As many of you already know, both Aldora and myself (Joey) are from Montreal, Canada. We ran Akumu Ink for 7 years before making a life altering decision to move ourselves and our business to California in 2014.
In 2019 it was time to renew our US visas or go back to Canada. One reason for not renewing our US visas was the tariffs that were being implemented in 2017, this caused us to lose much of our international market as it made the price of our products way to expensive. We also wanted to create new products and merchandise but the tariffs made everything so expensive for us to create overseas that we couldn't grow the brand and diversify our product offerings as we would have liked.
The second reason we decided to leave was the racial encounters we experienced in 2018. Aldora (co-owner of Akumu Ink and my wife) who is of asian decent. She was racially discriminated against three times over the course of our last year living in the US (In Chicago, New York City, and Tennessee). Considering our job mainly consists of travelling to different parts of the country, this made us feel very unsafe and unwelcomed.
So instead of renewing, or moving back to Canada, we made another insane choice to relocate once again, this time to Europe!
We got to live the American Dream for 5 years travelling every other weekend selling our art/merch across 15 different states, and just doing what we love. We created over 100 original designs, setup our booth at about 89 conventions, and met so many amazing people that understood what we were doing and support our weird obsession to create creepy art. We would not be here without every single one of you.
We hope we can keep doing this for a long time to come!
-Joey and Aldora.