That’s really wild because around 1999, I started working in the graphic dept of a small commercial print shop for about 5 years while I focused on getting my own business off the ground. I also did typesetting for a larger printer for about ten years before that, so I became familiarized with all the old-school printing methods… cameras, stripping, rubylith, wax machine to create mechanicals, and then the slow modernization to image-setters and film output, and then computer-to-plate. I also ran the cutters, folders, and worked in bindery, but I never ran pressed. In high school, I even learned to set metal type.
But before I worked in printing, I spent about 3 years working as a commercial electrician. Seriously. I did everything from wiring new residential construction to pulling 500 MCM in 4" conduit for 3 phase 480v. Wired up shopping centers, warehouses, you name it. I hated the work though.
My own business was geared towards artwork for silkscreen printing, but I also did a ton of brokered work… offset printing, graphic design, signs, banners, promotional products, embroidery, patches. Did that for about 10 solid years and finally got sick of it, so I closed my offices and moved the computers home and started working out of my house learning web design. I created a partnership with a very old and trusted friend who was very good with marketing and sales, and that’s where I am today.
And I also noticed how everything was shifting to subscription models, so I figured, “can’t beat 'em, join 'em” so that’s how I built my website company. We charge a very small up-front cost, but have a monthly fee for the site that includes all the bells & whistles… forms, email, SEO, Google & Facebook marketing, updates and maintenance, analytics, and so on. I had to learn everything to make the sites good lead generators, so as long as they generate leads for the clients, they are more than happy to pay a monthly free. Win-Win. And it’s a LOT less work than hanging light fixtures or fixing wonky files in the pre-press dept. Hope to see you around here.