As far back as I can remember, a huge part of my life has been spent in a print shop. I remember going to work with my dad on Saturday mornings. We’d stop and have breakfast on the way to work, then my day would be spent with some combination of learning, playing, and depending on what time I woke up that day, napping. It evolved into what seemed like an every Saturday routine, and I looked forward to it every single time.
As I got older, the regularity of my visits increased, although my purpose for being there was ever-changing and still is to this day. My high school summers were spent walking endlessly around a table, manually collating books in 90 degree heat with no air conditioning. This is not a self-pity rant; I realize that there are more labor-intensive ways to make a living. Sometimes I’d be joined by my mother, brother, neighbors, friends, and my girlfriend, who eventually turned out to be my wife.
Towards my latter high school years, I’d schedule classes with the final period of the day off so I could make the 40 minute drive to put 2 hours’ worth of time in. In College I would spend select weekends, winter breaks, and summers operating the presses, answering phones, and making deliveries. Sure this was a convenient way for me to have a summer job and make some money, but on some level I felt I owed it to my dad and knew that he was proud to have me be a part of the operation that his father started in 1947.
I went to Slippery Rock University and got my degree in Business Management, then entered the workforce when I moved to Philadelphia with my wife. While growing up in a print shop was always a part of me, I was never pressured about going into the family business. My dad and his dad believed in finding happiness in whatever it is that you wanted to do with your life, and I think he and my mom wanted me to figure that on my own.
Ultimately, I started full time for Press Craft in September 2008, and not a day goes by that I don’t regret my decision. I am afforded the luxury of getting to work with my dad, brother, and uncle on a daily basis – something that not many people can say. Despite my influence at a young age, I can’t say that I have a born passion for printing. For the longest time it was a way to make a few bucks, pass the time in the summers, and hang with the family. Now that I am involved in the day to day operations, I can safely say that printing is a passion that I have adopted. I am driven every day to uphold the business that my grandfather started, make my family proud, and support my wife and son at home. In the last 5 years – among other things we have upgraded our offices, added digital capabilities, and created an interactive website that I take a lot of pride in.
I have met some great people and developed relationships while growing our business. Speaking of which, when I sometimes meet people outside of work and explain to them that our business is manufacturing commercial printing, I sometimes end up defending my own industry. The common thinking is because of the internet and the constant pressure to “go paperless”, that I am crazy to commit to a life in the printing industry. My first thought when we decided to do a blog section on our website was to post a fact-laced rant with studies showing the importance of advertising and marketing through print media. But I didn’t want to bore people on a subject that they could just as easily look up on the internet if they felt so inclined (For the record, the NAPL estimates that total commercial printing industry sales rose 0.6% in 2012 to $78.0 billion—the first increase since 2007.).
I am not a writer, I wasn’t an English major , and quite honestly I did very little preparation for this first blog post. But the launching of our website is something that I’m really proud of and I felt the best way to introduce my business to a new prospective customer was by telling a little bit about myself, the company, and where I came from. Our primary goal is to provide you with a high quality job for a reasonable price, with quick turnaround time. Press Craft Printers is a 3rd generation print shop that operates daily on the basis of quality workmanship and developing relationships. I can’t imagine doing anything else for a living, and is something that I’ve learned to love. It is my (adopted) passion.