Adventure, Ink of Milan sells comics, board games, tabletop role-playing games, new and used books of all kinds, and giftware from local and independent manufacturers.
It was launched in 2018 by married couple Jeff and Laura Harvey and their friend Matt Blattman.
“I always like to refer to Adventure, Ink as the biggest impulse buy my husband and I have ever made,” said Laura, from Milan. “There was a small comic book shop in Milan, and Jeff had connected with the owner through a podcast initiative he was working on. One day the owner asked if he would be interested in buying the store. Jeff said no. But, after talking to Laura, they decided to give it a try.
The company has already grown. Last summer it moved to a larger site. Its line of books has expanded, and the owners plan to expand the company’s online presence.
“We were originally in a smaller place inside the Collins Center, just down the street on the corner of Wabash and Main. Last August we reopened in our new location with more space and a more visible storefront,” Laura said. “Moving was a great decision. People find us much more easily.
The Harveys have interests and backgrounds in games and books.
“Jeff was into comic books, and we both played board games and tabletop role-playing games, so that genre was right up our alley,” Laura said. “I also had 12 years of experience working for Borders Books, and opening my own bookstore was a pipe dream for me for many years. We added a small used book section in the store, then when we moved to a larger location we added a full new and used book section selling books of all kinds. Adding the book side of the store brought in a whole new demographic that we weren’t reaching before. »
Adventure, Ink also hosts special events, like Magic the Gathering tournaments on Friday nights and some Sundays. Other events at the store are tabletop role-playing games (Dungeons & Dragons, Pathfinder, etc.), board game demonstrations, and meetings with local authors and book signings.
He has a wide range of customers.
“Kids love to pick up Pokémon cards, and our comics, books, and games appeal to teens and adults of all ages and interests,” Laura said. “Until now, most of our customers have been local, but we’ve met people from nearby towns, like Saline, Ann Arbor, Dexter, Monroe, etc. We also have a strong social media presence that attracts followers from all over. Our website is currently not e-commerce enabled; however, we recently received a grant to complete our website and plan to complete it soon.
Adventure, the owners of Ink have plans to expand, but want to keep the store’s current charm.
“Our immediate goals for the business are to enable e-commerce on our website so that we can increase our revenue enough to meet certain renovation and decorating goals, as well as increase staff and hours,” said Laura. “In the long term, we would like to be able to add several locations and/or franchises in other cities. We have strived to make Adventure, Ink a special place for our customers because it is special to us, and that love and passion shines through in our interactions with community members and the care we put into everything. what we do. We wanted to create a space and build a community where people could come to our store and be who they are, show their passion for the things they read, play and create and have it received with the same level of enthusiasm as they have for that.”