Grounded Print & Paper Shop: Combining Creativity and Sustainability

Ashley Pastore is the founder of Grounded Print and Paper Shop. Grounded is an interdisciplinary, contemporary print and papermaking shop located in Erie's Little Italy neighborhood. Their mission is to offer a safe, sustainable, collaborative and inclusive creative space.

Q: What is the primary focus of your business?
Pastore: The primary focus of my business is to provide access to creative tools and ways of thinking. It is first and foremost a collaborative space for artists to make their work. It is also a papermaking shop where I make handmade paper to sell in various venues. Grounded is also a classroom for creative thinking.

Q: What motivated you to start your business?
Pastore: I wanted to start this business because I wanted a place to make my artwork. This didn't already exist in Erie, so I figured I might as well start it myself. I could have done this in any of the other larger cities where I have lived, but it seemed appropriate to start something like this in a place that sorely needed it.

Q: How has being part of the Gone Local community helped your business?
Pastore: Gone Local is an exciting addition to the climate of Erie, pulling various local creative products together into one location in a curated kind of way. I'm happy to be participating in some of the corporate gift baskets Kristen has been putting together.

Q: What other ways have you engaged with the community through your business?
Pastore: I've been working with several local businesses to recycle their paper waste into new products. I've also led and participated in several discussions and classes for children and adults, displayed my work at galleries and the Erie Art Museum, and brought in visiting artists from other cities.

Q: What do you like best about living and working in Northwest Pennsylvania?
Pastore: I like that this area is kind of wide open with possibilities. This area is on the verge of big things happening. I think this place is extremely beautiful and gritty, and it feels good to be contributing to the bettering of my hometown.

Q: Is there anything else you would like others to know about you?
Pastore: I've started three businesses — Wild Sprout Microgreens in Austin, Texas; Poppins Cleaning Service in Erie; and Grounded. I think Wild Sprout was my favorite, but this may just be because life felt more fun at 26!

Find Grounded's handmade paper at Gone Local, on their website, and at various vending events around town.

Interview conducted by Edinboro University student Andrew Barefield.