Steve Rhodes, founder and president of Impressionz Printing, talks about graduating from college in the middle of a recession and having no interest in the jobs he was offered. Being picky paid off in a big way because of a magazine article he happened across while flying to a family wedding. The article was about college kids selling custom T-shirts, and “a light bulb went off in my mind” about how many people need T-Shirts.
By the time he was headed home, Steve had decided to become a screen printer. He invested $1,500 in a 6-color manual screen printing press, electric conveyor dryer, screens, and ink. He added a homemade screen exposure unit and began printing on his parents’ back porch.
From the beginning, his focus has been on quality because it’s the key to building a loyal customer base. “We really put quality first,” says Steve. “It’s not going to leave our building unless it’s top notch.”
He got his first warehouse and a used 6-color automatic press in late 2011/early 2012, and “started taking the business seriously.” Steve estimates he’s been through four or five manual presses. He’s now on his sixth automatic press—a Gauntlet III—and he extolls its “sheer speed”, individual off-contact settings, and reliability. He says that reliability is essential. “We can’t have downtime. We need to be able to run all day.”
Steve also demands consistent results from his screen room, and his direct-to-screen imaging system and a very good exposure unit help ensure uniform, high-quality screens.
You can see more of Steve Rhodes and Impressionz Printing in a companion video here
For more information about Impressionz Printing:
420 27th St
Orlando, FL 32806