MSU alumna, Thimblepress owner returns for Eric and Gina Yonge Lecture Series

Kristen Ley (Photo submitted)

Contact: Sasha Steinberg

STARKVILLE, Miss.—In 2011, Mississippi State art/graphic design graduate Kristen Ley purchased a 1925 10 x 15 Chandler and Price letterpress and opened Thimblepress gift shop in Jackson. Today, her handmade, creative goods can be found at more than 900 retailers worldwide, and a recent partnership is set to bring a limited edition of her designs to Target stores.

During a 10 a.m. lecture Friday [April 12] at Mississippi State, Ley will discuss her journey from art student to successful business owner. Thimblepress is a name derived from a collection of thimbles Ley has acquired during her travels since childhood. For more, visit

Free to all, her presentation takes place in Colvard Student Union’s Fowlkes Auditorium.

“The Department of Art is proud to welcome Kristen Ley back to campus as the speaker for the 2019 Eric and Gina Yonge Lecture Series,” said Jeffrey Haupt, MSU art department professor and interim head. “Ms. Ley will share her insights about the exciting and often challenging transition period from student life to working professional.”

With a $25,000 donation to the MSU Foundation, Starkville native and MSU alumnus Eric Yonge and his wife, Gina, established the lecture series in 2015 to engage fine arts students in thoughtful discussions on how to market themselves and their talents. Eric Yonge is president and creative director of Kennesaw, Georgia-based EYStudios, a leading e-commerce brand development firm.

Part of the College of Architecture, Art and Design, MSU’s Department of Art is home to the Magnolia State’s largest undergraduate studio art program. For more, visit

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