Working at Custom Ink | Glassdoor

Custom Ink Overview

Fairfax, VA
1001 to 5000 employees
Company - Private
Other Retail Stores
$100 to $500 million (USD) per year
The leader in custom apparel and accessories for groups and events, Custom Ink brings families, friends, teammates, and colleagues together with inspired designs they are proud to wear. Custom Ink makes the customization process fun and easy with innovative design tools, caring ... Read more

Mission: At CustomInk, we’re about more than shirts. We’re about you and everything you love. The passion you share with your group, club, or team; the excitement you have for your event or cause; and the drive that makes your business stand out from the rest. We ... Read more

Company Updates

  • Thanks to our amazing team of Inkers we’re #86 on Fortune’s list of 100 Best Companies to Work For in 2019! Be sure to check out the full list from Fortune and Great Place to Work.

    100 Best Companies to Work For 2019

    Our 100 Best Companies to Work For 2019 list, in partnership with Great Place to Work, features Salesforce, T-Mobile, Dropbox, and more.

  • Custom Ink was highlighted in the Dallas Morning News: "Little perks and meaningful practices yield high impact for Top 100 winners".

    At Custom Ink, "Inkers" get free snacks, fruit and coffee 24/7, a catered snack on Tuesdays and lunch on Thursdays. The company also has special food events such as smoothies, omelette bars, pancake breakfasts and barista days.

    "The tradition of eating together has been important from the beginning of the company," says original Inker Ben Carter. "It all started because we were together for insane hours and it was convenient to all eat at the same time, but we realized the importance of a meal shared and still do it today."

    Another unusual perk at the company: puppy day, when puppies are brought on site for adoption and snuggles.

    Little perks and meaningful practices yield high impact for Top 100 winners

    Toyota Connected offers enviable benefits befitting a Top 100 Places to Work winner: four months of paid leave for new moms and dads, $2,000 for any personal training of your choosing, and $5,000 for a down payment on a bargain-priced new Toyota or Lexus. Work wherever, whenever you want, if you want.

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Custom Ink – Why Work For Us?

The Green Couch at our headquarters.

The Custom Ink story began in 1999 when three former college classmates got the bug to start a business about a year after graduating. Co-founder and CEO Marc Katz was hard at work in a Wall Street job that he says “didn’t have a lot of heart” and was itching to do something entrepreneurial and meaningful.

Meanwhile, Marc’s former college roommate Mike Driscoll was tinkering with the earliest iteration of the website, which would let people upload graphics onto t-shirts and buy them as special keepsakes. Though Mike was returning to grad school, he had a handful of eager customers, and talked with Marc about launching the “design online” website into a legitimate business.

Marc contacted another former classmate and computer whiz, Dave Christenson. Marc spent long hours on his green couch (a hand-me-down from his big brother) talking to Dave on the phone and planning the business, and figuring out ways to make designing and buying custom t-shirts fun, easy, and reliable. In March 2000, Custom Ink was officially launched with a small team of “Inkers” running the show - all from different backgrounds - but with big hearts.

But seriously, what's up with the Green Couch? Watch the video to find out! 

Fairfax Three Hearts team!

Custom Ink cares – about our customers, our team members, our community, and our environment. It's no coincidence that our mascot, Inky, is an octopus. While everyone knows an octopus has eight arms, you might not know that they have three hearts. Think of all the love we can spread!

We’re proud of the big hearts and generous spirits of our team members - or as we call them, Inkers - who share several traits: kindness, empathy, the desire to better our community, and the drive to help others. They have an eagerness to give back, so we created Three Hearts.

Three Hearts empowers all Inkers to give back.  “What I love about Three Hearts is that [the company] orchestrates it to some degree, but it is really about the grassroots efforts of Inkers,” says Darcy Smith, our Vice President of Team Development. Everyone from Marc Katz, our Co-Founder and CEO, to the newest Inker can make a difference.

Every program, fundraiser, or event starts with an Inker seeing a need and deciding, “I’m going to do something to help” – from backpack and food drives, disaster relief, to care packages for the homeless. On any given day, you can find Inkers doing good and giving back. 

Each team reflects the unique character of their community. Reno’s laid-back mountain vibe is one that inspires events like cleaning up the local Truckee River. On the East Coast, Fairfax Inkers are used to the cosmopolitan hustle-and-bustle of a big city, and regularly host events in and around our nation’s capital. This sense of local ownership allows each team to feel deeply connected to the communities they serve.

Three Hearts is about more than just giving back. Team members can support organizations and causes that are important to them, but also have the opportunity to step into leadership roles. Project Coordinators build relationships with community organizations, orchestrate events, and recruit teammates to help. Inkers have big hearts, big ideas, and big impact.

“The Three Hearts team always meant a lot to me, but when I took on more of a leadership position, it became personal. I grew up here and I saw the potential that the team could have in making a real impact in helping our community,” says one Inker.

C'ville delivering 50+ backpacks to help kids kickstart the school year.

The office space itself is motivating and inspirational for our creative line of work. Not only is each office designed to encourage movement and collaboration between teams, but Inker personalities and creativity are evident throughout personal workspaces.

Inkers enjoying snack day!

It's good to be an Inker! Custom Ink is dedicated to taking the best possible care of our team members because it is important and we have many programs that support a happy and healthy team. From free prescriptions, a 24/7 virtual doctor, up to 6 weeks paid personal leave, commissions paid for simple word-of-mouth organic sales, generous referral bonuses, team catered lunches, on-demand snack stations, and onsite gyms – we offer innovative benefits that go beyond the basic benefits package because taking care of our team (and our customers) is our highest priority.

A little bit about our benefits: Inkers receive 120 hours of personal leave in their first year. After that, they receive 200 hours and can roll-over unused hours. That’s up to 30 days of paid time off after the first year. We truly believe in the saying “Work Hard, Play Hard!” Inkers can count on 100% in-network coverage, no in-network deductibles, and low copays with CustomInk covering 99% of team member premiums. We’re talking $3 per paycheck for 100% healthcare coverage, again because taking care of our team is important and the right thing to do. We offer financial classes because financial health is top of mind for everyone and it’s important that we help Inkers reduce stress (physical, financial, social) wherever and whenever we can. Since implementing our Financial Wellness program in 2016, Inkers have collectively eliminated more than $500,000 of debt.

Our benefits package includes...

  • Medical, Dental, & Vision (including same-sex and domestic partner coverage, as well as a spousal subsidy to make healthcare for un-insured spouses more affordable for Inkers)
  • Family-friendly benefits, including infertility and adoption (Applies to same-sex couples)
  • Generous personal leave
  • Parental leave
  • Free generic prescriptions including mail order service
  • 401(k) Retirement with company match
  • Access to financial advisors
  • Life and AD&D insurance at no cost
  • Flexible Spending Accounts *health care and dependent care)
  • Financial well-being and education
  • 24/7/365 access to a virtual tele-doctor
Screenprinters making magic!

Work With Us

Custom Ink has been recognized as a top employer by Fortune, The Washington Post, and Great Place to Work. We top the charts as an organization that focuses on team member well-being and the shared values and pride among our team.

We're always looking for friendly and highly motivated potential Inkers who are ready to roll up their sleeves and work with a great team.

If you think you’ve got what it takes to be an integral part of our internal community and succeed in a results-driven and fun environment, we’d love to hear from you.

Visit our jobs site at 

Inkers at our Charlottesville office.

Custom Ink Reviews

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Approve of CEO
Custom Ink Chairman, President, CEO, and Co-Founder Marc Katz
Marc Katz
163 Ratings
  • Featured Review

    Helpful (1)

    "Amazing company, doing a lot of things very right"

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Core Sales Representative in Irving, TX
    Current Employee - Core Sales Representative in Irving, TX
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Custom Ink full-time (Less than a year)


    *Fresh out of college in my area --- great pay. you begin with a standard pay that was still REALLY amazing for me personally, and as you work, if you meet certain performance levels that are all clearly outlined to you from the start, you can get an increase in pay. i've never worked anywhere that made it that easy, transparent, and fair to get a raise. No weird negotiating, they make it obvious what they need from you and if you deliver then you're set.
    *they don't discriminate. they truly value people from different backgrounds, ages, identities, etc. a lot of companies give lip service to trying to be inclusive and valuing people not assumptions but they do seem to do a better job than most
    *actively tries to promote a positive work environment. we are constantly getting goodie bags, raffles for fun prizes (such as rock climbing passes to a gym, or to a spa) focused on keeping us happy and healthy, and we get food 2x a week SOMETIMES more.
    *AMAZING benefits. seriously, I would bet good money this is the best health insurance in the state of texas, and the cost is incredibly low and manageable, especially if you don't smoke.
    *flexible and understanding. there are a lot of different shifts, so you can usually find something that works for you.
    * NO colored hair policy -- since we're in customer service behind a screen and nobody sees us, we can have fun with our clothes and hair within reason! they don't discriminate against those with heavy tattoos either, but I think there is technically a facial piercing policy
    *we have so many fun events. gaming tournaments, a craft fair, we put art from different employees up on our cafe walls. you don't have to be an artist to work here, but if you are, you'll have a lot of fun!


    *some customers can be a little less than nice, but you do run into that no matter where you go
    *there is a LOT to learn. so you gotta be really up to the task of putting in 100% to learn everything, though they do provide ample training
    *you will get fat really easily if you don't start working out after having a sit-down full time job, especially one that feeds you as well as they do! I speak from experience

    Advice to Management

    keep being awesome and taking feedback!

See All 226 Reviews

Custom Ink Photos

Custom Ink photo of: Tie-dye for a cause!
Custom Ink photo of: The Fairfax team!
Custom Ink photo of: Smile! Our holiday party is a chance to get a little fancy!
Custom Ink photo of: The Dallas team!
Custom Ink photo of: The Reno team.
Custom Ink photo of: 1,000 paper cranes, created to bring good luck in our new headquarters.
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Custom Ink Interviews



Getting an Interview

Getting an Interview




  1. Featured Interview

    Helpful (4)  

    Merchandising Interview

    Anonymous Employee in Fairfax, VA
    Accepted Offer
    Positive Experience
    Average Interview


    I applied online. The process took 4 weeks. I interviewed at Custom Ink (Fairfax, VA) in January 2017.


    The interview process consisted of one preliminary phone screen with the recruiter, followed by a videoconference with the hiring manager. The questions were about my interest in the position, the company, and related work experience. I was then asked to complete an exercise to test my skills and expertise in merchandising. A week later, I was asked to come in for a half day of in-person interviews, which included four one-hour interviews with various team members and an office tour. Everyone I spoke with was very passionate about the company and the culture. They were genuinely interested in understanding my previous experience, work-style, and how I would respond to various situations to ensure I was a good fit for the team and the company. This was one of the best interview experiences I’ve had, which is why I was excited to receive and accept the offer!

    Interview Questions

    • Tell me a time when you had to solve a problem and the steps you took to do it.   Answer Question
See All 93 Interviews

Custom Ink Awards & Accolades

  • 100 Best Companies to Work For, Fortune, 2019
  • Top Workplaces, The Washington Post, 2017
  • CARE Award, Northern Virginia Family Services, 2016
  • 15 Best Workplaces in Retail, Fortune, 2016
  • 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials, Fortune, 2016
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Pledges & Certifications

Pay Equality Pledge

Committed to paying equitably for equal work & experience

Pledge to Thrive

Taking steps to prioritize employee well-being

First Job Programs

Maintain entry-level hiring and career development programs to give people career starts

Tech Hiring Commitment

Helping to train, hire and promote more technology workers

Career Advancement Program

Helping employees "upskill" into higher-paying positions

Diversity Commitment

Has programs that support a diverse and inclusive workforce

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