I am thrilled that everyone who wears Revival Ink Shirts knows they are getting a unique product worthy of those who dream big!
— Tara Smith
You inspire me to do what I do!
Before I created Revival Ink, I was a struggling to put myself through college for graphic design. I had just moved to Seattle from a small town, and didn’t know anyone. I was working 2 part time jobs in addition to classes, and wondering how I would have time to meet people.
Then one day, I discovered screen printing through an after school club. I was in love with the process. I had found a direct way to get my art out there, in front of others. I started wearing my shirts to school. People noticed them, and it became a conversation starter. I started making friends.
I was overjoyed.
I wanted to make more of my funky shirts, but due to my heavy work-load, I kept missing the club. I realized I needed to purchase my own screen printing equipment so I could print whenever I found time (which was usually in the middle of the night). A lack of funds made this dream seem impossible.
My teacher and some of my new friends encouraged me. I realized I was on the right path after all.
I was able to use my tax refund, plus a small loan to purchase a simple screen printing setup. I set out to create more quirky nature inspired shirts, for adventurous souls like myself. Revival Ink became my college senior thesis project.
It turns out, the road was more difficult than I imagined.
I started out printing on shirts from the thrift store, but soon people wanted new, stylish shirts. Suppliers of quality shirts were hard to come by, expensive, and charged high shipping costs. I worried my customers wouldn’t pay enough for my shirts to cover these costs. I didn’t know how to find more customers, so I could meet the order minimums required by the wholesale shirt suppliers.
A friend of mine told me about a farmers market where I could get a booth for a very low fee. I took the risk, purchasing a box of shirts from a local store I found, so the shipping was free. I set up a tent with my shirts, and had a very successful first day. I made enough to pay for my first box of shirts. I have been selling at local markets, and festivals ever since.
For the last 12 years…
I’ve shared my wearable art with people all over the world. I even had my own brick and mortar store in Seattle for over 6 years. Eventually I sold my store, to re-focus on what I love most: illustrating unique shirts for the wild at heart, like me.
There have been a lot of ups and downs, but through it all, my customer response and engagement has been amazing. That is what keeps me going: creating smiles, encouraging others to be adventurous, and finding so many special friendships along the way.
Thank you all for your support!
Owner & creator of Revival Ink