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Our Story

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The Ink & Key Story

Lynn Swords, founder of Ink and Key, the best way to get a creative business name

I'm Lynn.  Thank you for stopping by Ink & Key. 


 Ink & Key is a place where I hope you will feel at home. One of the ways I like to take care of people is by feeding them well. 

Although I can't send muffins or cinnamon bread to all of our clients (don't get me wrong - I wish I could), my intention is to take care of you by taking care of your business.

Lynn Swords, Ink and Key, creator of the mini-crowdsourcing experience, pouring icing on loaves of cinnamon bread in her kitchen

I tend to believe the best about people.


However, if I'm going to entrust someone with my dreams, my business and my hard-earned money, I like to get to know them first. In case you feel the same way, here's my story. 

I'm a teacher, a mom, a writer, and a business owner. 

 I began working on the idea for Ink & Key during the fall of 2015, created the name in early 2016, and launched at the end of June, 2016.

My grandma was a storyteller, a painter and a poet. As we would go for walks together, she would point out a leaf, a mossy knoll, or a tiny knothole in a tree.


Then she would say something like, "Do you know I used to know a family of rabbits that lived just beyond that knoll?"


Then my imagination would be swept up into whatever story she created for me on that particular day. Other times she would tell true stories of her adventures as a nurse in the backwoods of Kentucky in the 1930s.

Lynn Swords at age 2 with her sister and her grandma

My mom was a fourth grade teacher for over thirty years and instilled in me a love for learning and teaching. She was strong, creative and kind, and taught my sister and me the importance of responsibility, integrity and hard work.

Photo of the mom of Lynn Swords, owner of Ink and Key
Old photo of Lynn Swords' mom with her 4th grade class
Old photo of the dad and grandfather of Lynn Swords, standing in Tickner's Mens Wear

My Grandaddy was a smart businessman, and the owner of Lex B. Tickner Clothing, a men's clothier in a small southern Illinois town. One of my favorite stories is of a promotion he ran shortly after opening his new store. He stood outside the store and gave away one free glove to any man walking past. The matching glove? Inside the store. 

My dad followed in his footsteps and bought, sold and designed high quality men's clothing, traveling the world to find the best artisans and the highest quality materials to create his newest shirt or sweater design.


He had a great sense of humor, and was the kind of person people wanted to be around. He taught me the importance of  creating a consistent daily routine, and making meaningful personal connections with those you work with.

Photo of Lynn Swords with her dad

What does any of this have to do with Ink & Key, and why are you bothering to read all of this, anyway? 

Well, I think you can learn a lot about someone when you hear a little bit about their roots. 


I have a background in education, with a B.S in Elementary Education and an M.Ed in Early Childhood Education. I have taught 1st grade through high school at different times, and also supervised college students during their student teaching experiences. 

Photo of Lynn Swords with her two children, age 3 and 5
Ethan Caroline and I at Irelands wedding

I happily (well, most days) invested fourteen years in the education of my children. As my homeschooling career came to a close, my life transitioned to a new season when I came up with the idea for Ink & Key and decided to start a company.

Some days I still can't believe all of this is actually real. 

Ink & Key is a dream come true for me. I believe in entrepreneurship, startups, and small business, and I love the fact that my business can play a part in helping other businesses. What a privilege it is to partner with people as their dreams become reality. 

I can't wait to hear all about your amazing ideas and the goals you have for your business. Your story is important to us, and the team and I look forward to welcoming you into the Ink & Key family. Start a project with us today, and we'll see you soon. 

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