Rob Tsuyuki ’85 of INKnBURN
Robot. Peace. Dragon. Sakura. These are just some of the unique mask designs by Rob Tsuyuki ’85s company, INKnBURN! Since March, INKnBURN has been producing 3-layer masks with new styles available each week in limited edition. Prior to COVID-19, runners made up most of their customer base, but now with these masks INKnBURN’s popularity is spreading!
Rob cofounded the company with his wife Megan Wheeler Tsuyuki in 2008. It all started in New Orleans when he took a photo of a wall covered with beautifully distressed, peeling paint that had survived many years of wear and tear—even Hurricane Katrina. Rob mocked it up on his computer as an all-over shirt, showed it to Megan, and a new business was born! INKnBURN’s vibrant workout and athletic clothing is handcrafted in small, limited-edition runs at their headquarters in Santa Ana, Calif.
“We initially made masks to donate and just help any way we could,” said Rob. “We quickly made a pattern and used our overprints to make masks for local hospitals and first responders. Once our customers found out, they asked us to sell them. Over time we redesigned the original mask to include an additional layer with an added pocket for your choice of filter material to insert. We had to furlough 14 employees but were able to have 6 seamstresses stay and make masks at a safe distance from each other. We make as many as we can every day and put them up on the site the next day. They sell out in minutes! It is quite amazing! And it basically has saved our business. We continue to make masks to donate to first responders and healthcare givers. Our amazing customer base asked us to allow them to donate to the cause, so we have a link on our site for people to contribute and help fund the masks that we donate. It’s been humbling to see the generosity in people during these times! We even had a customer donate her entire stimulus check to help pay for masks! Still chokes me up thinking about that!”
This is another great example of Webb alumni putting unbounded thinking into action and serving with a generous spirit.
Click here to visit their website. Rob’s offering a special Webb discount of 20% off your order. Just use the code “Webbies20.”