We love how strong the screen-printing community has been throughout the coronavirus crisis—and they’re among each other’s strongest supporters.
Press On Series
That’s why BELLA+CANVAS launched a true-to-life video series called “Press On” in partnership with The Ink Kitchen, Impressions magazine and Ryonet. We wanted to provide a community platform for print shop owners and industry professionals to share how the safer-at-home orders have and continue to impact their businesses.
Some printers started making or decorating masks. Others devised creative ways to sell their products. Still others discovered unique ways to serve their communities in need. We invite you to listen in to some of our most vulnerable, honest conversations with decorators across America in our first five episodes of Press On.
We asked decorators to tell us exactly how they’re feeling right now. They answered in the raw, “Confused.” “Broken.” “Exhausted.” “Lost.” Yet, there’s also an under-glimmering of optimism. “This is a time to be very resourceful,” says Rick Roth, of Rhode Island-based Mirror Image. “People are coming together. Our vendors are saying they’ll give the kind of support we need to get through this. … We can’t be in the same room. No handshaking. We have to stay together using the power of our minds.”
This time, we asked print shops to talk about smart operational strategies. Many shop owners have had to make tough decisions, from reducing shop production to keep people safe to furloughing staffers. Ohio-based Leber Design & Print are keeping things moving with a rolling schedule of one employee in the shop at a time. As far as SBA relief and the Payroll Protection Plan, many shop owners hope the extra funds can help them bring back their employees, as well as cover their mortgages and utilities.
How are decorators keeping the lights on and their spirits up? In this episode, printers talk about how they’re staying motivated—from making and donating masks, to taking a step back to reimagine their businesses, to getting much-needed assistance from industry suppliers like BELLA+CANVAS. They’re offering free online stores to their clients. They’re donating part of their proceeds to local businesses and food banks. We love that giving back never goes out of style.
It’s amazing to watch decorators’ resilience and resourcefulness in action—using their shops to serve their customers and communities during COVID-19. “We developed the Here for Good movement,” says Sloan Coleman of St. Louis-based Tiny Little Monster. “We flipped the sales cycle. Businesses didn’t have the money to purchase shirts, but our fans did. Under the hashtag #MutalAid, we let our customers know that when they purchase a T-shirt $10 goes to a struggling local business and $10 goes to our shop.”
Plus: Iowa-based Envision Tees gave free “We’re open” signs to all local restaurants and bars. Golden Press Studios in Indiana designed a free “Support Local” design for shops to download via Ryonet, to print and sell. And the list of goodness goes on and on (this video is a must-watch).
In this episode, industry leaders weigh in on how this crisis currently impacts the direction of their businesses, how they plan to adjust if these changes become permanent and how positivity really is the key to press on in hard times. “When the economy rebounds we aren’t expecting business to go back to pre-COVID-19 levels,” says Michelle Moxley of M&R. “We anticipate a staged recovery among the industries that buy decorated apparel, such as schools and sporting events. We’ll match resources to each industry as they come back online.”
Follow and share these Press On videos using the hashtag #LetsPressOn.
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Watch the series here: Press On Series
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