… and this is my story:
I started Ink Road as a little craft supplies shop on Etsy three years ago while working full time in the aerospace freight exporting industry and hit the glass ceiling. I was going nowhere fast!
One weekend, I was organizing my craft supplies and set aside a pile of things to resell that I just never used.
I took pretty photos and listed them in my shop on Etsy—named Ink Road in a quick brain storm session. Fun fact: a lot of people think I’m a tattoo shop! Spoiler alert: I’m not a tattoo shop.
My items sold LIGHTNING fast because my prices were affordable. I lovingly packaged each order with a handwritten note—because I wanted my buyers to feel like they were getting mail from a friend.
THEN SOMETHING SHOCKING HAPPENED.
I got a ton of messages asking when I would restock!
Restock?! I was just cleaning out my stash!
But wait… COULD I restock???
I immediately researched getting a business license and applied for wholesale accounts with my favorite craft supply companies.
Still working 50+ hour weeks at my job, I began to build Ink Road as my own craft supply headquarters with a twist. The idea was to build a place where you can get your stickers for an amazing price, and then watch the mail for a pretty box from me, your crafty BFF!
I worked my booty off on social media finding my people.
Who are my people?
Via Instagram, Pinterest, and Facebook I found that scrapbooking, card making, mixed media, and so many other art forms that I thought had been dying away were alive and well.
IT WAS SO EXCITING.
Picture my brain exploding when I saw that people were decorating their planners. You see, I’d always had a planner of some kind AND I’d always loved decorating scrapbook pages.
HOW DID I NOT REALIZE YOU CAN COMBINE THESE THINGS???
I found my people.
I PACKED my shop with planners and craft supplies with every cent I had left over from my paychecks.
My boutique packaging was a new approach to shipping craft supply orders. Plus, since I was basically sending mail to new potential crafting friends, I sent a freebie in each order!
However, I still could not compete with the big online retailers. I knew it was time to change course ASAP! I needed to find permanent footing in this beautiful craft world if I was going to make it a long-term gig, and let’s be real—
I plan to be here foreverrrr babes!
So I went back to the beginning.
Back to when I was 12 years old going to crops and stamp parties with my mom.
Real talk: I love stamps.
In January of this year I designed a few stamp sets I just couldn’t get out of my mind and sourced a manufacturer here in the U.S.
I sent them off and held my breath.
Then I KEPT holding my breath as I got them in the mail, held them in my hands and thought IS THIS REAL LIFE???
They went live on theinkroad.com and I reached out to ALL my favorite stampers and I haven’t looked back.
I still have pretty boutique packaging and send surprises with each order. Have questions or concerns? Shoot me an email at lara (at) theinkroad (dot) com. If you want to be a part of fun stuff like helping me name new stamp sets, doing challenges, getting sneak peeks, as well as sharing memes and general chit chat then join the Ink Road Community on Facebook.
Few things make me happier than seeing what YOU create with them. Seriously. It’s like cake for my brain. Gimme more!