Phoenix/ Retail & Industry
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Published on April 11, 2024
Phoenix Entrepreneurs Launch Ink'd Greetings to Revolutionize Card Industry with KiosksSource: Facebook / Ink'd Greetings

Looking for a speedy solution to the grueling process of card shopping, entrepreneur couple Andrew and Sammi Ekmark are trying to shake up the traditional greeting card industry with their Phoenix-based startup, Ink’d Greetings. Ditching the cliche racks filled with overpriced paper, Ink’d introduces self-service kiosks that crank out custom greeting cards in a flash, with a bonus option to slap on a digital gift card for good measure.

The duo got the idea after Andrew Ekmark experienced frustration over the "lengthy process" of card shopping, often culminating in "paying $6.50 for a card" which – according to the common consumer experience – is seen as steep. The Ekmarks told ABC15, they wanted to offer something more efficient and wallet-friendly. Ink’d Greetings, born in 2023, now promises to streamline the good old greeting card game, starting in the Valley of the Sun.

These kiosks are not just for the tech-savvy; they're for anyone who can tap a screen, pick a design, and type out a message. According to a Business Journal, the cards come on high-quality cardstock, and the kiosk spits them out in only 10 seconds. Expansion is on the horizon, with nearly 100 kiosks planned for deployment in a mix of multifamily and office spaces in the area. A recent highlight for the company includes selection into Stanford University's StartX accelerator program.

With only a handful of employees, including an industry vet Ged Backland, Ink’d seems focused on smart growth. "We definitely want to expand in Phoenix before we go national," Andrew Ekmark said, as per Business Journal. Investors seem to buy into their vision; their StartEngine crowdfunding campaign has drummed up a cool $119,120 from 106 backers as of April 8, contributing to a company valuation standing at $19.9 million.

Committed to solidifying their foothold, the Ekmarks have already planted their first kiosk in the Chandler Fashion Center. If all goes according to plan, their innovative greeting solution might just be coming to a 7-11 or Speedway near you, with dreams of stretching from coast to coast.