Our third and final shop feature this month to celebrate National Indiana Day is a non other than the eccentric Screen Print Gaga. Just like our previous blogs, this is a one-man operation. Except this time, we have a lady behind the wheel of this one. Super cool when you have a female doing it up in a male dominated field, so with that said let’s get to it!
Screen Print Direct: Hi Kelly so when and why did you start printing?
Screen Print Gaga: I started screen printing in the spring of this year because I wanted to help someone develop their brand. As I got quotes on screen printed T-shirts, I got curious about the process. My teenage son often had custom shirts made for himself. I thought it would be great if I could learn how to make shirts myself and possibly get him involved. I love the way T-shirts can help you express yourself...through design or statements. Everyone loves a good t-shirt!
Screen Print Direct: Nice! We love hearing the beginning journey into the screen print world. Each story is so unique.
Screen Print Direct: Ok now when it comes to running your own business what really matters to you? Is it quality or quantity? Or maybe even consistency or customer service that really stands out.
Screen Print Gaga: I am a one-woman shop. I take great pride in making every shirt the best it can possibly be. I want to put out soft, quality tees that people are proud and excited to wear. Screen printing is very labor intensive, and it never pays to cut corners. I pride myself on doing every step the best I can so that each shirt looks and feels right. I want my customers to be excited when they put on their shirt made by Screen Print Gaga.
Screen Print Direct: It is cool seeing something that you have put your time and effort into out there on someone else. I don’t know how to describe it but it’s a great feeling. I see where you are coming from.
Screen Print Direct: So do you have anyone that you look up to for inspiration or interact with?
Screen Print Gaga: There are a few print shops I admire and appreciate. Barrel Maker Printing, Port Side Prints, and Jrbrandgoods. After learning how to screen print on my own, I signed up for a two-day class at Barrel Maker Printing. I really enjoyed learning new tips from a large shop. The owners were very helpful. It was a great opportunity to ask specific questions about some of the things I had struggled with. I started following another print shop called Port Side Prints. The owner there has been a great resource and mentor. Any time I’m stuck, I reach out and he takes the time to answer my questions. Same thing with another shop I follow called jrbrandgoods. I got my new equipment based on feedback/advice from him. The whole screen-printing community on Instagram has been welcoming and helpful!
Screen Print Direct: That’s really cool that those shops are helping you out. A lot of times the hard part is finding someone that is willing to take the time to coach you through certain situations.
Screen Print Direct: Here is a question that we like to ask but people are reluctant to answer... since you started screen printing have you had any close calls or orders that have gone wrong? Did that end up with unhappy customers or losing any jobs.
Screen Print Gaga: Screen printing has so many variables and lots of things can go wrong if you don’t pay attention to every detail especially when first starting out. I made a shirt for a friend and personalized it by putting her son’s jersey number on a baseball. Other parents saw the shirt and wanted the same thing. I said yes and had a hell of a time getting the numbers in the balls. Doing it once was easy, but 47 times was tricky and frustrating. I swore I’d never agree to a job like that again. But it was a great learning experience. I learn so much with each job so it’s all good. And now I know what I should probably say no to in the future.
Screen Print Direct: You live, and you learn right, sometimes you underestimate how much of a headache something can be until it is too late.
Screen Print Direct: How about goal-wise in the next couple of years coming up? What are you looking forward to seeing out of your business?
Screen Print Gaga: I have been a stay at home mom for 19 years. I have loved that I was able to be home and raise my kids. My youngest is about to turn 11, and I still want to be here for him. I love that I can work out of my house and make my own hours. I want to grow, but not too fast. My main goal is to help my biggest client grow her business through merchandising. I love her business and want to help her get her brand out there. She has a lot of fans who I know want to wear her shirts. And of course, I love when my friends want me to make custom tees for them as well. It’s all a lot of fun!
Screen Print Direct: That’s nice to hear not many people these days have the luxury to work at their own pace and that’s cool seeing success from a friend. One person succeeds and the group follows!
Screen Print Direct: Alright Kelly let's wrap things up, any last words for the newbies out there?
Screen Print Gaga: The biggest tip I have for someone getting started is to not give up! It’s a difficult and tricky process to learn. You will fail many times before getting it right. You really must try and try again to figure out how to make the process work for you. If you love it, you’ll find a way. Find a mentor. Keep asking questions. So many suppliers and printers are out there that will guide you in the right direction. Just keep at it!
Screen Print Direct: Right on, thanks for the time and good luck in your future printing adventures. Looking forward to seeing more from you.