not possible.

After establishing the current state, OMEP partnered with the team to create shipping training materials, including training videos for the team. They developed of a Product Lifecycle model, and established flexible minimum and maximum inventory levels, based on the position on the product lifecycle, and market demand.

OMEP believes that safety is an important component of continuous improvement and healthy workplace cultures. They provided Egg Press with training materials to implement a basic safety program, including Forklift Safety and Awareness, Ladder Safety, Hazard Communication, and LockOut / TagOut. Finally, our team set Egg Press up with Kaizen (continuous improvement) tools that will allow them to tackle mini projects quickly with all staff. Kaizen, or “continuous improvement,” serves as the backbone for lean manufacturing. Kaizen uses the Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) problem-solving cycle to encourage manufacturers to use small ideas to solve big problems, such as costly, time-intensive changeovers.


The Results

Egg Press has a foundation in lean manufacturing that has set them on the path to success for years to come. The 35% reduction in inventory saved over $32K, allowing Egg Press to reallocate those funds for the purchase of raw materials. Having these raw materials allows Egg Press to produce and deliver finished goods that meet customer demands, more accurately optimizing their supply chain to account for delays. By implementing lean principles and following the flow identified by the VSM, Egg Press reduced production, packaging, and processing time by 15%. Finally, Egg Press has retained existing sales and all jobs. Most importantly, they are on the path to a successful lean culture that will drive continuous improvement.

We are on the path to a successful lean culture!

Egg Press