Shop Local: Fingers in Ink
Wedding invitation? Birth announcement? Designer Nicole Fingers can give it a personal touch.
Nicole Fingers started out on a different career track, but couldn’t ignore the tug of her inner artist whispering that her heart just wasn’t in electrical engineering. She began to dabble in designing invitations, and in 2002 opened a brick-and-mortar shop in Lyon Park appropriately dubbed Fingers in Ink, which specializes in fine stationery.
“I did a few friends’ invitations,” she says of her early days. “And then when it was time for me to get married, I did my own invitations, and everything came together. It was like, This is what I need to do.”
While artistry is a big part of what drew her to the business, she also loves meeting people during the happiest moments of their lives. She’s seen her most devoted clients through weddings, home purchases, birth or adoption announcements and graduation parties.
“I call those the Fingers in Ink Lifers,” says Fingers, who grew up in Oxon Hill, Maryland. “I’ve seen them through everything. One client’s daughter turned 16 last November. I’ve done all her invitations since she turned 1. It’s just a great progression to see her turn into such a delightful young lady.”
Social invitation suites, which include the invitation and outer envelope with return address, start at $3.95 each. Wedding invitation suites start at $9.25 each and include the invitation, outer envelope with return address, and reply card with envelope. Prices can go up from there based on paper quality, printing method and embellishments.
Fingers, who lives about a mile from her shop, says one big misconception about her craft is that anyone with a home printer can do it. Clients sometimes want a certain pattern or color incorporated, and there’s a lot of math involved—for instance “when you’re trying to get five invitations on a 20-by-24 sheet of paper.” Plus, not everyone is born with an artistic eye.
She jokes that she wears black every day so that her outfits don’t interfere with the vivid hues in her designs.
“I love to work with color and patterns and textures and layers,” she says. “I know my clients don’t always have that aesthetic. I often infuse a little bit of me in everything I do so that you can say, ‘Oh, Nicole definitely designed that.’ ”