Our feature today are the gals from the creative company, Well Inked, a local Edmonton Subscription Box Company that inspires you to get out of the box to play and get your creative juices flowing! Meet Mirna Reichle and her partner in creativity, Chelsea Carter. The Inspiring mama’s and business owners of Well Inked!
Tell us a bit more about you :)
MR: Picture Bambi stepping out onto a frozen lake. That’s me. Creative? Artist? Business owner? All of these terms still make me cower but I’m trying to feel more comfortable about wearing them as a label. What I live for is trying new stuff. I get inspired and I want to make. I’m a Maker at heart. I love seeing what I’m capable of, and I want to give people the power to do that for themselves.
CC: Honestly, I have a hard time calling myself a business owner. To me, Well Inked still feels like a passion project. I have 2 young kids at home so work duties and mom duties are sort of layered in together on an average day. There’s often a lot of late nights as that’s the only real quiet time to be found. With that being said, it has been such a rewarding process and I am blessed with an amazing business partner who can pretty much read my mind at this point.
Were you always a super creative artist?
MR: I grew up in Communist Yugoslavia and was put into the academic kid box since I didn’t have any inherent talent. I grew up assuming I wasn’t good at art, that I simply wasn’t creative. It wasn’t until University that I met a friend who showed me that creativity comes in all shapes and sizes. She pushed me to explore and to learn, and she still does to this day. I’m obsessed with taking classes and trying out new techniques and supplies. Not everything sticks, but every once in a while I find my flow, and those are the moments when I feel at peace.
CC: I have always loved creativity, and I wish I could say that I am an artist at heart. In reality, I just like to play. It’s only in the past few years that I have come to realize that you don’t need any actual talent or ability to enjoy the process of creating. I love trying new ideas and techniques, and I am most definitely the type to waste precious sleeping hours watching YouTube tutorials to figure out how something is done.
What was the inspiration behind “Well Inked”?
MR: I was a stay at home mom and starting to go a bit stir crazy. For months I had my eye on a subscription box and just when I committed to signing up the box went out of business. After complaining to a group of friends about it they said “Why not start your own box?” I couldn’t get the idea out of my mind. I came up with the name, a play on the idea of an ink-well, and an inside joke between Chelsea and I because we were the moms at pick up with a bunch of tattoos, and the rest, as they say, is history (and a lot of hard work.)
CC: When Mirna came to me with the idea, I was on board pretty much instantly. Even in the earliest stages, one of the key factors for us was to build a community where people could share ideas and techniques using the products that we include in each box. I am totally blown away by some of the amazing things people have created and shared. It’s what drives us to challenge ourselves and to create the best product we can.
Is your box good for the non-artist? Should they feel intimidated?
MR: No one should feel intimidated by wanting to make art.( And there’s an important distinction between Art and art. If you’re curious I would recommend checking out Danny Gregory and his ideas on the subject.) Our goal is to inspire you, so when you open the box your brain starts to buzz with ideas and excitement. You should want to create, to get messy, to try new stuff. We want to introduce you to new supplies (because for me the most intimidating part is standing in the aisle of an art store not knowing what anything is...how many types of watercolors can there possibly be? Where do you start?) We’re all creative (and before you argue let me remind you that getting dressed is a creative act.) We’re here to help you discover your creative side.
CC: Our box can be used by everyone. Being creative and making art have been proven to improve your health and your mental well-being. These results don’t change based on your level of talent. I think that if anything, the box takes the intimidation factor out of the process - you get supplies delivered right to your home where you can practice and enjoy, and you never have to show anyone if you don’t want to. If I have learned anything from our journey so far, it is that the work you create is truly something you do for yourself and no one else.
Where do you draw inspiration from?
MR: Like I mentioned, I take a lot of classes, which introduces me to new products. I also love talking to other creatives and seeing what they’re working on. I also read a lot of blogs, A LOT. Usually I buy a product for myself, get super excited, show it to Chelsea, and then she tries to source out a supplier. Being a Canadian business has its challenges, not all products are available for import, or if they are the cost is exponentially greater, but we’ve made it work. A lot of our inspiration comes from subscribers as well. They’ll let us know what they want to play with, and we try and make it happen.
CC: We are constantly trying new products and learning new methods. We have discovered products through blogs, videos, classes, social media, craft shows and just heading to the art store. One of the coolest aspects of the whole process is that people are starting to reach out to us to tell us about their products. Each box has a theme (and usually some sort of pun) and the supplies can be used all together or individually.
How often do subscriptions come out? Do you sign up for a year or do you order individually?
CC: Boxes are released once every 90 days. We wanted people to have a chance to play with their supplies before new ones showed up. Once you sign up your subscription is ongoing, but you can skip shipments, or cancel whenever you’d like.
What’s new on the horizon for Well Inked?
MR: We are working on so many new things in the coming year that we’re excited about! We are hosting a monthly “Art Jam” where we invite you to come be a part of the creative community. Bring your projects and hang out! Drink coffee! See what other friends are working on and share inspiration. Details will be available on our Facebook page! We’re also launching several project oriented boxes, working on some in person classes, and hopefully launching a kids’ box. It’s going to be a busy year!
How can people order? CC: Head over to our website www.wellinkedbox.com and sign up! Remember to use code YEGINSPIRED for a discount at checkout!
Dogs or Cats? MR: Turtles! (I make my own rules.) CC: Definitely dogs.
Coffee/ Tea or Latte? MR: Latte. Every hour. Sometimes twice. CC: All. The. Coffee!