PRINTING United Alliance is grateful to serve its members who make such significant impacts on the printing industry. Through our membership spotlights, we want to continue to recognize our members, and help our community get to know their peers professionally and personally. This spotlight features a Q&A with Eric Solomon, owner of Night Owls Print Shop, an apparel printing operation employing 35 people. Read on as he talks about why his business prioritizes sustainability, how the pandemic has helped the shop, and more.
Please share a brief background on Night Owls Print Shop.
Night Owls was started in 2010 in a retrofitted business park studio in Southwest Houston, with a passion for screen printed merchandise. Since then, we’ve moved to the northwestern corner of the city, and have expanded our services to include screen printing, digital printing, promotional products, finishing services, and fulfillment. We are one of the leaders in water-based screen printing in the United States and strive to handle all our projects as eco friendly as possible.
Night Owls began to shift its focus to fulfillment and drop shipping for our clients in 2019, allowing our high-end decorated products to get to customers easier, and with less hassle.
As a leader in water-based screen printing and past recipient of the Alliance’s former Sustainable Business Recognition Award, why do you feel it is important that your shop, and the industry as a whole, prioritize eco-friendly practices?
One of the biggest reasons we decided to become a water-based shop was we wanted to not only do better for our clients, but we wanted to practice better sustainability. We believe water-based ink is the superior way to print for our industry. The prints feel better, and are way softer than plastisol. They tend to wear much better as well. Couple superior prints with a green initiative and program, and you have a home run all the way around!
The Sustainable Business Recognition Award is among many accolades you’ve received (including the Alliance’s Premier Print Awards). How does participating in award programs like these benefit your business?
I don't know if it benefits us, but I will tell you, it does feel great to be recognized for trying to do the right thing. Not every shop is perfect, but awards like this help drive home the fact that some of us are actively searching and trying to make our businesses better.
How has Night Owls Print Shop been impacted by and adapted to COVID-19?
We've been extremely lucky that we've weathered the pandemic, for all intents and purposes, pretty well. We've shared all the same issues as everyone else (supply chain issues, labor, shipping, etc.). Dealing with COVID-19 and the pandemic has forced us to grow in directions I didn't think were possible, all while trying to become more efficient and a leaner company. [It's] always a work in progress, but COVID helped rocket ship these ideas.
What are the shop’s goals for 2022?
Year after year we chase the same goal: How do we service our customers faster and better, while being able to reduce our waste and consumption? This is a never-ending quest! I'd also add that like a lot of our peers, we are constantly working on remolding our company, and truly learning how to be an asset to our customers, versus just being a garment decorator.
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