A retail store? A fine stationery and gift store?
Didn't you start your career on Capitol Hill working for a Congressman? Then didn't you work at CBS News in Hollywood as a producer? Sure did!
But my creative side was always there. Things ramped up in high school as I was lucky enough to attend Immaculate Heart High School in Hollywood. Graphic arts were a thing there and we were exposed to everything! Hand calligraphy, batik with hot wax; building our own silk screens and making prints - it was endless and exciting. But I really loved creating invitations.
That was the beginning.
I loved the fonts, the paper stock, and working with printers. At first, I hand-wrote hundreds of wedding invitation envelopes for friends and relatives. I was always making signs for something!
Then after getting married and having 3 kids I was asked to be part of an existing gift store in the Palisades and I said "YES"! Who knew what the future would bring??
That was 1998. Twenty five years ago!
Hundreds of invitations have been designed; special gifts were curated and wrapped; holiday decor was planned year after year.
It was an amazing time. Sharing so many special life events with my clients, sharing endless work hours with my devoted friends and staff, laughing, crying, sharing LIFE! The trade shows were always a highlight - traveling to New York to find the next "IT" gift; the next WOW stationery line; seeing our show friends and exchanging favorites.
THEN the recession of 2008 hit. Things got scary. The internet was taking business away from all the little stores like mine. I'll never forget hearing a long time client tell another client as she was about to purchase a sterling frame "Oh you can probably get that cheaper online" It cut to the core.
I had to make more money! I had to do something fast.
So I created a line of luxe notepads that I knew people would love. I didn't have a printer or a way to ship product but I had an IDEA.
My bestie mentioned one day...."I wish you had something on the shelf that had initials so I didn't have to wait for a custom order to arrive."
That was IT!
I designed the original initial pad!
My sister was in the stationery world and had exhibited her line of incredible invites at the National Stationery Show (runs in the family!) Between babies she would fly me to NY to help out in her booth - some of my best memories ever! She got me in touch with the show folks and they accepted me for the May 2012 show.
And the rest, they say, is history!
We didn't know what we were doing. My bestie flew to New York with me to set up the booth.
We had designed a clean black and white look with faux green grass as our flooring. A new sign was made and shipped to the Javits Center. What a wild ride! The show director changed our booth location to a much bigger and better spot - lucky us - BUT our green grass no longer fit (tossed it!)
and our white Ikea curtains didn't fit either. What would we do for walls and carpet?? Ask around!
Show friends become invaluable to say the least. We got it together (see photo) and killed it - hitting our sales goals for the whole show by the end of the first day!
And we've been growing the pad line ever since!
We've added lucite trays and colorful lacquer trays to our collection, as well as our best selling gold foil collection.
We have sold to 600 retailers across the country and open new accounts every time we exhibit in Dallas and Atlanta. We are lucky to exhibit in some of the finest permanent showrooms in the gift business.
So, we continue to sell our wholesale pad line to our store friends, and to you our retail clients.
What's NEW is our new gift collection on this retail site!
I am already shopping for the newest and best items for holiday and all your gift giving throughout the year.
I love every item on our new Black Ink store!
I have given each and every item personally and know they are the best!
This site will be ever evolving.
There will always be the BIB---the Black Ink Basics. But we hope you visit often to keep up on the new finds we'll be offering.
We are very excited to keep our friendship and shopping relationship going! The store in our little town of Pacific Palisades was a treasure. We had a great run.
This website is my new TREASURE!
Welcome! Have fun shopping!