Blackpool online specialist in new business launch
A Blackpool-based online entrepreneur is hoping to put himself in the frame for success after launching a new business.
The owner of award-winning Whitehills-based The Ink Squid has branched out into bespoke framing after spotting a gap in the market.
Adrian Meakin who founded the Apollo Court firm which supplies printer inks for computers in 2010 said the move would complement the existing online operation but would focus on allowing people a wider choice in what they by over the internet.
Ink Squid won the E-Business award at the BIBAs in 2012. The new business Framing Incredible allows customers to frame anything from favourite photographs to hand-print plaster casts, football shirts, flat screen TVs and even wedding dresses.
He said: “Printer inks is a very competitive market, we are competing against companies from all overt the world.
“So we were looking to diversify and we noticed how successful some of the bespoke products companies were becoming online.
“Ebay and Amazon are cottoning on to this bespoke aspect, Ebay are planning a launch in March or April and Amazon is testing at the moment and we are involved in that.
“The success of Not on the High Street and others has stolen a march on Amazon and the others and they have taken notice.
“Ebay sounded out its customers about bespoke sales and so we had advanced notice of their plans.
“We wanted a product that would work well online to complement The Ink Squid and at the same time could be customised to meet a customers exact needs, to make a unique product.
“We have been working on this for a year. We bought the equipment last year an have trained the staff up.”
He said they had large format printers which can reproduce images at high definitions, mitre cutting equipment for the various frames and glass cutters.
He added: “We are members of the Fines Arts Guild and can print to their standards so that artists and photographers can send us their work.
“We have already been innundated. We have been doing 30 to 40 frames a week.
“Our first customers have been interior design companies, and we have just completed an order of 64 frames for new apartments in Winckley Square, Preston.
“We have also had interest from a company running nursing homes for frames for pictures to be put up where people have got dementia to help with their memories and for interaction.
“Ink Squid is going from strength to strength. We are busier than ever.” But he said the new business was exciting because of the reaction they get from customers.
He said: “There is an emotional response there form people having photographs framed.
“It means something to them, and that is nice.”