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Greg Kitson Shares 45 Years of Screen Printing and Embroidery Wisdom

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Old 6 Days Ago May 16, 2019 3:31:08 PM -   #1 (permalink)
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Default Greg Kitson Shares 45 Years of Screen Printing and Embroidery Wisdom

Greg Kitson from Mind's Eye Graphics started with heat transfers in 1979. His print shop is known for impeccable quality. Over time, the Mind's Eye team became an industry leader through hands-on workshops and educational programs out of Decatur, Indiana.

Greg shared his knowledge and advice from 45+ years in the screen printing, embroidery and apparel decoration industry with us at ISS Long Beach.

Greg's best advice for screen printers
Greg Kitson doesn't beat around the bush: if you're not having fun doing what you're doing, you're making a huge mistake. There's simply no reason to make yourself miserable doing a job you hate.

"I get the greatest satisfaction in turning a pile of blank shirts into a check. That's what really turns me on," he says.

Practically, this means you need to gauge your employees' enthusiasm and adjust accordingly. Don't put an artist in a printer's role, or a printer in a sales role.

There are a lot of roles and personality types that can exist and excel in a print shop. Some people will be well-suited for the mechanical work of decorating. Others might succeed in sales or customer service roles. As an owner, you've got a lot of latitude to make your business whatever you want it to be. So Greg's advice is the kind that can only come with life and business experience – find the things you love doing and find ways to stay focused on those things!

Going from manual to automatic screen printing

Greg warns: an automatic press can end up controlling the business. When you're flying solo, you can do everything – and some shops (like Jonathan Ornelias' Success Print Shop) do work on automatic presses with just one person.

But the increased capacity means you'll have to change where you spend your time – and it alters what you can accomplish for your business. It's likely that the automatic press will push you to your physical limits as a printer!

As time goes on and you accept larger orders, you'll need to hire someone else to keep up with the pace of production. Once you do need to hire, Greg says, "You have to find someone that shares the passion, and that you can communicate with easily, so you can do what you enjoy doing."

How do you find great employees?

"Never really been lucky with Craiglist, or in the olden days – putting something in the classified ads. All of our best employees have come from recommendations of people that knew me and knew our business."

You've got to lean on your network, ask people for suggestions, and really try to find people that fit with your vision to get great employees.

Watch the full video here:
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