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May 15, 2024

Member Spotlight: James Armijo of Inktavo

We sat down with Shop Member, James Armijo of Inktavo to explore Inktavo’s transformative impact on local print shops through its comprehensive suite of software solutions. By enabling small businesses to compete with national brands, Inktavo helps them stay true to their local roots. CEO insights reveal the dedication to community, creativity, and teamwork that drives Inktavo’s success. Learn how their inclusive and rewarding work environment empowers employees and fosters growth. Plus, discover the personal and professional benefits of coworking at The Shop Workspace.

1. Tell me more about your company, what do you all do?

Marketing jargon: Inktavo’s suite of products – InkSoft, Printavo, GraphicsFlow and SignTracker- delivers an all-in-one software and education solution for branded merchandise businesses to grow, organize and scale.  With deep roots in the industry, we strive to be a thought leader that branded merchandise businesses trust to learn how to run a better business.  We do great work because we empower our people to do their best work by providing an inclusive, secure, rewarding, and transparent workplace.

How I tell the story: Every community has a small business that produces shirts, signs and other merch for organizations in that area, most of the high schools, other small businesses, and events (5k’s, concerts, etc).  Those businesses are able to work with their clients to create unique designs catered to their needs, and reinvest in the community when they do well.  But, they have to compete with large, national suppliers.  Our software enables the small guys to be as efficient as the big guys, but stay true to their local roots.

2. What is your favorite part about the work that you do?

At a company level, we are helping our customers, who we affectionately call “print hustlers”, build businesses that are integral to their local communities.  Our customers serve all of the local institutions in their communities – youth sports, non-profits, events, etc. – and their attention to design detail and production makes those communities better places.  Our tools enable those businesses to do what they do while competing with large, national brands that wouldn’t reinvest in their community or have the attention to detail that knowing a community entails.

On a personal level, I often joke that I had no choice but to be CEO because I’m not really good at any one thing individually, and that’s true.  But what I do love doing is setting goals that are often met with a response like “no; F-no; that’s way too hard” but still building a team of great people and helping them achieve that goal in the end.  Doing that requires a lot of communication – translating the same message for various audiences – and decision-making, and I relish those opportunities.

3. How has being a member of The Shop Workspace impacted your work and creativity?

I have three young kids and a dog that barks at anything that moves.  Most of my days are spent on at least 6 hours of video calls, and often more than that.  What little time I do have that isn’t on a call is dedicated to doing work that, if done incorrectly, would negatively impact people on the team.  The Shop gives me a place to get away from personal distractions and tackle work.  It also gives me a place to have conversations that have nothing to do with my job or my family, which is probably the single best thing I can do for my mental health on a regular basis.  As a result, I’m more focused and less stressed at work, and perhaps just as importantly, when I do get home, I can be present and positive there too.  The cherry on top for me is the ability to ride my bike to/from work – thanks to the shop for having a bike-accessible location and great facilities for cycling commuters – so I get some fresh air as I’m making a transition between locations!

4. Share a memorable moment or achievement that happened while working at The Shop.

The day I moved in to the Shop, I parked on 5th South, just south of the police building.  I had the things I wanted to move into my office like my computer monitor, etc in the back of my car.  However, the rear hatch on my car malfunctioned, and I couldn’t get it open more than a few inches.  So I spent ~10 minutes watching YouTube videos trying to figure out how to fix it while messing around with the door.  At that point, 2 police officers came up to me and it dawned on me that it looked a lot like I was trying to break into a car to get at a computer monitor!  I explained the situation and the officers were nice about it (even helped me carry a box from the car to the Shop’s front door).  But I did think it would have made for a better story had I been arrested on my first day.

5. What’s your favorite thing about the community at The Shop Workspace?

It’s an incredibly diverse group in terms of the types of organizations, the people, and interests.  I mentioned this in a previous answer, but I really enjoy the opportunity to have a random conversation while getting coffee that doesn’t have anything to do with my normal day-to-day life, and that opportunity always exists at The Shop.

6. Any advice for fellow members or entrepreneurs considering coworking spaces?

Say hi!  As I mentioned, one of my favorite parts of being at The Shop is the ability to make connections with others.  I’ve never had an experience of making a random introduction that hasn’t been a lot of fun.  I know it’s always a little weird to say hi to a random person IRL, but if we’re already here, we’re not that random, and I think the more we do it, the more the community will make us all better.

7. What is your favorite hidden gem in Salt Lake City?

The SLC Project!  It’s a free group that meets at the State Capitol on Wednesday morning at 6am, does an easy-for-anyone group workout for about 30 minutes, and then gets coffee at SLC Roasting Co.  I’ve made so many friends through the group.  The capitol building is impressive and the views of the Wasatch, particularly when paired with a sunrise, are a great way to start the day.  I also think the Gilgal Sculpture Garden is a great hidden gem and it’s an easy walk from The Shop, making it a fun spot for lunch or fresh air.

Be sure to keep an eye out for James Armijo around the 3rd Floor or biking in to The Shop and say hi!

Ready to join our growing community diverse companies? Book a tour and trial today.