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Meet April May of Smudge Ink

Today we’d like to introduce you to April May.

April, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
I started a greeting card company as a side gig in 2009. The next year, I was hired as the office manager at Smudge Ink. I wanted to learn more about the industry and wholesale. In 2013, I had a baby and left Smudge Ink to spend time with him and also to give my own business more attention. During that time, kept in touch with Smudge Ink and put my knowledge to work as I focused on my own growing company.

In 2016, after 14 years in business, the co-owners of Smudge Ink decided they were ready to try something new and they approached me to see if I’d be interested in buying the company since I had such an intimate understanding of how it operated as the former Office Manager. It was a big decision and my life has changed so much since I became the owner in February 2016!

Now, just over two years later, I’m settled into my new role as owner and I’ve built a wonderful team that helps move our company forward each day.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
It has not been a smooth road! One of the biggest challenges was the transition to new ownership. This was a hard change for the employees and our sales reps, especially. They didn’t know what to expect, and I wasn’t really so sure either, at first. It was a scary step going from a company of one to suddenly manage a whole team.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Smudge Ink is a small band of illustrators, printers, and wordsmiths brought together by an inexplicable devotion to snail mail. We create lighthearted, punchy greetings with a knack for making you grin. From the initial sketch to the umpteenth print run, we live by creativity, color, and craftsmanship. Our happy place is a mailbox stuffed with real mail (think: made of paper, written with a pen, sealed in an envelope, no wi-fi necessary).

We specialize in letterpress printing and we print all of our products and custom projects in our Boston studio. We love that what we do helps others connect, celebrate, and have fun!

We have very high standards, so our print quality really sets us apart from others. Also, we’re proud to produce all of our products in the USA.

What were you like growing up?
Looking back, it seems really obvious that I’d end up in the stationery industry. I started making cards as a little kid. I always saved every birthday card and holiday card I received. My family often described me as bossy, but I think I just knew what I wanted and had pretty clear ideas about how to achieve my goals – even little ones like cleaning my room. I did a lot of art projects and I played dress up all the time! I loved running around outside with my friends and my dog, too.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Studio Nouveau

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