FAIR HAVEN: AFTER SANDY, INK RUNS AGAIN

Shayne Wolfe, below, and some of the products available at her paper shop, above. (Photo by Alexis Orlacchio. Click to enlarge)

By ALEXIS ORLACCHIO

After Hurricane Sandy barreled though the East Coast and demolished the former Sea Bright location of Ink, a stylish paper and gift boutique, store owner Shayne Wolfe took matters into her own hands.

On May 29, she re-opened shop at 803 River Road in Fair Haven.

Ink provides customers with more than just customized cocktail napkins and guest towels; Wolfe goes above and beyond for her clientele, making every trip to Ink personal.

“I love being able to work with customers – that’s my passion,” said Wolfe, the sole employee of her business. On top of custom printing, Wolfe said she is willing to help with events and parties anyway she can.

“Yesterday I stuffed envelopes for a baby shower with the mother and the daughter who was having the baby, and two days ago I did it with the mother of the bride,” she said. “It’s a really nice way to get to know your customer. There’s a real personal element and you become part of somebody’s life, you become part of a really momentous occasion.”

The eclectic shop brings some personality and edge to River Road.

“I was going for funky but streamlined,” said Wolfe, who designed and decorated the three separate rooms of her boutique, everything from painting the walls and floors to picking out the fabrics and pictures. “I wanted to keep everything relatively neutral because everything I have is really bright. I wanted the product to speak for itself.”

Wolfe worked in the field for 10 years in Massachusetts before moving to New Jersey three years ago. Ink originally shared space with Cocotay Boutique on Ocean Avenue in Sea Bright. (The prospective buyer of Cocotay, Chelsea Delaney, saw her deal fall apart when Sandy ravaged the store; as reported by redbankgreen last month, Delaney has now opened a new shop, called Sadie James Boutique, also in downtown Fair Haven.)

“I’ve always loved color; I’ve always loved merchandising,” Wolfe said. Even when the storm left Wolfe occupationally displaced, she continued her business from home, offering in-house printing service, customized note pads and note cards “that I can turn around in less than 12 hours,” said Wolfe.

“I love the personal aspect [of my job],” said Wolfe. “I love helping people plan their weddings and baby showers and birthday parties.” While she doesn’t market herself as an event planner, Wolfe said it is something she has done before and is more than happy to do. “Some people find the [party planning] process overwhelming,” she said. “Whether it’s a florist, or a venue, or an honest opinion on a dress, I’m more than happy to do it.”

She has a number of different company binders with examples of different invitations and envelopes. “I didn’t want to carry what most people carry around here. I still have the standard companies, like Crane. But I just wanted to be different,” said Wolfe. “I pick stuff that I love. And if I love it and am passionate about it, then somebody else will love it, too,” she said.

Ink sells more than just stationery: it offers gift items like jewelry and handbags as well.