"We try to tell a bigger story than just 'screen printing.' Is it a good route? I don't know, but it's worked for us." We interview Lucas and Joe from Rowboat Creative (one of Chicago's most unique screen printing businesses) at Impressions Expo 2020. From getting a new shop dog that just wandered in off the street to purchasing an M&R Digital Squeegee, 2019 was a huge year for Rowboat Creative.
But just because Rowboat has been successful doesn't mean it's been easy. Lucas and Joe have crafted one of Chicago's most iconic screen printing brands – but they do much more than just print shirts for super-famous music acts. They do experiential branding, highly customized events, stage sets, secret projects they can't even disclose...and just about anything else. They are experts at making ideas into reality.
After 13 years of grinding it out as hardcore screen printers, Lucas and Joe have a lot of empathy for people in the industry. “I think everyone who’s a long-time screen printer knows exactly where I am right now. So we are trying to make it better for the upcoming crew,” Joe said.
Rowboat’s team celebrated some major wins in 2019:
Their employees stepped up and took the Rowboat mission to heart. “We’re going in the right direction. People have bought in. They are hyped to represent the company.”
Their focus on internal processes started to pay off. “When you get your first Speedball kit in your basement, you’re not thinking about HR and paperwork and training.”
They got an English Bulldog, for free. “He just walked in the shop and stayed. Now he’s ours. Jablonski!”
They held a surprise engagement party at their shop. “Steven Farag got engaged at our shop. Wait, nevermind, that was definitely the biggest moment! We’re hosting weddings now!”
#screenprinting #printlife #dtg #screenprintlife #printavo #printhustlers #embroidery #branding #marketing #sales #chicago #musicmerch #merchandise #merch
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