Garden of Ink adds a colorful new storefront to the streets of Cottage Grove, Oregon. Like many rural businesses, it brings together multiple segments- graphic design, printing, and tattoo art- to meet the needs of local businesses. Initially located on Main Street, the business grew tremendously over the first two summers. “I was turning people away. The tattoo industry had taken a major boom and was becoming more mainstream,” says owner Shelly Davey.
When the tattoo industry took a downturn, eDev (Entrepreneurial Development Services) helped Shelly access a CapitalLink loan through Oregon Microenterprise Network. Shelly was active in business training courses, peer mentor groups, and successfully completed an IDA savings program. She continues to receive personalized assistance from eDev staff in target areas, including marketing and sales.
Shelly attributes social media as a useful tool for small business advertising. “Facebook helped me create personal relationships with people. My current clients will contact me through Facebook and make appointments.” She has also used twitter, local newspaper and radio, and promotional items to reach clients. eDev even helped Shelly create a database to track client information and consumer markets.
Shelly is the sole manager of all operations at Garden of Ink. Although she keeps a busy schedule, she enjoys the flexibility that comes with owning a business and the ability to create artwork in a business setting. She plans to grow her businessthrough offering classes at her tattoo studio where she will work with student groups over the course of a 6 month program. “This will provide steady income during the winter which is typically the tattoo industry’s slowest time,” says Shelly.
eDev (formerly Lane Microbusiness) is a nonprofit microenterprise development organization located in Eugene, Oregon. eDev was started in 1998 as a collaborative program of Lane Community College, Saturday Market and O.U.R. Federal Credit Union. Services include training, technical assistance, and access to capital. For more information visit www.edev.org.