BATTLE GROUND — After running a small printing business out of their home in Southern Oregon for about seven years, Russell and Kendra Laratta decided it was time to start looking around for a place to open up an actual full-service print shop.
“We started looking around, we checked out a lot of different small towns,” Kendra said. “Some towns were too small, some already had a print shop or two. We checked out Battle Ground, but found out at the time that Battle Ground Printing was moving back to Battle Ground from Vancouver. Even though Battle Ground is growing, we weren’t sure if there would be enough business for two print shops.”
That changed last May, however, when Kendra and Russell made a trip to Battle Ground to visit their daughters and decided to stop in and see how Battle Ground Printing was doing, only to see that the print shop had closed. Kendra and Russell quickly got in touch with the owner of the old Battle Ground Printing building, but decided the space was a little larger than what they wanted. They then decided they would open their print shop, Ink Ability, in the Battle Ground Plaza area at 717 W. Main St., Suite 120.
“We’ve heard from some people that we are difficult to find,” Kendra said Ink Ability’s location. “We are located in the Battle Ground Plaza next to Wilco. We are in the strip of suites by Terie’s Home Furnishings and Legions Realty. There are a set of double glass doors, if you enter and look to your left you will see our suite.”
Kendra said they will soon have a sign above the outside glass doors that should help customers be able to find the shop easier.
Although they were originally hoping to open the new print shop in September or October of last year, Kendra said the process of getting the area ready took a little longer than anticipated, and they finally began setting up the shop in January. Ink Ability officially opened for business on Feb. 6.
Currently, Kendra and Russell are still living up in the Southern Oregon area — Russell works full time for another printing business and Kendra works as a physical therapist assistant. The couple’s daughter, Rebecca, and her fiance, Joey, are currently running things at the Battle Ground shop. Once the shop is up and running, she and Russell plan to sell their house in Southern Oregon and move to the Battle Ground area.
“This was the best way to go about starting the business,” Kendra said. “The goal is to succeed, we’re in it for the long haul. We know it might take awhile to get going.”
Kendra said Russell has been in the printing business for the past 27 years and works running their printing press, and has also been a shop manager at different printing businesses. She said it’s always been his dream to have his own print shop.
Ink Ability offers full-service printing, copying, bindery services and graphic design. Kendra said they have a large-format printer, so they are able to do some larger projects like blueprints. The shop offers all sorts of printing needs — fliers, postcards, notebooks, mailers, etc. Kendra said they also do numerous add ons, such as banners, vinyl lettering, custom letter T-shirts and more. She emphasized that they do need to send some jobs out, like any custom lettering for T-shirts.
Kendra said Ink Ability also, of course, does invitations, save the dates and custom pieces. She said they have on customer who brings in her artwork and they print customized notecards for her.
“We also don’t have a minimum requirement, so if people want to come in and get just three of something, they can do that,” Kendra said.
Kendra and Russell’s other daughter, Courtney, who lives in the area, also offers photography and graphic design services through the shop. Kendra said Ink Ability also offers free pickup and delivery to corporations and businesses within 15 miles of Battle Ground, a service she said is very “helpful for busy offices.”
Kendra and Russell, who are both 48, have five children — three daughters and two sons — and 10 grandchildren.
“The people in the community have been so warm and inviting and supportive,” Kendra said of the Battle Ground community. “It’s been great. We love Southern Oregon, but it’s a much more suppressed economy there. Up here (in Battle Ground), things are happening.”
Ink Ability is currently open Mon.-Fri., 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. They do currently have Saturday hours listed, but Kendra said they will probably make Saturday a day where if people need something done, they can set up an appointment ahead of time. They can be reached at (360) 723-0151 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information, visit the Ink Ability Facebook page. They are still currently working on building their website, which will be www.inkability.co/. The shop is located at 717 W. Main St., Suite 120, in Battle Ground.