Tea is nothing if not a connection point. To work in tea is to collect amazing humans like Pokémon (but for friendship, not for battle). Since opening the tea shop way back in 2010, we have gathered to us a vast and varied network of incredible people doing incredible things. This new blog series, CommuniTea Spotlight, shares the stories of your fellow Thirsty Nerds. Time to meet your neighbors in tea!
Today, we are here to celebrate a new friend and collaborator: Inkling Print Co.!
Before we get into today's interview, let me brag on the big heart on these darlings. Our company has been hit hard by the recent economic downturn. We put out a call to our communitea for support, and immediately the Inkling crew was in our inbox offering to collaborate on a fundraiser project to help us get back on our feet.
We had barely interacted. They didn't really know us as people, they don't even live local to us, they just jumped right in to offer assistance without hesitation. At the expense of their own time and expertise, they took the lead on a merch campaign to help us cover our bills. Not only did they offer all setup and design service free of charge, they also waived upfront order cost and minimums, so we were able to launch our Matcha Merch preorder campaign (preorders close 4/5!) at no risk to ourselves. Such HUGE HEARTS!
Big thanks to Inkling for taking time to share their story with us today!
Give us your elevator pitch. What is Inkling Print Co.?
Inkling is spouse pair of wayward artists – and four cats – who built an old-school screen printing shop! We blend modern inks and classic techniques to achieve long-lasting, beautiful prints for both client needs and our own unique designs. Recently, we've branched into eco-solvent stickers as well!
Who are you, the lovely human(s) behind the brand?
Archarzel and Devierue are childhood sweethearts, collaborators and straight up besties who decided to risk it all and carve our own path instead of hoping for a retirement. Having the shared experience of rural Alaskan childhood under artistic parents, we geek out on new mediums and creative processes, approaching as much as we can with a 'make do and make happen' mindset.
What does communitea mean to you?
Communitea is about celebrating and finding commonality in both our shared traits and our difference; protecting, standing for and elevating each others voices; and coming together in times of heartache as well as in joy.
Communitea is the opportunity to simultaneously teach and to learn, to support others on their path while pursing and enriching one's own growth.
What do you love about your communitea?
The most incredible aspect of our communitea is how they unfailingly approach the world – not just us, but their passions and their own commuiteas – with such unabashed love and huge hearts. Our core community is rich with folks who CARE in wildly different and equally wonderful ways, and we are both better creators and better people for having them with us.
What projects are you excited about right now?
Soon: In addition to our collaboration, we have several TTRPG space collabs in the works and are gearing up to kick off some summer shenanigans with our third limited edition run of our 'Hot Goblin Summer' design.
Long-term: As Inkling continues to grow, we're branching into comics and zines! We have worlds to build and stories to share!
What's your all-time favorite project?
The one that very nearly didn't happen: our Patreon, The Folded Lands.
In an increasingly online space, we thought it would be cool to print TTRPG maps on cloth; no need for rules or system allegiance, just something offbeat and handmade in the face of digital perfection. A backdrop for the imagination.
For three years now, we've been able to Get Weird and make these neat little places for adventurers to explore. We send out a new super limited edition map and a little piece of lore every month, and it has been amazing to have people embrace and enjoy these weird little creative expressions. We've loved hearing their stories, and several makers have adapted our maps into their own works!
It's been an immense privilege to be able to both create and contribute to other people's lives in this way.
What's your current tea obsession?
French Cookie! With a bit (probably a little too much) of sugar, it tastes wonderfully similar to Blue Moon ice cream, a regional flavor that spawns memories of visiting loved ones in the US midwest!