We started our shop near the beginning of 2013. Initially we produced products for our own community, the LGBT community. We have since expanded to include products in other fields we are interested in, including gaming, BDSM/Fetish, literature and history.
Our equipment includes a vinyl cutter, dye sublimation printer, heat press and multiple computers.
We use Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, Corel Painter and GreatCut to produce the majority of our products.
Coming out is never easy it seems. I know when Kari first told me (after 15 years of being together) that she was transgender it was surreal. We were both scared, but determined to work through it.
One of the big questions for us was, What about Kari's work?
She worked in a male dominated industry. Car appraisal working mostly with body shops and mechanics. We were scared that she would be ostracized and would no longer be able to help support us. It was something that weighed on our minds.
One night we were talking about it and an idea popped up. Hey, lets be our own boss then we don't have to worry about it! and not only lets be our own boss, but lets bring awareness to the LGBTQ communities and their struggles!
The following plans and dreams became Ellenkay Design (L & K - LeeAnn and Kari). I remember the first night we opened the shop.. our few meager offerings looked a little pitiful on the store front! Waiting and staring at the page.....
A few hours later Kari called me in and said look!!!!! She had been on her gaming forum and had mentioned that we had just opened our shop and one of the guys in the forum bought two items!
We have been at it ever since!
As an afternote though.. Kari was able to keep her job and the community has actually been very accepting and accomodating to her! So our shop was born out of fear but has persisted with positive and continued support!