Spotlight on Ink and Drop
Tonight's Spotlight is on Ink and Drop, producing high quality art work from the North of England. With backgrounds in interior design, fine art, graphic and poster/print design, the aim of Ink and Drop is to bridge the gap between the high-end art gallery and the typical posters you can find in the high street; to allow you to have great artwork regardless of budget or style.
If you want to shop Ink and Drop you can do so here or read on to find out what got them started and where their business is today.
1. What was the reason behind you starting your business?
Ink & Drop was born from our love of edgy, interesting art, and a knack for creating eye-catching designs whilst running our Design Studio, Dirty Hands Co. After a lot of experience creating collectable art prints, we spotted a gap in the market for affordable art for the home, sitting somewhere between high-end, expensive edition prints and the more humdrum poster prints out there. Imagery which could sit in a gallery, but at a more accessible level.
2. How did you start up?, kitchen table? Mum’s garage, renting premises?
As touched on in question 1, we have a small design studio in Newcastle, Dirty Hands Co, and it’s from here we decided to launch Ink & Drop, converting half of our space into a full giclée printing / packing area.
3. How did you fund your business?
The launch of Ink & Drop was funded with money from our own design studio. We create all artwork in-house which helps a lot.
4. What was the most difficult part of starting up your business? Access to money, advice, finding people to buy, marketing etc?
So far it’s definitely been creating a body of work, extensive and exciting enough to create a buzz and bring people to check out Ink & Drop when searching for art prints. Creating the artwork we have so far took a large chunk of our time.
5. What help was missing for you?
Technical help when it came to choosing equipment would have been good, we had a little bit – but there is so much amazing print equipment out there that it was very hard to know exactly what we needed / didn’t need.
6. What went wrong in your first year? Few months if you haven’t been trading that long?
It took a while to get the product just right, in order to meet the price point we wanted to be at. Countless test prints on different stocks… which leads to different print settings and so on… we got that wrong a few times but it had to be done.
7. What have you learnt?
We’ve learnt that it can be great to sit back and let a new venture grow organically, whilst ironing out the creases in the background. We’re lucky to be in the position to do so whilst we continue running our studio.
8. What is the most important piece of advice that you could give others thinking about starting a business?
That you can’t do enough market research, it’s always harder to understand / predict people’s tastes than you think and never to create for yourself – try to think what the people want and need.
9. And what do you enjoy the most?
Creating new imagery and then seeing it in people’s beautiful homes! There’s nothing better than seeing a product you have designed / printed / packed / dispatched on the wall being enjoyed daily.
10. On a scale of 1-10 how hard do you find it to run your own business?
Oooh that’s a tough one, some days the planets just align and it’s a 1, some days it’s a definite 10! Mostly it hovers around the 5 mark… mostly.
Nicola says "it is great that Ink and Drop have another source of income and have been able to let the business grow organically, taking their time to get the product right, and ensure that they have checked their market and know what their customer wants. Not everyone has that luxury, but if you do, you will certainly take the risk out of launching your own business"
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