Mom, Wife & Printer - A True Triple Threat

Happy Mother’s Day to all the moms out there hustling and grinding.

Today we have a special feature on a mom that is a real triple threat. Meet Laura, she is a full-time mom, wife, and screen printer. Laura is the big boss to her 5 children, ranging from 4-20 years old and her print shop Valley Center Printshop. Laura is Native American and lives on San Pasqual Indian Reservation with her husband and children.

The path to screen printing isn’t always direct. Laura started off as a security guard on her reservation and went to school for graphic design in pursuit of becoming an artist. Like most creative people, selling art wasn’t paying the bills so she located a print shop and had them print her art on clothing. Eventually started her own brand called Savage Threadz.

Little by little curiosity got the best of her and she began to learn how to print her own art. What was meant to be a fun hobby turned into a business when her husband encouraged her to turn her art into a business.

Laura’s mastery of screen printing was learned through many different resources. She watched a lot of YouTube videos, received help from a friend, and took a screen-printing course to further her skill set. Adding a screen-printing course to her education gave her the confidence she needed to recognize her printing skill set was ready to be offered to customers.

Now with every new venture comes mistakes and mishaps, and they aren’t always small simple ones. Laura walked us through one of her biggest mistakes. She received a large order that included clothing, koozies, embroidery, and beer glasses for an established brewery. It was such a big job she had to outsource the embroidery and found another company to do the glassware. Everything worked out perfectly, but the glassware art washed off after only a few washes. It was a huge back and forth with the company and Laura wanted to do everything in her power to make it right. Eventually, Laura was able to make it right with the customer however it was an expensive fix that cut deep into her bottom line. While cutting into profit isn’t ideal, customer experience is the number one priority. By handling it the right way she was able to salvage the customer relationship and maintain her reputation as a businesswoman and printer.

Screen printing alone has its own challenges, now let’s add in 5 children and a husband. As you can only imagine Laura is one busy momma. Being a mom can make it difficult to get into the shop and knock out prints. One of Laura’s babies requires special needs attention, and this can also limit the time she can dedicate to working in the shop. No matter the challenges or time constraints Laura takes her work seriously and always makes it happen, she’s a superhero in our books.

There are hurdles in any business but most of Laura’s experience with screen printing has been smooth sailing. Laura loves the relationships and daily interactions she makes with customers far and wide. Laura also likes to interact with other printers and offers her help and expertise.

When we asked Laura what advice she would offer to another printer she said, “You can do anything if you put your mind to it. Success starts in the mind first and success should look like happiness, not a dollar amount.”

Another piece of wisdom that helps Laura daily is advice given by her husband. He said “You trip and fall but get up and learn from your mistakes and do better tomorrow. You won’t fail if you never quit, and your only competition is yourself.”

Laura, you are a true example of a Superhero Mom. We wish you the best of luck in all your future ventures, we know you don’t need it though! You are strong, wise, and have accomplished so much already. We hope readers can learn something from Laura’s journey as a printer. To follow Laura’s shop, visit her IG page at @Valleycenterprintshop