Member Spotlight with Lindsay Henry, Inklings Paperie
A Card Talk Member Interview
What inspired you to get involved in cards?
I have always believed in the power of the handwritten note. Back in 2009, I was working as a brand designer. The night before a big job was going to go on press, I realized that there were some spaces on the press sheet that would be trimmed off and thrown away. Seeing an opportunity, I designed little cards to be printed in the margins, and Inklings was born! Greeting Cards have grown to become the top-selling product category in our line. We can’t get enough of them!
Tell us about your company and/or your products.
Inklings is a stationery and lifestyle brand based in Plymouth Michigan that just passed our 10th year! Our greeting cards, journals and modern paper keepsakes are all about creating moments of surprise and delight. Some favorites in our line include our scratch-offs and pop-up cards!
What’s your role at your company?
My title at Inklings is Founder & Creative Director, but I wear many hats! Filling the studio candy jars and sweeping the floors are other jobs on my list. I do one of those jobs better than the other. 😉 We design and create all of our products in house, and we also shoot our own photography right here in the studio… so I am behind everything that happens creatively on those fronts. We have a small but mighty team of women who make our products, oversee the shipping of orders, manage our 800+ wholesale accounts, and serve as a sounding board for all of the crazy ideas I throw their way!
Why did you become a GCA member?
As our business has grown, I’ve recognized the importance of being in community and remaining connected to others in our industry. The GCA is made up of companies of all sizes and backgrounds, and I’ve found it valuable to look to the leaders of companies who have been where we are for advice and support along the way. We were fortunate enough to be paired with an amazing GCA Mentor early on in our journey who has been tremendously generous with his time and knowledge. Now, I’m excited to give back as a mentor myself by lifting up other makers and fellow GCA members! I am grateful to have been invited to sit on the board of the GCA, and have been humbled to see all of the work that goes on behind the scenes by so many to support our industry.
How has your company handled things during the pandemic? What has changed?
When things shut down last March, our first concern was for the brick & mortar stores we work with. So first things first, we reached out to our retail partners to see how they were doing. We also pivoted to look at our line and how we could adapt it to provide offerings that were relevant to what was going on in the world. We created care packages and designed a range of cards that spoke to the current events. In the midst of all this, on a personal level we were also faced with the new role of virtually schooling our kids. Our team has a combined total of eight grade school kids, and like many other parents right now there have been days when we’ve brought our kids in to work with us. It’s why we keep our candy jars stocked and make sure that there’s always a scooter or two in the studio! This experience has brought our team even closer together. I’m proud of our company culture and for how our little team has pulled together during this difficult time.
Has your company shifted creative focus during these last few months and if so, how?
We have been encouraged to see our wholesale business this holiday season more than double where it was last year. This tells us that stores have reopened and are finding new and creative ways to reach their customers! With many trade shows temporarily on hold, our focus shift over the past few months has been looking for new ways to cultivate relationships with our customers when meeting in–person is not possible. We have been sending cards in the mail, producing videos, and upping our creativity on social media to connect with (and listen to) our customers. We are also forging ahead and designing some exciting new collections for 2021 that will continue to give our customers the unique offerings that they’ve come to expect from us at Inklings! Now more than ever before, people are looking for ways to remain connected with their loved ones. I am so grateful to be part of a community of like-minded people who are putting joy and beauty out into the world at a time when it’s needed most.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I’d love to invite those reading this to connect with us on social!
We are @InklingsPaperie over on Instagram.
Thank you for taking the time to share your story with us, Lindsay!