We all know the saying: "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words will never hurt me."
Clearly, this person doesn't know what it's like to live in 2019.
It's one thing to be our own worst critics, but in an age where social media brings freedom of speech to a whole new level, there seems to be a relentless number of online users, ready to see and speak to the worst side of a topic.
Now, more than ever, there needs to be more accountability for how we treat one another, regardless of the platform. There's a responsibility in understanding how the words we use, both negative and positive, towards ourselves and towards others have a very real and lasting impact.
As much as a single sentence can bring you down to the lowest levels, all it takes is a few uplifting words to raise you back up and bring you confidence and peace of mind.
The Inkcourage team is using the power of prose to encourage you to pursue your dreams, crush your goals, and pretty much kickass and spread kindness everywhere you go. By wearing one of their tattoos, you're part of a renewed sentiment to pay it forward because words have power and kindness is completely free.
"We weren't meant to do life alone."
The March NF.edit coincides with National Women's Month and our own Ride Like A Girl-inspired social media campaign to recognize the incredible women who impact and inspire us. But you'll find that our recent curation, and certainly Inkcourage's mission, extends far beyond this national holiday.
Our March NF.edit features a custom Inkcourage temporary tattoo — Ride Like A Girl
Our sport is inherently judgemental and we all have experienced that harsh reality in one form or another. Whether you've found a community of people who lift you up or you realize that it's time to create one, Noëlle Floyd is putting our money where our mouth is by investing in brands for the NF.edit that foster that sense of community, providing people with support, compassion, and inspiration for their own choices and goals.
Inkcourage's founder, Andrea Zelenak believes, "We weren't meant to do life alone. We often doubt ourselves and our capabilities on a daily basis. Sometimes we lose courage and need others to remind us how amazing we are."
Andrea's vision for this small but mighty brand is crystal clear, and as you read on, we hope its voice provides that same courage and empowerment to you.
NoelleFloyd.com: What are Inkcourage’s origins? How did the idea for this company begin?
Andrea Zelenak: Inkcourage started out with one person’s desire to help another. I was driving one day thinking about how my friend was going through a tough time. I didn’t really know what to do or what to say, I just wanted my friend to know I was there for her every step of the way. Two months later, Inkcourage was launched with 30 encouraging temporary tattoos and phrases. I knew if my friend could wear this encouraging tattoo, she would know that someone cared for her and she could get through this tough time.
NF: Was the goal to always create temporary tattoos or did the idea of the flagship Inkcourage product go through an evolution?
AZ: Inkcourage launched with only one product: temporary tattoos. The idea was for people to physically wear encouraging words wherever they went. We found that certain phrases really resonated with our users and wanted to create more avenues for encouragement. We expanded our products into stickers, buttons, and apparel as another way to wear encouragement wherever you went.
NF: What are your goals for Inkcourage and spreading its message of empowering others to realize their potential?
AZ: Our main mission for Inkcourage is that it continues to be an avenue for others to encourage and be encouraged. Our goal is to encourage one million people through our social media and our products. We want to share words that not only empower, but cause others to take action. We believe empowerment is contagious. By encouraging one million people, we know each person will spread positivity and kindness and encourage millions more on their own.
NF: Along with kindness, what is something that you wish people practiced more of?
AZ: One of our main goals at Inkcourage is to empower others to follow their dreams. Life is a constant battle of overcoming fears and self-doubt and following your dreams is easier said than done. We believe that encouragement can make us invincible. If we were constantly encouraged and reminded that we have unbelievable potential, nothing would stop us from following our dreams.
NF: What's the best customer story you've heard of someone using your tattoos?
AZ: The most influential customer story was in our first few months of Inkcourage. We had someone purchase a temporary tattoo for a friend who’s son had attempted to take his own life. In a situation like this, you don’t know what to do or say, you just want to be there for someone.
They intentionally brought the tattoo to the hospital the next day to give to the mother going through this tough time. Instead, they felt a calling to give it to the son while he was in the hospital. The son didn’t even hesitate and put the tattoo on right away. It’s a heavy topic and an emotional story, but it was really important for us to hear early on. We knew we believed in Inkcourage, but when we heard that story, we knew we needed to keep going.
NF: What's the current Inkcourage temporary tat that you're using right now?
The temporary tattoo I’m wearing right now is “Empowered Women Empower Women.” It’s a constant reminder for me that I have the power to effect change in people's lives through my actions and my words. It’s actually crazy to think that we all have this unlimited “superpower” that we can freely give at any moment.
My main mission is empowerment, so I love having the tattoo as a reminder to empower every day.
It's your turn! Share a picture of yourself wearing your Inkcourage tattoos or a personal story of how empowering words have made a difference to you.
Photography by Heather Fulbright Grambergs.