Features Industry Profiles

May 11, 2015 •
Melissa Danaher

Melissa Danaher, owner
Bella Ink

1. When and how did you start working in this business?
I began my business in 2005 after being in the graphic design business for years. I always wanted my own business, and since I love good design and paper, stationery seemed like a natural fit. I took a few designs to the Merchandise Mart in Chicago during the 2004 winter show and ended up signing with my first rep group. My family and myself began filling any orders faxed to the house. I eventually moved the business into a studio and warehouse space close to home.

2. What is your signature style?
I paint or hand draw most of my designs. I love to mix and match patterns as well as incorporate texture, layering and hand-lettering into my work.

3. What are your most popular stationery offerings?
Our greeting card business has really taken off. Wedding and baby invitations remain strong sellers as well. These categories are selected by consumers to represent milestones or sentiments that shouldn't be sent via text message. People appreciate receiving an actual card or invite. They always set the right tone and send the right message.

4. Please share the direction your line will be taking.
I am going to continue creating designs consistent with my aesthetic while keeping things fresh and current. I think it's important for a brand to have a signature look.

5. What are your top three tips for success?
1. Stay relevant by embracing trends, but add your own twist.
2. Make sure you're always represented in your work.
3. Providing great customer service and a quality product will take you far.

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