What inspired you to start your company?
Jamie and Allison: While we were living in Savannah, GA, and Jamie was attending Savannah College of Art and Design, we found our love of design and for working on creative projects with one another (which included designing custom stationery and invitations for friends and family). Along with a move to Charleston, SC, and corporate jobs as an editor and interaction designer, we discovered a love for the craft of letterpress printing in 2008 through a printmaking class at a local art studio.
After spending so much time behind the screen, it was refreshing to be so hands-on and involved in the physical process of creating a printed piece. That same year, we purchased our first press, a 1,000+ pound Chandler & Price printing press (made in 1923!) and moved it into a spare bedroom in our house.
At first, we focused solely on learning the craft of traditional printing, rather than immediately trying to turn it into a business (we weren’t exactly sure what we wanted from this). We were both working other full-time jobs at the time, so we were able to take things slowly. As we became comfortable with printing, we started to explore more of the industry (stationery, greeting cards, wedding invitations, and custom printing for others).
Handwritten correspondence really resonated with us — it’s such a beautiful and timeless way to connect with those you love. In particular, we saw greeting cards as an easy and accessible way for people to connect with one another. We started work on developing a collection of greeting cards to help spread a bit more love and kindness and launched the INK MEETS PAPER® greeting card line in 2010.
Since then, we’ve grown our team, printed and shipped hundreds of thousands of cards to retailers across the country (and internationally), added new equipment, opened a retail shop in our Charleston studio, then closed that shop to move our operations to Greenville, SC. All along the way, we’ve continued to add new cards and paper products to the collection, all with the goal of inspiring people to send more handwritten love.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of your founder journey?
J&A: Hearing how people have used our cards to connect with those they love— through so many different life events and occasions. We often say to one another that our products aren’t actually finished until you sit down to write the message (all of our cards are blank inside). Because once you share a part of yourself, the card is truly one-of-a-kind.