InkPeace: Inexpensive ink replacements that “do good”

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inkpeaceEverythingLongBeach recently spoke with Mark Hawkins, CEO of InkPeace,  via email. He talked about his inspirations, his challenges and what’s it’s like having a business in Bixby Knolls.

How long have you been in business?:

InkPeace opened its doors July 2008.

Describe your business:

InkPeace is your source for eco-friendly, responsible ink and toner cartridges for printers, fax machines, and copiers. Whether it is for business, home, or school use, remanufactured cartridges cost an average of 30% – 70% less than original manufactured (OEM) cartridges.

While our clients save money, they also help the environment. Cartridge remanufacturing saves more than 42,000 tons of plastic, metal and toner out of the waste stream.

Why did you start InkPeace, LLC?

I started the business for three reasons: 1) I hated my local Staples customer service. 2) I was paying too much for ink, and 3) I learned that only 5% of ink and toner cartridges get recycled. I didn’t come up with the idea of recycling cartridges, but I never knew what to do with them, so I decided to find out.

Once I found out the startling facts of how the printer industry was raping the consumer, while at the same time, being irresponsible when it came to environmental concerns, I knew it was time to start a business. There is a worldwide franchise called Cartridge World, but I have developed businesses before and it was a lot easier and cheaper to write my own business plan.

What makes InkPeace, LLC stand out?

Community involvement. We are considering modifying our business plan to a non-profit organization since the majority of our work is introducing fundraising programs encouraging recycling. Along the way, we sell ink and toner too. Our clients enjoy a personal one-to-one relationship with us. In fact, we don’t sell online, but we have a private intranet where our clients can order 24X7 and receive free same day delivery in most cases.

What is the biggest success InkPeace, LLC has had?

Introducing remanufactured ink into the Long Beach Unified School District. Long Beach Poly High, one of the largest enrollments in the state of California, uses 100% remanufactured ink and toner. That is our goal with all of the District.

What is your favorite part of running InkPeace?

Driving the Peacemobile Smart car around town making deliveries and seeing the smiles.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

Sales. Without sales, we can’t execute our recycling programs.

What unique talents do you bring to InkPeace, LLC?

I was heavily involved in the .com era in the 90s’. That taught me about everything I know. I am really pretty stupid when it comes to traditional business practices. That is why I was a successful during the dot com days. While I was involved with businesses which are household words today in ecommerce, the funny thing is I run a brick and mortar shop today!

How is InkPeace, LLC involved with the community?

InkPeace contributes to schools and non-profits. We give to foundations. I am on Bixby Knolls Business Improvement Association, but I haven’t had the time to contribute much there yet.

Do you have any future plans for InkPeace, LLC?

Being 55, I don’t know if I have the time to franchise InkPeace. As I mentioned before, my partner (Carol) and I might turn InkPeace into a non-profit, give our ink and toner away to those in need, and spend more time teaching principals of recycling to kids at an early age.

What is the best advice that you received and who did it come from?

Pierre Omidyar, a former business partner of mine and founder of eBay. He told me to examine business processes and find better ways to do them. My career has been spent doing just that.

One Last Thing:

Set out to do what you want to do and as you do it, find out how.

Further the details about InkPeace, LLC

 

  • Located at: 3636 Atlantic Ave. Long Beach CA 90807
  • Phone Number: 562-912-4657
  • Website: www.inkpeace.com

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