When it comes to becoming a successful stationery maker, it’s about more than just having the great design idea, it’s about the execution as well. Just ask Gina Peterson, owner and designer of Ginger P. Designs, who has relied on TOG.ink throughout her dizzying ascent.Gina discovered a flair for paper while designing her own wedding invitations after she got engaged in 2009. That led to an Etsy shop and custom invitation business (not to mention quitting her day job). And that led to Gina opening her own gorgeous store in Janesville, Minnesota, in the summer of 2016 — but she didn’t stop there. Gina unveiled a wholesale invitation range, love•graham, at this past National Stationery Show, and even offers a subscription service, Ginger Mail.
Through it all, TOG.ink has played a pivotal role behind the scenes, Gina told me. “Our custom work is what we are proud of most, and what got our niche business started. In the beginning, the printing portion was a huge learning curve for me, and it took up a lot of precious time. Each order needed to be quoted, reviewed, proofs setup, and then ordered. It was almost a ‘relief’ to work with TOG.ink because we have the ability to create our stunning custom digital, foil, or letterpress stationery pieces online at the click of a button. The best part is that they don’t look like they came from a ‘click of a button’ printing service.”
TOG.ink was integral in making love•graham a reality. “In the past, we had only been working direct to consumer on our custom wedding pieces, and now with love•graham we are spreading our wings and working with dealers and retailers to offer our iconic, custom modern and fresh wedding stationery to a wider audience with the same service. I felt the market was lacking a good wedding line that offered custom pieces without being super high-end or quick print templates. TOG.ink made love•graham a reality because our pieces align with a lot of the same offerings TOG.ink has — allowing us to upload everything right onto the site and get it in a timely manner without waiting for proofs or a rep to setup an order.”
When it comes to breadth of printing services, from letterpress to full-color digital to foiling to custom die-cuts to thermography, it’s all available at TOG.ink — including nearly any conceivable combination. “The print combinations that TOG.ink has fit so well with what we offer,” Gina described. “A lot of our work involves a combination of digital and foil or digital and letterpress, which not many other companies design with, or offer, because of the equipment and time needed.”
This custom wedding invitation suite below includes a full color digital invitation with a coordinating details card in a gorgeous digital and foil mix. Both photographs are courtesy Randy + Ashley Studios.
As to her own personal favorite at the moment, Gina told me she is currently swooning for digital and letterpress on Lettra stock. “We can print our iconic illustrated maps digitally paired with a few letterpress details on a soft Lettra stock — which is traditionally seen only with classic all-letterpress invitations. These really stand out!”
Another recent exquisite wedding suite combined digital and foil. “Our custom foil can really make names and designs pop, like in the Miami map highlighting ‘Miami’ in foil and little details on the map — the perfect touch!”For Gina, the TOG.ink ordering process is a snap. “We can now have our customers approve their proofs and upload that same custom artwork to be printed within minutes, rather than having to work with a rep to quote the project and manage getting the artwork files to press manually.”
TOG.ink has shaped the entire design process for Gina. “We design with TOG.ink in mind. Our standard sizes we use every day match up a lot with what TOG.ink offers. It keeps our workflow streamlined when we know our custom project will arrive within days to the shop after uploading.”
In the end, TOG.ink has been a powerful partner that has enabled Ginger P. Designs to grow seamlessly, Gina observed. “When you are working with custom services, you have to touch every single project multiple times before it gets to the customer, so your time and workflow are essential. As I mentioned before, TOG.ink has streamlined our workflow by not having to wait on a custom quote or order with the ability to upload directly.”
TOG.ink will continue to play a big role in her business. “We have had sizable growth on our wholesale side — and we have plans in place to keep expanding that product line. TOG.ink has been growing with us as they keep expanding their product offerings as well. Based on what I just said … this might seem obvious (haha!) but the new custom offerings from TOG.ink has allowed us to grow our wholesale Ginger P. line and launch love•graham nationwide because we know the printing portion is being taken care of behind the scenes.”
Gina advises designers wanted to find a similar trajectory to stay passionate. “Owning a business and being creative at a high level can be a lot of work, but when the passion and drive are there, the rest of the pieces fall into place. I love what I do because I am so passionate about our work, our customers, and the stationery and design industry — it’s seriously the bee’s knees!”Gina finds inspiration for her work in adjacent design fields. “Fashion and interior design are so inspiring to me. Being a color and pattern person, I am always looking at magazines, catalogs and store displays for vision, and to get the creative juices flowing. If anyone else read the ‘notes’ I put into my phone, they would think I was a crazy person. Every time I come think of an idea or see an ‘eye-catcher’ I put it into the notes section on my phone so I can have something to look back on when it’s time to start creating.”
Gina also credits Tradeshow Bootcamp as a big help. “Last spring I took the Tradeshow Bootcamp online course by Katie Hunt prior to debuting at NSS, and the amount of knowledge I gained while taking that course was invaluable. My favorite part is after the course you gain access to a Facebook group that has hundreds of other designers and business owners that share advice, questions, stories that we can all gain and learn from — it really has been helpful with our business growth and future plans.”
Looking back at the evolution of her business over the past eight years, Gina emphasizes how relationships and connections can really move you up, over, or through projects and opportunities. “In the beginning, I was nervous and hesitant about launching a business, and found it easy to hide behind my computer and sell online. But once I started getting to know more customers, colleagues, and pioneers of the industry it was a game-changer. TOG.ink is definitely one of those relationships that has moved us forward, and we are so thrilled to grow with them!”