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Monday, January 20, 2020

Where Have I Been? What's Going On?

Hi there!! It's been a little while, right? Well, I made a decision to wind things down here at Lil' Inker. and while it's really hard to say goodbye after TEN years working from home, running my own business and being my own boss and doing something that I love so much, it's time.

I had just had a baby in 2008 and having my son refueled my love of cardmaking when I began to create thank yous for the gifts I was given when he was born. At that time, I dabbled in Splitcoast Stampers, started my own blog and it wasn't long after that I was in search of an item I wanted for my own crafty use but couldn't find on the market. With the help of my friend and professional graphic artist, Ariana Grant, and with just $500, I designed my first products, Sentiment Flag Die and Sentiment Flag Stamps and launched them with the help of the Design Team at the Color Throwdown Challenge. These went on sale on my humble little blog with a PayPal Buy Now button.

(projects both courtesy of Debby Hughes)

As I came up with more ideas, I continued to launch them and they did so well like my Pinwheel Die and Stamps .......


and new Rainbows and Clouds Die Set , the FIRST EVER die in a small paper crafting store to feature a stitching detail and that's about when I moved to a small store website.

At this time, I was still working as the Director of Human Resources and Safety Compliance for my family's trucking company here in Boston which was sold in 2011. I continued to work for the new owner and run Lil' Inker until early 2012 when my temporary employment with the new company owner had expired and when I decided to run Lil' Inker full-time.

That's about the same time I launched my Stitched Mats: Rectangles and Bow Die Small which are some of the items that really put Lil' Inker Designs on the map.

Stitched Mats: Rectangles was literally the first-ever set of geometric dies featuring a stitching detail on the market and they were even more unique than just their stitching because that largest die only stitched a border around a premade card base.

And our Bow Die Small was just the cutest thing EVERRRRRR and also the first Bow Die for paper crafting ever to exist!

Seriously, still so AWESOME!!

Nearly two years later, the business had grown so much I was designing, releasing and filling orders more than ever and it was obvious I needed a more efficient website and needed to rebrand which I did in 2014. This lead to lots of growth and ultimately over 500 SKUS/products designed!

While there have been some battles fought, big-girl pants to put on, happy times and times that have made me cry and cry, Lil' Inker Designs has been nothing short of a success and filled with creativity and innovation and that's how I will choose to look back on my experience. I will not be looking back on this as a business that was ripped away because of China and counterfeits. I choose to see this part of my journey as the big, awful thing that had to happen in order for me to make a much-needed life change and lead me to my next chapter.

And back in May of 2019, I did just that. And it's the best thing I've done for myself recently.

Now that I've been in my job for more than six months the time has come to grow in my new position and for me to say goodbye to a part of my life that I cared for, cultivated, and nurtured like a child just as much as my actual child!! I started Lil' Inker when my son was ONE. Hard to believe!!!! I worked through two major surgeries, significant health issues both physical and mental and started on a journey in 2011 with Weight Watchers which lead to an 85-pound weight loss.

The time has come to look back with pride, accomplishment and in awe of all the things I was able to do, all at once and do well. It's taught me that I can do hard things and that I'm not afraid of working hard and that I'm definitely self-motivated.

There are many people to thank and while my family is first and foremost, of course, Ariana Grant and Karen Baker are at the top of that list for all their design support over the years. My Design Team is also at the top of that list and I can't thank you enough for working so hard and for sharing your talents with me and with the Lil' Inker customers and fans. You made the LID products shine brightly!!

Special shout out to Amy Kolling who started on my very first Design Team in November of 2011 and was with me right to the very end. That's quite an accomplishment for both of us, I think! Similar shout out to Sarah Jay who's been with me since then as well but whose position with me grew and changed over the years.

Dearest Customers, without you there wouldn't be Lil' Inker Designs. It was YOU who truly made my little company a success from reading my blog, to engaging on Facebook and Instagram and being part of our New Release Hops and to making purchases in my store. YOU are the ones that challenged me to work hard every day, be kind, generous, treat others as I'd like to be treated and be an honest and transparent businesswoman.

I've found customer service with Lil' Inker Designs Customers to be among the most pleasant of experiences ever. I think it's paper crafters in general. We're just a lovely bunch. Everyone was always so kind and I found that if I was transparent and fair and accommodating that this spoke volume and traveled miles. There wasn't anything I wouldn't do to help a customer.

The greatest gift I have learned along the way is that mistakes can and will happen but it's how you right them that matters most. This is something I've been able to teach my son and something I will carry with me on my new journey.

So, what's next for me? I mentioned that I took a job back in May. At about the same time I started Lil' Inker, my friend Holly Daniels-Christensen started her business, Dune Jewelry. Holly and I talked over the years on occasion about working together and the time was finally right for both of us in May, 2019!

I'm working in Operations at Dune Jewelry, the Original Beach Sand Jewelry Company, who specializes in capturing your favorite memories into tangible, wearable pieces of beautiful jewelry.

I'm so happy being surrounded by people that I can learn from, laugh with and I have an opportunity to put the education I received running Lil' Inker to good and important use. Not to mention, I'm 5 minutes from my home which works out great for my son. It couldn't be a better transition for all of us with mom now working outside of the house! And Dune is creative in its roots and that was so important to me.

I know in my heart of hearts I making the right move for myself and my family. I'm enjoying my new job so much already and I'm looking forward to what 2020 has in store for me: professionally at Dune and in life in general.

Thank you. Thank you for making these last ten years a massive success. Thank you for your support and thank you in advance for your encouragement as I move into the next new chapter of my professional career.

For now, everything in the store will remain at 70% Off . There are some AWESOME THINGS that you can still grab for next to nothing right now. It's a great time to head over and grab some coordinating dies. CLICK HERE to see what's still in stock.

I deeply appreciate you being here and spending some time with me today and for any time you may have spent with me over the years.

It has been an absolute honor and a great joy to design stamps and dies for you and share my creativity with so many all these years!!

Lots of love and crafty hugs,


Saturday, January 4, 2020

Inventory Reduction Sale!

There are some AMAZING things in the store and I'm offering them now at a deep discount while supplies last so that I can reduce inventory!

No code is needed. Just add your items to your shopping cart and the discount is automatically applied.

This sale is live now! SHOP WITH ME HERE!

This discount cannot be applied to previous orders and is valid on in-stock merchandise only. 
You should expect that some if not all items will arrive unwrapped or without product packaging.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Love and crafty hugs,


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