Creative Crush // Rusty and Ingrid

I’m so thrilled that I got to talk with Rusty and Ingrid about their studio (and no, Rusty and Ingrid are not the adorable children in the picture below – those are their sweet children!) I love hearing how both of their answers clearly show how each partner inspires and pushes the other. I hope that when Gregg and I have children, they come to all the shows with us and help sell our work! I can’t wait to meet Rusty and Ingrid next year when we go for one of Gregg’s big races, the view from that city is absolutely spectacular. Rusty and Ingrid on Sugar and Type Rusty and Ingrid on Sugar and TypeRusty and Ingrid Ski Prints Rusty and Ingrid Ski PrintsRusty and Ingrid on Sugar and Type Rusty and Ingrid on Sugar and Type

R: I get to work with Ingrid. We’re both artists, but up until now we rarely collaborated on creative projects. With our business, I get to see a new side of her, not only as a great artist, but as a smart entrepreneur—I think we work well together.

I: My answer is the same. Working with Rusty gives me this confidence that we can do anything, that we have no limits. He has incredible skill and a great work ethic. He also encourages me to stay committed to being an artist, which has been hard for me as a new mom.FAVORITE CANDY/TREAT :
R: Panda black licorice.

I: Vanilla peanut butter cup ice-cream, a flavor that I’ve only been able to find at Kimball’s Farm (in MA and NH). I have been ordering that flavor since I was a little kid. It’s just vanilla ice cream with chopped up peanut butter cups mixed in. So simple and so good!

R: On a trip to Kennebunkport, Maine, over the summer, we discovered Day Trip Society, which is a clever little shop that stands out from the tourist traps that are ubiquitous in seaside towns. It has a nostalgic, Wes Anderson vibe that is young and fresh with a fun selection of products that appeal to the casual tourist. They have a children’s store as well, which we appreciated.

I: We have a brand new playground in our neighborhood in Gloucester, Burnham’s Field. A group of local families raised funds to renovate this run-down and unsafe park. Now it is our favorite place to bring our kids for outdoor time, which is really important to us since we don’t have a yard. It was great to see the community come together for this project.TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED WITH  YOUR BUSINESS :
R: We met and got married while attending MassArt in Boston, where we both studied painting. After school we traveled a bit (including living in Russia for a year), and along the way, I started doing freelance design and illustration work. Eventually, I landed a job as the Art Director at a small book publisher North of Boston—this is what brought us to to Gloucester. In 2013, I was laid off from my job and it was at that point that we decided to try to make a living selling our art.
I: From the start, we knew that we wanted to make art for people like us— people without a lot of money to spend on art— but we wanted our work to have the integrity of original art, and not just be digital reproductions. Printmaking in limited-editions allows us to offer affordable art with great value. Along the way, we fell in love with screen printing, so that’s what we primarily focus on.
R: Work hard. And be flexible. Don’t allow yourself to be limited by your less than ideal working situation.

I: You have to do what it takes, even if that means losing sleep from working ridiculous hours. For instance, we have small children, and we work at home, so that means the majority of our printing happens through the night. Sometimes it’s just a race to get everything done before a big event. It’s not unusual for us to go days on 2-3 hours of sleep. If you only see one of us working the booth at a craft fair, it might be because the other one is asleep under the table.

R: Find mentors, and be willing to take their advice. We have really benefitted from meeting regularly with SCORE counselors—retired business people who donate their time and expertise to help small business owners. Their advise has been invaluable.
Meet your audience— whatever that means for your business. For us, it means booking as many craft fairs, and festivals as we can do. These events give us deadlines to produce work and polish our presentation. Meeting our audience gives us instant feedback as to what sells, what connects with an audience, and where our strengths are.
WHO’S A FELLOW ENTREPRENEUR YOU’RE CRUSHING ON RIGHT NOW :  ​ ​R: Check out @finkzach on Instagram. Zach Fink has an incredible eye for finding witty abstract design in everyday architecture.
I: My friend, Ruth Meteer’s business, Gypsy has always been an inspiration to me. Ruth has this natural ability to quickly find the best vintage and designer gems among racks of second hand clothing. She has created a successful brand and business, selling her finds at markets and fairs, mostly in Boston and Providence, and is currently running a pop-up shop in downtown Providence, called The Vault Collective.


Get to know Rusty and Ingrid!  Site / Instagram / Facebook / Twitter

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