Inkbox Partners With Crescendo

We are very pleased to announce that Crescendo is now partnered with inkbox!

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inkbox, based in downtown Toronto, is a retailer of temporary tattoos aimed at those who do not want to commit to a permanent tattoo. Rather, the goal was to create temporary body art which could speak to a given individual for a shorter period of time in their life.

This idea is what spurred the creation of inkbox's product - temporary tattoos designed to look authentic that last from 8 to 18 days. inkbox's products boast a large selection of temporary tattoos from animals and flowers, to quotes, and self-love, among many others.


inkbox is also committed to giving back, by donating a portion of proceeds from different tattoo collections to various causes, including the #MeToo movement, the LGBTQ community, and Project Semicolon.



We caught up with Lauren Mercurio-Smith who is Head of Team Culture at inkbox, to hear her thoughts on why a diverse and inclusion workplace is important for inkbox, and their reasons for working with Crescendo.

Check it out below!

Lauren Mercurio-Smith
Head of Team Culture at Inkbox

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Stefan: Can you tell us a bit more about inkbox and why you decided to use Crescendo?

Lauren: inkbox creates tattoos that fade after a few weeks. We’re a fast-growing startup based in downtown Toronto, an incredibly vibrant and multicultural city. We think it’s only natural that our team should reflect our diverse community. We want folks from all walks of life to feel supported and celebrated when they walk through our doors. Crescendo prompts conversations amongst our team, bringing light to issues that can be uncomfortable, and provides an avenue for starting a discussion.


Stefan: What does diversity and inclusion mean to you?

Lauren: Diversity is a number of different perspectives, histories, and cultures, and inclusion is celebrating and supporting those things. At inkbox, that translates to hiring people from diverse backgrounds and empowering them to be uniquely themselves. While we’re a real mix of different personalities and backgrounds, we have kindness, openness, and a desire to learn in common.


Stefan: What steps are you taking to incorporate inclusion into your culture?

Lauren: inkbox HQ culture celebrates that which sets us apart from one another, the qualities that make us unique. This came organically for us, and now we’re focused on nurturing that culture. We’re intentional in our hiring practices, always looking and gravitating towards those with perspectives and life paths that are different from our own. We’ve created spaces where we can have safe discussions about mental health, challenges we’re facing, diversity and more.

Through our tattoos, we support organizations like Interpride, #MeToo and Project Semicolon; LGBTQ+, Women’s Rights and Mental Health Awareness groups, respectively.

Stefan: Tell us more about your support of Project Semicolon, and how the tattoo to support those who self-harm came about. Was it a natural progression of the company?



Lauren: We have a really elegant, simple semicolon tattoo. A portion of the sales from that tattoo are donated to Project Semicolon, a mental health organization.  We were so happy to see our audience responding to this tattoo and the symbolism of it. It has helped to provide a beacon of hope and calmness for people going through a mental illness. This conversation eventually lead to customers sharing stories of coping with mental illness through our draw-it-yourself freehand ink, finding calm and peace by creating art on their bodies.


Stefan: That's a great initiative. How does diversity and inclusion impact the business? It's clear that a lot of this is for company culture and employees, but are there other aspects that flourish by making diversity and inclusion a priority?



Lauren: There’s clear evidence to back up the business reasons for a Diversity and Inclusion focus in the workplace. The more diverse people and backgrounds, the more a business flourishes. The more varieties of perspectives that can contribute to the heart and soul of inkbox, the more we’ll be equipped to connect with our international “inkfam.”

A focus on Diversity and Inclusion also impacts employee retention. We have created a workplace that our team can feel proud of, and that empowers them to speak up and raise up what they believe in.


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Stefan: Reflecting on your experience, are there some takeaways you would recommend for other companies for what they can do to create a diverse and inclusive workplace?



Lauren:

  1. We recommend that all companies embrace diversity and inclusion. Creating a space and culture that supports all people is not only the right thing to do, it also attracts diverse talent that cares about the same values as inkbox as a team and an organization.

  2. It also increases company morale and promotes a positive company culture. Employees feel proud to be part of something that is breaking down walls and contributing to the greater good.

  3. These values also prevent a company from becoming an echo-chamber. Our diverse team and inclusive values allow us to better know and understand our international customers.




Stefan: Are there examples of what you've done in the workplace to make it feel more inclusive?



Lauren: Crescendo has been a great tool for bringing diversity to the conversation at the office. We use slack for in-office communication, and we’ll post articles and observations about diversity and inclusion, often articles that we found through Crescendo. The team participates and can feel free to share their thoughts.

We’re working to make our washrooms more gender-inclusive too. When giving office tours or onboarding, I tell new staff and visitors that we have a female-identifying washroom and a male-identifying washroom, and to use whatever they feel most comfortable with. We have plans in the near future to work with our in house artists to make that message more visible with signs on each of our two washrooms.

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inkbox will continue to support inclusivity and organizations like InterPride and Project Semicolon that are helping to eliminate stigmas. As a team, we’ll continue to work towards a more diverse organization. We’re not there yet, but we’re committed to creating an even more diverse and inclusive space. We strive to be ‘better than yesterday’ little by little.

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Thank you so much for your time Lauren!

Thanks for reading! If you're interested in more resources like this you can sign up to our mailing list, or if you've got advice/experiences that you'd like to share - we'd love to hear from you!

Crescendo is the diversity education app for Slack and we’re on a mission to help companies create more inclusive workplaces. You can learn more here!

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