Why Essex? Words & Pictures

Interview with Stephanie Zuppo, Owner

Words & Pictures is tucked above Fiori Bridal and Martone’s Market on Main Street in Essex Junction.  After walking up a steep staircase that reminded me of a building in New York City, I was greeted by the friendly smile of Words & Pictures owner Stephanie Zuppo.  Stephanie grew up in Pennsylvania and moved to White River Junction to attend the Center for Cartoon Studies.  She and her husband later moved to Chittenden County so that Stephanie could accept a position teaching in the Division of Communication and Creative Media at Champlain College.

Words & Pictures is a print shop focused on screen printing and DIY publishing. The business’s mission is to support small-scale publishing by providing access to affordable printing and design tools, educational workshops, a community meeting space, and zine library. Words & Pictures offers memberships to cartoonists and other artists who would like to use the space on a consistent basis. Stephanie founded Works & Pictures in March, after being approached by Essex Hub founder Kristin Humbargar.  Kristin was featured in this column a few weeks ago. Kristin asked Stephanie what her biggest dream was and how she could help to make it happen in Essex Junction … and Words & Pictures was born. 

To break it down a little more, Stephanie was a vendor at the first annual steAmfest last September.  It was here that she connected with Kristin and learned more about the area.  After the event, Stephanie took a follow-up survey and indicated that she was looking for space to grow her businesses.  When the space at 14 Main Street opened up, Kristin contacted Stephanie and she was able to move in and make her dream of opening up a print shop a reality.  

In addition to teaching at Champlain College, running Words & Pictures, and running cartoon camps, Stephanie also publishes “The Ladybroad Ledger” a free comics newsletter (she has a lot of energy). “The Ladybroad Ledger” features work by femme-identifying Vermont cartoonists, and is published twice a year. 

Words & Pictures is located at 14 Main St., Unit B in Downtown Essex Junction.  There is lots of information about events and workshops online and on Words & Pictures’ Facebook page.  

Why Essex? “Because I was asked” -Stephanie Zuppo

Photo credits: Darby Mayville

Why Essex? is a weekly(ish) column highlighting the people and places that make Essex an interesting and special place. Have an idea for the column? E-mail Darby Mayville at darby@essexjunction.org.