May 07, 2018
Nestled at the base of the rocky mountains is the city of Bozeman, and it’s the cultural mecca for everything “Montana”. The capstone style is an intriguing (yes, pun intended) mixture of western and nomadic with a dash, no… A mountain (more puns) of community pride. Intrigue walks their talk in a way I think we all wish more businesses did. In addition to funky rap videos, and, frankly, gorgeous designs, Intrigue Ink is creating an empowered community…
So, I thought we’d start with the more serious, high pressure questions. Just get them out of the way, you know? I read that sometimes… It snows in June there. Is that true?
Yes! Montana is infamous for infamous weather. Snow in June? Why not August too!?
How did Intrigue Ink get started? How did you end up in the screen printing business? Sorry, that’s two questions.
My degree is in photography, however once I graduated from college I wasn’t sure what path to take or how to move forward, but I knew I wanted to do something creative. I was inspired by Etsy sellers and decided to create an online t-shirt store… But first I had to learn how to screen-print! I was able to convince my sister to join my venture, and a few how-to printing, youtube videos later we were in business! We opened up shop in her garage (Brrrr) and we got to work! Printing for farmers markets and consigning in local stores is how we got our start in screen-printing. We opened a shared workspace and retail/gallery and that’s how we got our start in business! As we fast forward 7 years later, Intrigue Ink has a storefront in downtown Bozeman Montana and are featured in stores across Montana, Idaho, Colorado and Wyoming through our wholesale program. We are currently working our new designs for summer and look forward to expanding our team!
A huge part of the intrigue of Intrigue Ink is the enormous amount of personality that’s prevalent in everything from your designs to your promo, including a hilarious video that declares the Intrigue Ink mission and history in the form of rap. It definitely sets you apart in a fun and personable way. Is this something you feel that happens pretty organically?
Yes! The branding is the funnest part of my job. Our niche market is Montana celebrated souvenirs and treasures, and the flavor, fluff, sparkles and glitter is us, our attitude, our outlook, humor and our way of being Funky-Fresh!
Something that we, at ACS Home & Work hold very dear to us is a sense of community and putting-back. So we were really impressed to see that earlier this past February, Intrigue Ink participated in the Girls for a Change Summit at Montana State University. What was the major take away that you guys walked away with from that event?
What an awesome event! Our take away was we are surrounded by an amazing community. These ladies really showed up. They all chose to spend their Saturday expanding their horizons, asking questions, trying new things, and meeting new people while artists and businesses came together to support these young leaders. It was really cool.
What’s something you think more raw material providers (tea towels, t-shirts, hats, etc) could do to help small business such as your own thrive in the DIY market? And maybe this is fishing a bit (okay, maybe a lot) but how has ACS Home & Work met some of your needs as a business?
I think the conversation of sustainability is being discussed across many different platforms. As a small business we want to focus on stepping away from fast fashion and focus on hand-printed gear with great design and the more often we can use ethically sourced materials the happier we are! (Ahem, that’s were ACS comes in!) I have yet to find a tea towel comparable, and I am not just saying that! Our tea towels have been one of our best selling products since we started. They are a great one-size-fits-all gifts that cater to hipsters, grandmas and everyone in between!
Want to shop Intrigue Ink's towels? You can take a look around their shop here.
All photos courtesy of Intrigue Ink.
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