New Orleans Small Business 12n12: Wrought Ink
New Orleans Small Business 12n12 is a project, by local New Orleans photographer Traven Stout, that promotes one small business a month. The idea is to reach out to other business owners and simply connect with them, to relate with them, to offer help, and to look for help with running a business.
What does your business do?
We create custom t-shirt designs inspired by Louisiana folklore.
How long have you been in operation?
2 and a half years
Whats something people don’t know about you business that you want them to know?
People have asked me if the images are computer generated, but I draw each one from scratch
and then prepare them for print on Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator. I also screen print them
(images provided by Wrought Ink)
What are your goals for the next year?
To build a second display and increase my inventory so that I can participate in more pop-ups
for events and festivals.
Where do you see your business in 5 years?
I would like to be in at least 4 retail shops that order regularly. Hopefully, by then I also have an
office manager that works 20-40 hours a week.
Whats your favorite thing about running your own business?
I love having the freedom over my artwork. I’m used to making designs for clients. Although I
love helping people make their visions reality, I’m also a little heartbroken when they go in a
direction other than what I had in mind.
With Wrought Ink, I make the designs and people purchase if they like them. No revisions or
What’s your biggest challenge within running your own business?
As the business owner, I am responsible for everything and time is money. There are plenty of
times I have tried to save a penny by doing something myself when I should have delegated the
Also, you get what you pay for. A professional friend giving you “the friend discount” will take
longer to complete the work. If you hire an unskilled person, you may end up redoing their work.
What would be your number one suggestion to someone starting there own business?
Budgeting your time and money is so important. Once you start depending on the business, the
stress of making income can override your growth goals.
I have been working on an official website for so long, and it keeps getting placed on the bottom
of my to-dos.
Once you start making income, make some growth goals and decide if the income you are
making is enough. Plenty of entrepreneurs have had two jobs for while until they can fully
depend on their business.
Anything else about your business that you would like to add?
I have an Etsy or you can find me at the Palace Art Market on Frenchmen st.
Also I am looking for retail store that want to carry my shirts.