Check out Ink+Volt on LinkedIn
Name: Stephanie Hodges
Job: Product Lead and Buyer at Ink+Volt
Location: Greater Seattle Area, Washington
If you have followed The YoPro Know for some time now, you already know how much I love my Ink + Volt planner. I have been using them for several years now and after reaching out to their team earlier this year, I was able to interview with Stephanie and really get a feel for the behind-the-scenes work at the company. Now that I know the story behind the resource that I use to be more efficient every day, I am even more eager to share it with you all today.
Give me a brief background on yourself and your career path.
My name is Stephanie, and I am the Product Lead and Buyer for Ink+Volt. After graduating from college in 2009, I worked at a cloud tech company doing mostly content marketing and some project management. After the cloud tech company was bought out, I was laid off. Without a strong pull towards that industry and not much other experience under my belt, I hunted for a new job. After a couple of months, I came across a unique opportunity to be a personal assistant and right-hand woman to Kate Matsudaira. At the time, Kate had completed her wildly successful Kickstarter campaign for the Spark Notebook (now known as the Ink+Volt Planner). After about a year of working with Kate on a wide range of projects, Ink+Volt grew tremendously and I started working exclusively as the first full-time employee of Ink+Volt.
What should YoPros know about your field?
Ink+Volt is very unique in that we’re not just an e-commerce retail store; we’re so much more. We provide really useful and actionable content about a range of topics like productivity, creativity, goal setting, workplace topics, and more. All of the products that we make are centered around the key components that contribute to personal and professional success and happiness. You could say our “field” is e-commerce, and there’s a lot to know about that field, but with Ink+Volt, in particular, YoPros should know that the success of the products we sell is born from addressing the real needs and desires of busy working people.
What does your day-to-day look like?
My day-to-day holds a ton of variety. “Product Lead and Buyer” basically means anything and everything product-related — including inventory, product webpages, product copywriting, and managing the production of our planners, notepads, etc. On busy days, you’ll even find me packing orders! Aside from working from home a lot more and being a lot busier (see below), my day-to-day hasn’t changed drastically since COVID. Communication has proven to be a key skill, and developing routines has become really important.
How is your field being impacted right now, due to COVID?
Because we sell planners and organizational/productivity notepads, and because we are online-only, we’ve been even busier than ever. The effects of COVID have people thinking about how to stay focused and productive during their day and how to continue to get their work done from home, which is a huge challenge for many! Whether you work from home, work in an office, run your own business, or simply are looking for ways to accomplish more, our products and articles can be some of the most helpful tools. It has been really gratifying to see that we are impacting and helping real people.
What is a hardship that you have experienced in your career and how have you adapted?
Along with the excitement and variety that working in a small but mighty growing company brings, it also has its challenges. It means creating things from scratch, addressing new problems without a guidebook or process, and coming up with one. It means messing things up or not getting things right on the first try, and facing those learning curves. I’ve learned that the only way out is through.
What drives/motivates you?
I think part of me is motivated by the idea that if I don’t get something done or if I don’t continuously put effort towards being productive, that I will fall into a habit of laziness or complacency. If I looked at my to-do list at the end of the day and haven’t put a checkmark or made a genuine effort towards those tasks, I would feel disappointed.
YoPro Know Takeaways:
-Communication and developing routines have proven to be key skills for high productivity
-When facing challenges in any career, the only way out is through
-Productivity is a continuous mass effort