CLARKFIELD - The Ink Spot printing and Wild Images Art Gallery and Custom Framing business have been a fixture of Clarkfield since their founding by Brenda and Lee Ohlson 22 years ago. Now after the Ohlson's have been winding down their affairs to spend more time with their grandchildren, the business has gotten a new lease on life.
"My step-dad went in to lunch at the Friendship Cafe and saw the 'For Sale' sign," said Jennifer Gilyard.
The business was bought on March 4 by Dave and Debbie Warner, but will be managed for a while by Gilyard until she turns it over to her sister Melissa and brother-in-law-to-be Michael Stattelman.
Photo by Steve Browne
Jennifer Gilyard’s parents bought The Ink Spot in Clarkfield. Gilyard is going to manage it until she can ease her future brother-in-law Michael Stattelman into it.
"My parents own the business," Gilyard said, "I'm involved in buying businesses, setting them up, and getting them going for their 10 children."
The family started out with Warner Farms in the Clarkfield-St. Leo area. The first business venture they tried together was when they purchased Grace Haven Assisted Living in Madison in 2011.
"I moved out here with my family rather than raise my kids in the city and I couldn't find a job," Gilyard explained. "We got it full-up much sooner than we thought it would be."
The Clarkfield businesses will be combined under the name The Ink Spot.
"The goal is to maintain what's been done so far and grow it by adding a website, and we're looking for local artists to consign their work," Gilyard said.
The short-term goal is to ease Michael and Melissa into management after they get married this September.
"I just kind of walked into it," Stattelman said. "I studied graphic design and I was working at a printing place in Mankato for seven years. Melissa is working at Logic Technologies in Montevideo. She'll probably stay until we get the funds to bring her here."
The family plans to be active in Clarkfield community affairs. The longer-term goal is to find more business ventures to bring the five siblings who live farther away back to the area.
"We've got some ideas of future plans, but I don't want to talk about them yet," Gilyard said.