Q: You went from being self-employed to a full-time employer in 2016 at In-House Prints. You’ve created new jobs, expanded the business, and helped grow clients’ brands. What is your biggest motivator for success?
AC: My biggest motivator for success is the look on my client’s face when they open their box and see their new merch. There is nothing better than seeing their vision come to life. Our business has grown into something we never could have dreamed of and it’s all thanks to our amazing clients, our hard work, and dedication. Tyler (husband/co-owner) and I went from printing in a basement to a 3600-square-foot building with two ROQ automatics because of how loyal our clients are. That just makes me want to work even harder for them.
Q: When asked how your work is pushing the industry forward, your nominator said by teaching clients there are better shirts and printing techniques. Why is educating your clients critical and how has it benefited your business relationships and bottom line?
AC: I’ve learned it’s my job to educate the customers on the different types of apparel. Choosing the right shirt can help ensure the return of a customer. Our goal isn’t to sell to our clients, it’s to grow with them! I love showing them new apparel from our vendors and keeping them on trend with what’s new! I have created really great relationships with my clients to where I would almost call them friends over clients.
Q: Your nomination form states that being the sole printer in town keeps you involved with many organizations. You helped provide financial relief to many businesses affected by COVID-19 by making sure anyone who wanted an online shop had one for their company and were able to send checks to many local businesses in need. Can you explain this philanthropic endeavor? Why is it important to give back to your local community?
AC: Our community means everything to us! They are the reason we have been able to grow. Our “advertising” has been strictly referrals and to me that is the best compliment we could ever ask for. During COVID-19, we knew there were businesses that were forced to shut down and knew we had to do something to help. We stayed open because we do a lot of work with local fire, police, and EMTs. As a business owner, if I were put in that position, I would be devastated. It wasn’t a question in our mind to help the people who helped build our business to where we are today!
Q: A good example of how you embrace who you are in the industry is your Instagram handle: @lifeofa.female.screen.printer. What does being a woman in the screen printing industry and the Print Girl Mafia mean to you?
AC: I was raised to be strong-willed and to work hard for what you want and that’s why I’m here. Showing women that we can do whatever we put our minds to.
I am so humbled that I was selected for this award. It’s just a great reminder as to why I work as hard as I do. I started my Instagram as a joke and it ended up helping me find some of the best people in the industry – both ladies and guys! This industry of apparel decoration is pretty amazing. We all can come together as a group and help each other even when we could technically be competition. But a friend isn’t a real friend if they aren’t happy about your successes. Print Girl Mafia has been a cheerleading squad since day one. We talk about print and personal life stuff in our chat, but it has been such a great place for us to throw around ideas. My PGM girls have shown the industry how capable ladies can be and are continuing to push boundaries and level the printing field. I couldn’t be more proud of them, myself, and Tyler for being a part of this adventure.