Never miss these critical startup lessons from the real world

startup lessons learned from inkkas

Every episode of Marcus Lemonis’ show “The Profit” (CNBC) will teach you a thing or two about entrepreneurship. These are real stories of how entrepreneurs make mistakes and struggle with their business and life. Often the lessons learned are far more effective than what you would learn through an MBA case study.

A recent episode about “Inkkas Global Footwear”, a failing fashion shoe maker from Brooklyn, New York shows how lack of discipline by the founder-CEO wrecks havoc in his company and how Marcus intervenes to save it from abyss.

Marcus focuses on the people, process and product while remaking the business. He is not doing it for charity but to save jobs and make money. He invests his own money in these businesses and takes full control over the most critical decisions.


In 2012, Daniel along with his brother and best friend created “Inkkas Global Footwear” in Brooklyn, NY. The idea is to use global textiles and inspirations to create bold and colorful footwear unlike anything in the market. Daniel got the inspiration from his travels in Peru. He took the idea and made it a real product that people can wear.

As the creative director and CEO of the company, some of his designs had been real hits but too many bombed leaving the company in a deep financial crisis. Cash running low, and failing products it was just a matter of time before the Inkkas went out of business.

Inkkas has a retail store in Brooklyn, NY but it generates merely 3% of revenue. A whopping 70% of the revenue comes from wholesale business and the rest from its online store.

Inkkas has around 100 SKUs online and they create 15 new SKUs each season. It costs $2000 to create a completely new SKU and anywhere between $15000 to $20000 to put these new products on the shelves.

According to Daniel, there was $1 million investment in the company and it had lost close to $600,000.


Marcus himself tried a few shoes from the retail store and quickly found that the store neither had enough inventory nor the vibe of a retail store.

Shoes were good looking but not comfortable to wear, often the soles of the shoes being too thin.

The shoe industry does over $48 billion annually. Everybody needs an affordable cool pair of shoes.
The unique designs of Inkkas were impressive but they had far too many models. The company was losing money with creating designs that were not sought after.

Unlike Converse, which made a hugely popular Chuck Taylor shoes, Inkkas was making too many shoes with no profit. This lack of focus was proving to be fatal.

All founders were in deep financial trouble but the team was strong and had great commitment to the business.

Marcus’ offer

Marcus liked the team but realized that the company needed a complete overhaul from product to process to personnel. He originally made an offer for $750,000 with 51% stake in company. Due to the resistance from the co-founders, he made a counter offer of $600,000 for 40% stake with a guaranteed return of 10% .

He also enforced 20% shares for each of the three co-founders. With the agreement in place, Marcus took charge and started remaking the company.

Everything has to change!

Marcus’s first priority was to fix the product. He also wanted to focus on wholesale and grow the online business. The retail store had to be shutdown since it was it was losing money. The company had to be relocated to the right place to attract wholesale buyers.

Marcus wanted to identify which models sell well. He visited DNA footwear, a popular retail chain in New York City, which carried Inkkas shoes. He advised Daniel and the team to listen to the feedback and ask right questions. They quickly found out that basic model sold well and none of the seasonal models were bringing any customers. The message was clear – stick to the basics! Sell the basic shoes, make money and don’t do anything else.

New product line

inkkas-shoes-modelArmed with the feedback from the retailer, team decided to focus on 5 basic models – high-top lace-up, low-top lace-up, slip-on, jogger and camper. Each of these models would come with 4 designs that represent four geographic regions – North America, South America, Europe and Africa. This would bring the total styles to 20, compared to the 100 which Inkkas had before.

Marcus hired a company called ModernVice to redo the development of shoes to have better comfort and durability.

The next step was finalizing the design of the textiles used in making shoes. Marcus took Daniel to a big textile store in NY. He also wanted to see how Daniel would go from product idea to execution.

Problem with Daniel

Here Marcus identified the core problem of the business. As a CEO, Daniel had no discipline and his creativity went wild leaving the company in doldrums. Marcus asked Daniel to select 1 fabric from each region but he came up with 40 selections. It took a few iterations for Marcus to get Daniel to listen and follow directions.

New Inkkas

Since Inkkas was going to focus on wholesale, the company would be better located close to the buyers. The primary wholesale buyers would go to the garment district rather than to Brooklyn. inkkas-customers

Marcus moved the company to the Garment district of New York.

The team did a great a job of decorating the new office. With constant baby sitting from Marcus, Daniel could focus and create 4 model shoes. The big day arrived when the buyer visited the new office. Marcus gave two directions to Daniel – first, to give a compelling presentation on the products. Second, to give an “inventory assurance” to the buyers.

Daniel did a great job with the presentation. The buyer ended up taking all 5 models with a few styles of each. There couldn’t have been a better start for the new company.

The episode ended with re-inforcing the new identity of Inkkas – “Great design, great comfort, great prices and great profit!”.

Key Lessons

You definitely need a disciplined guy who is good with numbers at the top to make the right financial decisions

Focus on your core product offerings. It is a mistake for entrepreneurs to go after every product idea instead all they have to do it is focus on the basic products and create revenue.

You need to be located at the center of the action.

Define your core business and don’t try to do it all. In this case, the Inkkas made a mistake of focusing on both wholesale and retail business.

Sometimes, you need an external master to come and change your ways. Even better, realize the mistakes early on so that you don’t need to make a call to Marcos Lemons and give away 40% of the company.

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Harry Potter Rules!

Do you want to find a series that will make you want to sit and read for hours? Do you love fantasy and want an amazing story of a brave hero? Do you want to find a series for someone who just refuses to read? If you answered yes to any of these questions then start reading the Harry Potter series. You will realize how indulging and interesting these books are. Here is little bit of backstory about Harry Potter series.

Harry Potter was written by a young woman named J.K. Rowling. Her real name is Joanne Rowling. The reason she was called J.K. Rowling was because when her book was being published the editors thought that more people would read her books if she had a sort-of boyish name. The “K” in her name stands for her grandmother’s name Kathleen.

One interesting fact about Rowling is that she wasn’t that big of a fan of fantasy books but, Harry Potter made her a billionaire! Many people might wonder where she got the idea for Harry Potter and the answer is on a train!

Rowling’s Books

Rowling has published a total of 7 books, all in the Harry Potter series. There’s no telling which one of her books is the most popular because all of the books sold millions of copies! They each tell a story of young teenager Harry Potter. In each of the books he unravels a new mystery and has a new adventure. You can never get bored with Harry Potter! The characters and plots are very interesting and unique as well.Harry Potter T Shirts Banner

Timeline of Rowling’s Life

1965   On July 31, Joanne Rowling is born at Chipping Sodbury General Hospital in Gloucestershire, England.

1971   Family moves from Yate to Winterbourne, near Bristol; she and her younger sister Di play with an adventurous brother and sister whose last name is Potter.

1974   Rowling family moves to Tutshill, near Chepstow in Wales, on the edge of the Forest of Dean; begins to collect novels by her favorite children’s authors.

1976   Enrolls at Wyedean Comprehensive; best friend Sean Harris provides the model for Ron Weasley.

1980   Rowling’s mother is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.

1982   Becomes head girl, or lead pupil, at Wyedean Comprehensive.

1983   Enrolls at University of Exeter; studies French and classics.

1985   Spends one year in Paris as teaching assistant as part of degree.

1987   Graduates from Exeter, then works briefly as a research assistant for Amnesty International; writes during lunch hours in pubs and cafés.

1988   Employed as secretary in Manchester.

1990   During long train ride from Manchester to London, suddenly imagines boy who is a wizard but he does not know it; mother dies at age 45 from multiple sclerosis.

1991   Teaches English as a foreign language in Oporto, Portugal; writes 10 different first chapters for Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

1992   Marries Portuguese television journalist.

1993   Gives birth to daughter, Jessica; divorces; returns to Britain with her daughter and settles in Edinburgh, Scotland, to be near her sister.

1994   Struggles to make ends meet as single parent who cannot find a job that pays well enough to provide daycare for her daughter; continues to work on Harry Potter manuscript whenever she can during the day and at night.

1995   Sends finished manuscript to two agents and one publisher.

1996   Works as French teacher while she waits to hear about her manuscript.

1997   Scottish Arts Council gives her a large grant to continue writing;Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone is published in Britain; Scholastic purchases U.S. rights.

1998   Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is published in Britain.

1999   Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is published in Britain, becoming the No. 1 best seller; Harry Potter books are also the top three titles on the New York Times fiction bestseller list.

2000   Makes Forbes magazine’s annual Celebrity 100 list as the 24th-highest celebrity earner in the world; Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fireis published in Britain and the United States at the same time.

2001   Warner Bros. releases the movie Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone.

2002   Warner Bros. releases the second Harry Potter movie, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.

2003   Preorders for the book Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenixmake it Amazon’s No. 1 best seller five months before its June 21 publishing date.

2004   Film Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban is released.

2005   Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is published; the film Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is released.

2007   Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is published.

2009   The film version of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince is released.

2010   The film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 1 is released.

2011   The film Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows–Part 2 is released.

2012   The Casual Vacancy is released on September 27.

2013   Releases The Cuckoo’s Calling (under the pen name Robert Galbrait)



An amazing year for customized t shirts!

Happy New Year 2016

Every new year is an opportunity to start something afresh, while appreciating the previous year. We would like to thank all our customers who believed in us and created amazing T-Shirts using This year, we made huge improvements in our service:

Our goal for this year is to be “the place” for expressing yourself uniquely through T- Shirts. We will continue to improve our web-site and products to provide you the best experience!

Again, thank you for your support and wishing you a great new year!

Creativity is NOT in the Blood

Whoever said every skill is some sort of birth-right definitely didn’t look twice into the fact. Think about it. Did Leonardo Da Vinci start his masterpieces as soon as he could use his hands? No. It’s experiences that guide our thinking and behaviour. Maybe certain things like photographic memory are natural gifts one is born with, but it is not the case with Creativity.

It’s All About Inspiration

Creativity is a skill too. It’s acquired, not pre-existing. Simply put, literally EVERYONE can be creative. And there’s no limit here. What may seem dormant to one, may seem exceptional to another. It’s all about reaching the right people, because there is no good or bad in things like design and inventions. You may not agree because you maybe haven’t found it in yourself. What’s missing? Inspiration. This is the key to unlocking great creations. It is said that creativity and science do not go together, but even scientists are inspired by some unique phenomenon which sparks their theories and inventions.

Still Don’t Agree?

You feel like being artsy is an inborn talent? Would you be willing to let us try and change your mind? Honestly. Come on. No harm in trying right? We believe in starting small and working your way up.

You may not have the patience or energy to sketch something out or get supplies to make your idea of a typical masterpiece. Great thing is, you don’t have to do that. That’s what super fast and super user-friendly softwares are for. Maybe one software you could try is our seriously chill t-shirt designing software. Simple things like designing t-shirts will pave the way for more advanced work later on. Try it here :-

You can experiment with hundreds of combinations and pick things you like best! You do not have to be a genius or an established artist. You can use cliparts, upload images of your choice, add text in fonts of your choice and many more. You will not believe how simple it is. And just imagine. The pride you feel in wearing your own creation is impeccable. Your creativity truly can be found. Believe it. Once you get going, there’s no looking back.


10 steps to creating awesome t-shirt design

Want your custom T-shirts to be eye-catching? Well there are certain things you can do to make your T-shirt designs better.

1. Plan your T-shirt design

Think carefully about what you’re trying to represent with your design. Is it for a certain event? For commercial or personal use? Do you want it to be stylish but simple? Or do you need it to be fancy and bright? Make sure you have a clear idea about what you’re trying to achieve with the T-shirt you plan to create.

2. What’s your target audience?

Do you want to look unique and be a conversation starter? or are you trying to start a business with designs that are sure to sell? Are you targeting teenagers? Younger ones? or older? get a clear cut age group and this will make your presentation much easier.

3.Sketch your idea.sketching-at-home

Once you have a clear idea about your design, you need to visualise how it would look on a T-shirt. For this, make a rough sketch on some paper before you finalise your design. Then you can make any changes or tweaks to make it more attractive before using the designing software.

4.Colour is King.colour_chart_19cc8ffe-8d4b-4ac6-8c39-38438cee6dc9_large

Like seriously. Colour is everything. Most commercial T-shirts have a contrasting colour scheme which makes it eye-catching. But you can do lots of things with varying colours. The way you pick your colours will add different meaning and add focal points to different parts of the torso. The colour palette will also be the difference between an ultra modern look, or a vintage inspired creation. With colour you can add depth and balance to your design. Most successful designs have a contrasting colour pattern, which means that the background (the actual colour of the T-shirt) should be possibly of a darker colour than the foreground (the design) or vice versa.


Don’t be afraid to try everything available in the software before finalising your design. It doesn’t have to be in your initial plan, but if you feel that an element you’ve come across will benefit your design, then go ahead! Dare to be different. You can check out hundreds of clip arts offered by the software which will surely suit your taste.

6.Orientation of your design.Screenshot (184)

Your design will not have the required effect if its not placed correctly on the T-shirt. Mostly, designs which are placed at the centre of the T-shirt get the most attention. Minimal text also located at eye level will get more attention. The t-shirt designer software helps with this issue by providing a square at the centre of the shirt in which you can place your design. There are also tools in the tool bar at the bottom of the page which will automatically help orient your picture or text as per your requirements, with just one click!

7.You’re going to need balance.

A well balanced composition means, having the right amount of elements in your design, and stream-lining the sizes of each of the elements. Suppose you have a logo and two phrases. If you make the phrases too tiny and the logo huge, there’s really no point because the information being conveyed is only through the logo and not the text. Maybe you can try making the logo more medium-sized and pick the more important phrase to be slightly of a larger font size than the other phrase. By doing this, you can be sure that people are attracted by the scientifically proven visual element first, and the larger sized phrase and by this time they’re drawn in so they will make the effort to read the second phrase as well.

8. Create Substance

A good design has a solid idea and purpose behind it. Especially if you’re designing for a large audience. You need to think up something which will make your targets WANT to buy it and not throw it away. Something that has wit, humour, or inspiration will go a long way.

9. Got some Spice?

Spice up your designs in the following ways :

  • Layer different clip art images to create a unique design.
  • Rotate your text to liven up the T-shirt (but make sure it’s still readable!).
  • Add visual interest to a large block of text by using a clip art back drop, or a faded image of your choice.

All these can be done using the seriously simple software. Check it out  t shirt designer

10. And Lastly…..

Show your design to someone else so you can get their feedback. They obviously don’t have to like it, but a new set of eyes adds another perspective into the mix. First impressions are a great way to know how your targeted base will react to the design. Certain technical issues like font style and design colour can be rectified due to this step as well.

Need more help?? Check out

Want to design a T-Shirt?

So if you’re reading this, you’re interested in designing your own custom T-shirt. And trust us, it’s quite simple! Here are some ways in which we can help you out :

Firstly, Why Design Custom T-Shirt? 

Because they’re awesome. But seriously. If you’re in college, it’s a bad ass way to show that you belong; A family camping-trip; Themed birthday parties can add custom T-shirts right in with the photo-booth prop craze; College reunions definitely call for memorable hoodies; And lastly, just wearing witty quotes on your clothes will be a great conversation starter.

Designing is hard?

Definitely not. With the right platform, you don’t have to be qualified to make something of your own. Some things which you might feel is an issue is being technically handicapped, designing being a time-consuming affair, or perhaps a budget constraint. All these are easily solved by’s user-friendly design tool which is extremely easy to operate, fast interface, and placing an order is as easy as pie! If you’re going through a creative block, there are many clip-arts which you can use in your design.  helps you focus on your creativity and takes care of the rest.

Let’s get to the good stuff

Let us guide you step-by-step on how to use our design tool.

Step 1: First, on the top left of the home page, click the ‘create’ button.

Step 2: Wait for a few seconds for the design tool to load. From the drop down list at the top left, select the type of product you want to design. In the second drop-down list, you can select between round-necks, hoodies, and more.

Screenshot (170)

Step 3: Next, you’ll want to pick a color. On the top right corner of the page, select one color out of the available color palette pertaining to the product you’ve selected in the previous step.

Step 4: Just below the color palette, you can alternate between which side ( front or back ) of the t-shirt you are designing.

Screenshot (178)

Step 5: If you want any images, on the left, the second tab labelled ‘images/upload’ has a range of clip-art designs which you can pick. There are two drop down lists which help filter your selection based on occasion, like holidays, and mascots. Or you can upload a pre-existing image of your choice from your computer by clicking the ‘upload image’ button below.

Screenshot (180)

As you add images, notice that a window labelled ‘layers panel’ appears on the right side of the page. Through this you can select which image you want to customize at a time, as well as remove images by pressing the tiny trash can button on the right of each image listed in the window.

Screenshot (181)

You will also notice that another window appears below the T-shirt you’re working on.

Screenshot (182)

In this window, you can edit the image’s color (In some images, the color cannot be changed), as well as invert the image using the first two buttons beside the color palette, and orient it towards the vertical centre of the shirt using the third button, towards the horizontal centre using the fourth button, and absolute centre of the shirt using the last button.

If you want to move the image slower, then use the four navigation keys on the right of the window. below that you can enter the degrees of the angle in which you want to rotate the image. This ensures precision. At the bottom of the window, you can toggle with the bar to increase or decrease the size of the image.

Step 6: After you are satisfied with your design, Enter you order information in the window on the bottom right of the page, This dynamically changes the price as you increase or decrease your order. After this, you can click the ‘add to cart’ button and continue designing further, or you can go ahead and place the order by clicking on the ‘checkout’ button.

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Experiment with our design tool, and we promise you’ll be up and running with it in no time.

Happy Designing!

Custom T-Shirts for Events

Are you having a birthday party, launch event or reunion? You can make it more memorable through custom t-shirts.

We make it super easy for you to create custom t-shirts by providing t shirt designer, design ideas and great pricing.

Follow these steps to create a memorable t-shirt that your group will cherish for years to come:

  • Decide on a design. May be you already know what design you want to use. If not, check out our design ideas. We provide hundreds of high-quality cliparts that can be used for creating your perfect design. Do you need help from an expert designer? Please contact us to get started
  • Decide the t-shirt style – We provided tens of t-shirt styles and colors that you can customize. From round neck t-shirts to polos to hoodies, the selection of t-shirts will amaze you. Just pick the style and color that you think would be ideal for your occasion.
  • Decide on design style  – Want the design on the front, pocket or back of the t-shirt?  How about the sleeves? We can print anywhere on the t-shirt!
  • Do in advance – Don’t wait for the last minute. Start thinking about it today and make the order well ahead of your event so that there is no delay.

If you need any help, feel free to reach out. We are here to make your event super awesome through really cool custom t-shirts.

GEC College T-Shirts and Hoodies

GEC mens hoodieThousands of students have graduated from Government Engineering College, Thrissur since 1957.

For the first time, we are making GEC T-Shirts and Hoodies available to students and alumni all over the world! You can choose from different sizes and colors. The GEC t-shirts feature stunning college logo in a nice sized print.

By wearing GEC T-Shirts, you show your pride and accomplishment for being part of an institution that has a rich and long history.

Get GEC T-Shirts and Hoodies today!


Refresh your memories with college t-shirts and hoodies

Experience in a college is about a story that you tell yourself. A story that will play and replay many times in your life.

In the first year of college, everybody is a little bit scared about seniors, exams, hostel rooms etc. You are busy finding in your place among hundreds of other smart kids. Before you know, the first year is over and you may be ruminating over why your exams went so bad.

In the second year, things get much better with your new powers of being a senior and the “right” that allows you to abuse hapless juniors. You are still busy recovering from the failed exams of the first year but find some time to engage in sports or other cultural activities.

You make new friends, have some parties and study tours. You may feel like you are finding your feet in the tsunami of exams, labs and tons of other distractions.

The 3rd year might be the time to blossom as an engineering student. You’ve learnt some fundamental subjects, and completed small projects. It is time to gain confidence to tackle larger problems coming on your way. Third year is also when you get to party more and make even more friends.

The final year is like a magician’s hat that disappears in the thin year. It is so quick! You are busy with final project, campus interviews and a lot of parties. It is also an exciting time because you are temporarily relieved from a huge weight that was put on your back.

It is an enormous privilege to be in any college, especially in a professional college. By the time you realize, you are already out of the college and busy building your life in the real world.

However, those college years are so important that it leaves indelible marks in your life. The college experiences follow you like a shadow, whether they are good or bad. Don’t we all feel like re-living those memories?

Our college t-shirts are sure to bring your memories back but more importantly, it firmly put you back on your roots. By wearing your college swags, you are also giving free publicity to your alma-mater. Isn’t the least you can do for you alma mater?

Your college years is already part of your story. Let’s give it a voice with college t-shirts.