Big Bad Bettie Press is a new independent micro press focusing on photography and projects that are bold, brassy, and creative. We are rooted in the value of the tangible and believe that artists and innovators need to be part of the batter not just the icing. We make books, art objects, and portable exhibitions.
Big Bad Bettie Press is inspired by Katie Harwood's grandmother, whom they called Big Bad Bettie. She was a force of nature. Bold, brassy, and creative. She was a bit crazy at times and a bit of a drunk at times. (It was the 60’s.) But Big Bad Bettie was a leader and marched to the beat of her own drum. BBB is the daughter of the famous Ludwig Drum maker and enlisted as a WAVE during WWII. During that time she became the first woman to enroll in a flight class at the University of Notre Dame. We told you, bold. Some of her favorite activities included spending time in the Northwoods of Wisconsin with family and friends playing cards, fishing, and dressing up in kooky costumes for dinner. It wasn't all fun and games of course, but BBB seemed to be able to laugh through it all. Katie remembers her fondly and aims to uphold and infuse her vibrant spirit into this company. One of BBB favorite saying was "Let's run it up the flag pole and see who salutes!" In other words, let's give it a try and see what happens.
In 2015, Katie Harwood, our Founder & Navigator, graduated with her MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. She was faced with big questions like "Now what?" and "How do I keep a dialogue going with my community?" and "How do I continue my work and research while keeping a roof over my head?" Never one to go gently into that good night, she decided to start her own business - make her own path. And what better inspiration than a woman who stood for courage, risk taking, and creativity. Katie was introduced to the art world mostly through books and photograph and decided the best place to start was a publishing company. Thriving on collaboration, Katie reached out to talented colleagues and fellow artists: Stacy Bebie-Laiderman, Stephanie A Lindsey, Liz Smith, Cait Molloy, and Charli Ornett. Transforming fear into courage and marching to our own drum, Big Bad Bettie Press was born!
We march to the beat of our own drum.