5 things you didn’t know about ELIZABETH UPCHURCHBy NIKKI ROWELL,
She isn’t a trained graphic designer. She picked up her skills from employees.
She is an interior design and architecture junkie.
She credits her “grammar snob” parents for her proofreading skills.
She grew up playing competitive tennis.
When she isn’t watching her son play soccer, she can be found experimenting in the kitchen with her daughter.
When Elizabeth Upchurch isn’t making memories with her husband and children, she is busy helping other people create lasting memories of their own.
The Corinth native is the owner of Fresh Ink in Jackson. Fresh Ink is a gift and stationery shop tucked away on the second floor of Banner Hall.
“Fresh Ink creates custom stationery and invitations for clients with a wide range of options, but we mostly help people solve problems,” Upchurch said. “They may have seen something they like and are trying to figure out how to make it happen or how to do it on a budget or make sure that the materials they want are what they will be getting.”
Upchurch earned her degree in business and minor in theater at the University of Mississippi.
She did not always plan to own her own business. After years of working in retail and sales, she decided to take the leap and open up a business of her own.
“I was very nervous to own my own business, the responsibility of it made me very nervous,” she said.
After college, Upchurch moved to Jackson for a job opportunity. After she met her husband, she decided to stick around.
She opened Fresh Ink in 2005.
“I started Fresh Ink in 2005 when I was pregnant, and we opened our doors on Cinco de Mayo,” Upchurch said.
According to Upchurch, Fresh Ink has everything from grab-and-go monogrammed stationery for quick thank you notes to custom designed invitation and accessory suites.
“We also fill in the fun with custom napkins, cups, koozies, pajamas, candles, and pens,” she said.
Greeting cards are purchased from renowned designers all over the country. However, a majority of their custom work is designed in-house.
“I had no idea when we opened the store how much being involved with people’s events and celebrations would be so meaningful and fulfilling,” Upchurch said.
“We see girls we have worked with to plan their wedding and then they have babies or some of my friends are starting to have children that are graduating and will be marrying soon - it is just really special to be connected with all different kinds of people,” she added. “It’s also nice to know we create something that is sentimental for people. People will pass down a copy of their wedding invitation for generations, or a letter from a family member, and that means a lot to us.”
The bulk of Fresh Ink’s business is wedding related, such as for showers, engagement parties, rehearsal dinners and more.
Upchurch said they also get busy around graduation season and the holidays.
Fresh Ink also offers calligraphy classes, which have been very popular.
“(The artist) offers a modern calligraphy class which uses a dip pen and ink but a looser more modern style and she also teaches a brush lettering class which uses pliable felt-tip markers to created beautiful lettering,” Upchurch said. “They are both lovely, but the brush lettering is very appealing to younger students and easy to get started with.”
Upchurch said what really makes Fresh Ink different is their people.
“We have had some of the most wonderful employees who really love people and love helping people and it makes all the difference,” she said. “We benefit from ladies who have already had weddings and know that perspective and we also benefit from the energy and creativity of young people through our interns that work from Millsaps College, Mississippi College, Belhaven, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Baylor and even more.”
Even though she’s the owner, she never feels like the only “face” of the business.
“Fresh Ink would be nothing without all of the people who care about making our clients happy day in and day out,” she said.