You inspire me to do what I do!
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
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. 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 they became a conversation starter. I started making friends.
I was overjoyed.
I wanted to make more of my creative shirts, but a lack of funds made it impossible to purchase my own screen printing equipment. I was concerned that making more shirts would not be possible.
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 return, plus a small loan to purchase the equipment. I set out to create the most quirky, unique, attention getting shirts, for adventurous souls like myself, looking for a way to bring fun into sometimes mundane world. 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 11 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 5 years. Last year 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, the customer response and engagement has been amazing. Its what keeps me going: creating smiles, and finding so many special friendships along the way.
Thank you all for your support!
Owner & creator of Revival Ink