The Inkwell Press unofficially began in late 2004 in this backhouse garage in Gentilly. The founder, Gabriel Flores, had been working in the screenprinting industry for 6 years, and decided to start his own business to cater to other artists, designers and musicians. He acquired an old Antec Legend 4-color manual press from his employer and quit his job to become an entrepreneur. While renovating the space, Hurricane Katrina struck. The base of the press was under 12ft of water for days. The property was destroyed, but the screen press and the dream survived.
Fast forward three years to 2007. Gabriel was working for his former employer again learning the various positions it took to run a successful operation. After fleeing the hurricane with only his son and a suitcase, he had built back his startup money doing freelance work and side jobs. He purchased a Vastex screenpress from a co-worker, quit his job and setup shop in his backhouse on Piety street in the 9th ward. The back door to the print shop was in Rosalie alley, directly across from one of the last remaining active Vodoun temples. This was where The Inkwell Press officially began. Early clientele will remember doing business in the living room of the main house on Piety street.
3 years later in 2010, the back house grew too small and the need to separate the business from the personal was evident. The Inkwell Press moved Uptown to the historic Riverbend. The shop was inside of a former bike / lawn mower repair shop on a quiet section of Oak st near Leonidas. The Inkwell hired its first employee at this time. A halfpipe and a treehouse were built in the backyard and frequent bbqs and boils were held for the local skate community. More employees were hired as our reputation for quality and our clientele list grew. The shop became an official merch vendor and designer for the annual Oak street Po’Boy Festival.
In late 2016, the owner was contacted by one of his clients about a warehouse space that was available in the St. Roch neighborhood, not far from where it all began on Piety St. almost ten years earlier. After nearly two decades in the screenprinting industry and tens of thousands of prints all pulled by hand, it was time to expand. With the help of an investor, the shop was able to make the move into the new space at 1523 St. Ferdinand street. A state-of- the-art ROQ press was acquired to cater toward larger clientele and faster turn arounds. Aside from garment screenprinting and promo items, other services were added including embroidery, poster printing, stickers, vinyl cutting, and more. Even with the modern equipment, our focus remains the same: to treat every print like a work of art, and every customer like an entrepreneur. If you succeed, we succeed. We want to thank all of our clients who trust us to help make their ideas a reality. We look forward to being a creative source for the community for years to come.