Clockwise from top left: 1) iPhone, 2) unlined Moleskine notebooks, 3) Muji pen, 4) mechanical pencil, 5) screen-printed zippered pouch by Charlie & the Fox (where the notebooks and pens are tucked into), 6) ponytail holders, 7) Burt’s Bees lip balm, 8) Baggu reusable bag, 9) Ink Meets Paper business cards and holder by Post, 10) exhibitor badge left over from the National Stationery Show, 11) wallet/clutch by Fossil
What’s your biggest accomplishment?
Definitely being able to run Ink Meets Paper full time with my husband Daniel. It hasn’t always been easy, and there are definitely long days and long nights, but it’s so rewarding. It’s neat to see how many people have had their days brightened by a handwritten note from a friend or family member, and I love how our cards have been able to play a part in that connection.
What are three books you would recommend to our readers?
– Craft, Inc. by Meg Mateo Ilasco / This book is such a great starting point for makers and creatives who want to start their own businesses but aren’t sure where to start and don’t have a background in business.
– Printing by Hand by Lena Corwin / Lena’s book is full of great information and hand-printing projects for all skill levels, and it really got me interested in printmaking (back when I was working a full-time desk job and longed for something more hands on and creative).
– Plenty of blank Moleskines(in various sizes) for sketching and jotting ideas when the time hits— I always carry one, and I love being able to see ideas and growth from notebook to notebook.
What’s the biggest lesson you have learned since launching?
This quote from Theodore Roosevelt sums it up nicely: “Comparison is the thief of joy.” With a constant barrage of amazing work and talent available via social media, blogs, etc., it’s easy to feel you’ll never measure up to others. But once you’re able to let that go, you realize the importance and meaning in following your own path and business goals (and realize that your timeline isn’t the same as someone else’s timeline).
What’s your advice to someone interested in starting their own business?
Give yourself space and time to learn. Sometimes it’s best to take small steps rather than giant leaps.
Where do you receive inspiration?
I feel insanely lucky to have found an amazing group of creative women in Charleston who are also small business owners in creative fields. There are five of us, and we meet monthly for coffee and to talk about the ups and downs of small business life. I’m also endlessly inspired by our friends who are also letterpress printers. While we might not see each other in person often, we’re able to stay connected through Instagram and Twitter. It’s nice to know that when you’re going through a creative rut, you can reach out to someone else who’s been there. Finding time for other projects and hobbies is also important (and admittedly, it’s really hard for me to do sometimes). It’s nice to be able to create just for the sake of creating.
If you could have one famous entrepreneur as your mentor who would it be?
Charles & Ray Eames (hoping to count them together 😉 Aside from their obvious impact and influence on design, they were a husband-and-wife team. As someone who also works with her spouse in a creative business, I’m fascinated by the dynamics of the relationship and love seeing how the strengths of one person balances the weaknesses of the other to create well thought and well crafted products.
Do you feel your life is balanced between work life and your personal life?
Ha. Not really. We’re definitely working all of the time it seems, and our studio & office are part of the house, so it’s really easy to keep working late into the night. We’re trying to be better about finding balance though (and making a work schedule and sticking to it).
What is your indispensable gadget: iPhone
What’s your favorite app? instagram
What’s your favorite account to follow on Twitter: @rena_tom / I love her insight into retail and creative business operations. All sorts of great and helpful information.
What’s your favorite item in your closet: Minnetonka moccasins— so versatile and comfortable
Learn more about Allison on her website. Stay connected with her via social media Twitter | Facebook | Instagram