If you’re interested in learning about my entrepreneurial journey, you’re in the right place! I’ve always loved reading about how others became entrepreneurs, and I thought it was time I shared my story since Inkpot Creative is now two years old.
In case you haven’t met me, I’m KP (she/her/hers), and I’m the founder and designer behind Inkpot Creative. This business was founded in fall 2020 unexpectedly, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who has fallen into being a CEO.
Learn all about my entrepreneurial journey below!
I would say that my entrepreneurial journey started way back when I was in first or second grade. I definitely didn’t know it at the time, but I was that person that was always finding things to do and then ways to sell what I was doing. It always ended up being completely art related!
The first thing that I can ever remember selling and making was friendship bracelets. I’m not sure if you ever made these as a kid, but I was born in 1998, and I would say that they got really, really popular around 2006/2007, when I was in elementary school.
So I had this Klutz friendship bracelet tutorial book, and I was obsessed with it. I would carry it everywhere with me, and I would always be making friendship bracelets.
I would probably be making two to three bracelets a day. At the time I was like, this is so much! I’m doing so much hard work. And I would actually sell them at the camp where my family camped at every summer.
So the camp that we camped at used to have a whole bunch of different yard sales throughout the summer. Pretty much everyone who lived at the camp could sell things that they didn’t need in their camper anymore.
My nana had a prime spot, so she would always let me set up at family friends’ campers with a little table where I would just sell my friendship bracelets. And I’m pretty sure I sold them for a dollar each or three for $2 or something like that.
I remember when I made my first $20 selling those bracelets one day, and I was like, wow, this is something that I made, and I sold. And then I’m pretty sure I went to the rec center arcade and wasted it all playing pinball and air hockey. But that’s beside the point.
I just remember really finding it really cool that I was able to make something that other people really enjoyed and then I was also able to make money off it. I know that sounds weird, but that’s like how I felt.
So I continued to sell those for a few summers.
Eventually, by the time I got to middle school and high school, we didn’t go as much to camp. I started to do other camps where I was coaching at summer camps.
So I ended up finding sort of something similar where I was making things on an online fashion website that I was obsessed with. I’m pretty sure they are not a business now, but it was an online website called Girlsense. This was a big stepping stone in my entrepreneurial journey.
Basically, the way it worked was you could run your own online boutique, but you kind of use a tool like photoshop where you would make clothes and shade them and everything, and then you would go around and sell them.
And I remember I felt like I was making bank on this game. Obviously, it was fake money and everything. But I became one of the well-known sellers on this platform, and I remember thinking that was so cool.
I made all these cool internet friends and it really just showed me that once again I could create something that I was really enjoying doing and make friends along the way and then what I was passionate about creating.
That website was a place I was on all the time. I was like, oh, what can I make next? What’s the next coolest thing? I was just so obsessed with it.
I would also say that’s kind of where my love for graphic design started.
Fast forward a little bit more again to college. In college, I definitely found myself working too much. So I
was that student where I was a dual sport athlete; I was in the honors program; I had a double major.
And I also decided it would be a good idea to work two on-campus jobs and have two internships a semester. That was my senior year, both semesters.
I mean, the spring semester was a little different since I graduated in spring 2020 during COVID. So I did end up working most of those jobs from home in the spring, but in the fall, it felt like way too much.
And I pretty quickly realized that maybe working for somebody else wouldn’t necessarily be the best route because I remember always coming home from my internships and feeling like my day was over, and I would just go to sleep and then wake up the next day and do it again.
It was just kind of on repeat, and it started to feel a little boring. I don’t know how else to really explain it. I think this sort of pushed me into my entrepreneurial journey later on.
And then I graduated in spring 2020 via Zoom. Yeah, Zoom University for all of us 2020 graduates.
But immediately after graduating, I pretty much threw myself into trying to get a job because I had to move back home. So yes, my entrepreneurial journey started with me trying to get jobs.
And my whole plan originally was that my girlfriend and I weren’t going to move back home. We were going to try to stay in Boston because we went to school in Boston. But, of course, as we all know, what happened spring 2020… pretty much the whole world went into a spiral.
So we both ended up moving home and then she ended up moving in with my family. And that summer we were both trying so, so hard to get jobs. I want to say I applied to 150 different positions. I maybe had six interviews.
And I felt like I was so qualified for someone who graduated in my class just because I had done so many extracurriculars and had so many internships while I was in school. But I very quickly realized that that wasn’t necessarily the case. It was very hard to get a job, especially one that was remote because I wasn’t necessarily sure where we were going to end up.
Of course, we didn’t want to keep living at home necessarily, but we wanted to each get jobs that were remote just in case something like that did happen. And needless to say, I did not get anything.
I didn’t actually get a position until July or August. And it was part-time doing social media internship work. It was technically an internship for another online business owner who was actually running a course consultancy that she was turning into an agency at the time.
When she found out I had this background in graphic design and everything, she also hired me to help with a lot of graphics and workbook creation, and it was so much fun. While I was working with her, I actually learned so much, and she introduced me to the idea of running my own business.
So that’s kind of where the podcast idea came from: The Unexpected Entrepreneur because I did not ever expect to become one. I never thought I’d be running my own business and I’m not really sure if my parents thought that I ever would be either.
But that’s kind of what happened and I just kind of rolled with it, and before I knew it, I was filing for an LLC and starting my own business.
So after the internship was up, which I met so many wonderful people through, I actually met my great friend Emma, who runs Grow with Emma, where she also does course creation and instructional design and everything.
Before long, I ended up starting my own social media management company. So at the time when I first started in the fall of 2020, Inkpot Creative was a business for social media management.
I kind of quickly found out that wasn’t for me. I want to say I did it for four or five months starting in November or December, and I pretty quickly realized that I was not enjoying it. I pretty much had to be on my phone all the time, which I didn’t like.
I also felt like I was doing other people’s social media management so much to the point where I was
letting my own slip. I didn’t have an online presence or anything.
And I felt that that was kind of a sign that I didn’t necessarily enjoy what I was doing because now that I found website design, I’m always redesigning my own website and always focusing on my website, even though I’m always designing for other people.
So there’s much more of a passion in that for me.
After I realized that I didn’t like social media management, I quickly shifted gears and was like, okay, you know what, I’m just going to try to do everything. So there was a time, and if you followed me during this time, I’m sure you were just as confused as me because I was offering graphic design packages, I was trying to do workbook creation, I tried to be a VA for other designers for a while, too.
It was just not the vibe for me. I was doing too many things so that people didn’t really know what they could hire me for if they wanted to work with me.
So I ended up shifting into brand and website design in spring, early summer, of 2021 and pretty quickly realized that I did not enjoy branding either. So I ended up again switching to just website design. I am so happy with what I’m doing now with my entrepreneurial journey!
I absolutely love doing anything website design related.
So back in college, actually, a lot of my internships were at publishing houses because for the longest time, I’ve been obsessed with layouts and books and newspapers and just kind of playing around with the way that you can effectively communicate a message while also keeping it interesting.
I found that website design kind of combined everything that I love doing in one place, especially because with websites, you can be a lot more interactive.
You can add gifs, videos, transitions, animations. So it’s almost like a very, very, very interactive version of a book layout. So I pretty quickly found my happy place doing websites, and that’s where I’m at now.
I’m just so excited to see where we go in the future. These past few months I’ve been able to work a lot more with my girlfriend who quit her job to help out with the business a lot more. I’m just really
excited to see where it goes from here.
So there you have it! My entrepreneurial journey to where I am now.
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