Friday, February 24, 2012

Store Explore: Ink About It, Westford, MA

Serene.  That's the first impression you get when you walk in the door of Ink About It in Westford, Massachusetts.  The combination of the soft yellow and green colors of the interior, the bright atmosphere with ample lighting and clean, clear showroom floor will instantly whisk you into a peaceful calm.

I arrived to speak with one of the owners, Lori Champine, but the merchandising looked so inviting, I just wanted to grab a basket and browse.  OK - back to Lori!

Lori Champine and Laurel Lee Pollard
Lori greeted me with an open, generous smile.  It was no surprise to see she was enjoying a nice hot cup of tea - I instantly felt like she was welcoming me into her living room for a chat.

And "chat" we did!  Talking trends (have you tried Zentangle, yet?), friends (Ink About It continues to have an unbelievable lineup of guest artists), and favorite magazines (Lori immediately went for Cloth Paper Scissors Studios), she spent upwards of an hour giving me the VIP tour of the store.

Here's what I learned:
Lori Champine began as a Stampin' Up demonstrator.  She and her friend, Linda Donovan tired of making long excursions to their closest Local Scrapbook Store, over an hour away.  Linda proposed opening one of their own.  When a high-visibility storefront opened up eight years ago, they jumped at the chance.  Together, Lori Champine and Linda Donovan have created a wonderful paper crafts destination.

Linda Donovan has the background in high-tech, handling the social media for Ink About It.  They maintain an active blog, "Ink About It! {The Blog}," website, "Ink About It! {The Web}," and "Ink About It Fan Page" on facebook.  There's no shortage of options to be able to keep up with their latest offerings!

Lori Champine is a Memory Box Design Team Member.  Her confidence in the versatility of the brand is evident in the depth of Memory Box product line they carry.

Lori and Linda's business is based on creating an oasis for adults.  Their merchandising certainly reflects this attitude: it is organized and deliberate.  They mix like-minded papers and embellishments with associated stamps, die and inks.  It was a total joy to peruse.  Tour the store by clicking HERE.

Boy, the customers certainly appreciate the respite the shop offers.  While the attitude in the shop was calm, the long-trusted sales associate, Karen, was BUSY!  She was locating merchandise quickly for a customer, taking special orders (they keep a BINDER for them!) and welcoming incoming guests to the next class  . . . and handled it all with a happy smile.  Fantastically professional.

I haven't even gotten to the BEST PART: the classes!!  Having Lori Champine, a Memory Box Design Team Member, in the house, is a huge benefit for their clientele as she offers classes on a regular basis.  They have huge names booked, too: Fred Mullett owner of Fred B. Mullett Company/Stamps From Nature, Sue Bleiwess, 2012 Niche Awards Finalist, Jenn Shurkus, Copic and Ranger Ink Certified and Creative Imaginations Design Team Member, Dave Brethauer, Designer, Memory Box and Dyan Reaveley, Senior Educator, Ranger Ink.  And these are just the beginning of what's offered for classes on Ink About It's calendar.

It was a true pleasure to shop Ink About It.  It can easily be considered a "destination store" for paper crafters of every level.  My recommendation: take the time, grab a friend and a cup of tea and GO! - Laurel Lee Pollard, New England Paper Crafts

ink about it paper arts westford massachusetts

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