Katie Ackley '15

Illustration major Katie Ackley ’15 knew where she wanted to intern. She was a big fan of the designs of Eliza Jane Curtis and wanted to learn more about Curtis’s business, Morris & Essex. In her proposal, she explained that the experience would help her gain the small-business skills and insight needed to launch her own company
in rural Maine after graduation.

For her internship, Katie traveled to Limington, Maine, once a week where Eliza produces hand-printed cards, scarves, bags, and fabric. Within the first month, she also was able to take her first- ever trip to New York City, accompanying Eliza to the Renegade Craft Fair in Brooklyn, one of the premier showcases for independent makers.
In addition to learning how to do silk screening, Katie learned about production issues, managing subcontractors, and balancing wholesale and retail, while exploring resources for start-ups.

After completing the internship, Katie applied for and then received a Professional Development and Entrepreneurship Grant from MECA. These
competitive funds assist students with opportunities outside the College to further their professional development. Katie’s award helped her launch her own product line and online store, Inky Blue (inkybluestudio.com), which provides goods such as tea towels, pillows, and stationery, as well as illustration services. After graduation, Katie was hired at Liberty Graphics. She is also currently in the process of building her own tiny house.