I have been thinking a lot recently about how to really grow Ink Meets Paper, and how to make it really work for not only myself, but my family as well. It has not been an easy thing to do! I am a times, arguing with myself, as far as what is really the “right” thing to do. And I have come to the conclusion that there may not be a black and white answer. What I keep doing though, is going back to when I thought about starting Ink Meets Paper, and what I envisioned it to be.
Initially, when I threw this crazy notion out there, I wanted to be able to do something creative, and be able to make products that people could use, and that they liked. Books were the first thing I thought of, because I love making them. My second (and almost equal desire) was to be able to get back into custom printing. When I first starting working in Custom Printing back in New York City, it was really just starting to get trendy. When I would tell people what I did, I would actually say that I designed invitations, social stationery and business cards. If I said “Custom Printing” people thought I worked at Kinkos. The industry has changed so much over the years (and for the better too!)
I think that over the years of doing Ink Meets Paper, I have gotten away from my original plan. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy making jewelry and accessories. It has been a great outlet to bring people to my online store, and table at events. But is it really what I wanted my brand to be? Not really. When I pair that with the fact that I do extremely well selling those products at events, but as events are not easy for me to do anymore with a growing family and strained schedules – is it really where I want my focus to be?
So, for the past few months (hence the complete and utter radio silence over here) I have been working and re-working my social stationery line. I have been tweaking the designs that I already had, and adding many new ones. (dude – I was totally lacking in the birthday category!) I am coming up close on a “working final” as far as a product line – because, nothing is ever “final” but it will soon be as final as it will need to be to take my next step.
And speaking of next steps. My next challenges will be to 1. figure out an e commerce site to be able to sell my cards… beyond Etsy (but that’s my other post/rant) If any of you have suggestions, I would love to hear them! It is a huge challenge for me to find a site that will allow me to sell a large variety of different designs without charging me an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, when you are dealing with a $5 price point for each item, you have to be careful what fees are involved. and 2. I am going to bite the bullet, and call around to some local stores to discuss carrying some of my cards in their brick and mortar stores. (EEEK!)
As much as I love being out there, meeting my customers – I think that I need to take a much more realistic approach to how I am doing business. It doesn’t help me to focus on events, if it’s not realistic for me to make it to said events. It doesn’t help me to be on Etsy, if Etsy isn’t working for me anymore.
I need to get back to basics – my “About” phrase on everything I do says; “there is still something completely rewarding and fulfilling about putting ink (or pencil) to paper” So, I should walk my talk, and get back to just paper – paper you write on, paper you hold, and paper you send or give.
I want get back to what I said I was doing in the beginning – “supporting those who appreciate the tactile benefits and personal touches of all things paper”