Today’s guest is Ms. Stacy Altiery, a very talented designer who makes unique and stylish, hand crafted stationery, note cards, invitations and other paper goodies. She kindly agreed to answer a few questions and share her experience.
1. When did you start Inkspot Workshop and why? Whose idea was it?
I started InkSpot Workshop in April of 2008 after my friend introduced me to Etsy.com Originally I was making envelopes out of pretty scrapbook papers and designing simple initial stationery to match but soon I became overwhelmed with orders and hand making envelopes didn’t seem like such a great business idea anymore. Instead I compromised and I now make my own hand lined envelopes with patters I design and make. I also continue to improve my graphic design skills.
2. Tell us about the mind and driving force behind Inkspot Workshop.
I have always been an extremely driven and creative individual who found herself in the field of professional sales over the past 15 years. I’ve sold everything from makeup, copiers food to my final sales position which was selling medical devices for a large company over the past 9 years. I would make “pretty” product flyers as a creative outlet, but it still was a bit limiting.
3. What kind of products or services do you offer?
I coach other women looking to get started in their own businesses or already established, figured I could help shed some light on what I’ve learned over the close to 3 years. I also do custom design work for business owners, custom design work for people looking to host a special party or event, plus just about all of my items are personalized. I offer stationery, invitations and all matching paper accessories, baby shower activities, magnets even jewelry.
4. What makes Inkspot Workshop different?
I’m a small, hand crafted business offering artisan paper goodies in small batches. You are dealing directly with me and not a large customer service department. People really like the one-on-one approach especially since personalized items or custom designed items require quite a bit of communication. I also think what makes InkSpot Workshop different is the fact I offer personalized items in small quantities. You can get a set of 12 personalized note cards, whereas most specialty retailers have the minimum quantity for personalization as 50. Plus InkSpot Workshop designs are colorful and modern and that has become our signature style.
5. If you were to describe Inkspot Workshop in 3 words, what words would you choose?
bright, modern, fun
6. Please tell us about one of your “aha” moments.
This is actually funny.. for the longest time I would trace 2 envelope liners onto a single sheet of paper and cut. It took two years to realize I could simply trace the liners on one sheet of paper and hold 2 more together and cut all at once. Now instead of cutting 2 at a time, I’m cutting 6 at a time! It has cut down my production time significantly.
7. If you were to start all over again, what would you do differently?
I would have quit my day job sooner!! Instead I was laid off just a few months ago and had a party!
8. What do you think helped your business bloom?
All of the contacts I have made in the blogging and social media world. I have gotten lots of free press. Also my attention to detail and superb customer service keeps my customers coming back and telling all their friends:) Thank heaven for that.
9. How do you advertise your business?
I do promotions with other blogs where I know it’s a good fit. I’m a big fan of using Facebook and Twitter, plus I have my own blog (see all links below) I have an e-newsletter to keep in constant contact with my subscribers, plus I purchase ad space on certain blogs where I think I might gain some new eyes.
10. What advice would you give to a crafter who has just started?
Stay true to your original idea and just go for it! Don’t over think the whole business process too much. Also try not to look at what “everyone else is doing” too much or you will eventually go crazy and end up with copycat designs. That’s just my 2 cents worth.
Here are a few places where you can find Stacy:
Dog Lover? www.firehydrantpress.etsy.com this is my “sister site” where I donate a portion of all sales to Last Chance For Animals