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Taylor Valliant, a co-founder of Noteworthy Paper & Press, explains how to operate the Heidelberg Windmill printing press. The machine, built in 1952, helps produce much of what can be found in Valliant’s shop.

A downtown Missoula letterpress printing shop and boutique stationary store is a finalist for the 2014 Martha Stewart American Made Audience Choice Award, but they are asking for a little help from the community. If they are going to win, they need people to warm up their clicking fingers and vote for them online en masse.

According to Amy Dolan, who co-owns Noteworthy Paper & Press with Taylor Valliant, they entered the competition earlier this summer.

“It’s a pretty detailed process,” Dolan said. “You answer what you make, how you make it, who you are and where you come from. We are letterpress printers. We have our own line of wholesale cards and stationary that we print here in our workshop in the basement of our retail space.”

Last week, Martha Stewart and her panel of judges announced that the business, located on Higgins Avenue near the Wilma Theatre, was a finalist in the paper crafts category.

“There are 10 to 15 categories and thousands of people entered each category,” Dolan explained.

The women have until Oct. 13 to rally as many of their fans to vote for them as they can.

“You can vote six times a day every day,” Dolan explained. “We are hoping people rally around local, handmade goods and support a small business that started right here in Missoula.”

There are also nine other awards besides Audience Choice that the panel of judges will decide on. The American Made contest is designed to celebrate small businesses that produce their products by hand in the U.S.

Dolan and Valliant lived four blocks away from each other for many years without knowing that they were both designers who had the dream of owning a studio. They had a chance meeting in 2007 at a local restaurant, and they got to planning the store immediately afterward.

The women can win $10,000 to grow their business along with a trip to New York City if they are selected.

“We would have the opportunity to be in front of a whole slew of buyers and be featured in the Martha Stewart media outlets,” she said. “The amount of opportunity and exposure would be very exciting.”

They also could use shares on social media to increase the amount of votes.

Go to http://bit.ly/1pMfalT to get more information or vote.

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Reporter David Erickson can be reached at david.erickson@missoulian.com.

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