I’ve pushed and pulled a squeegee for the better half of my life so far.
Right outta middle school I began printing at a local print shop in Proctor. I learned how to design, print and take orders. I had a big mouth and that helped me talk my way into local jobs. After I graduated from Proctor High School I thought my printing days were long gone and that I’d never pick up a squeegee again. A few months later I found out that you can’t really live on student loans. I was broke and needed a source of income. The local student-run print shop was hiring and I jumped right in. I was back behind a squeegee three months after I swore to be done. As my years at college progressed so did my knowledge of running a business. I started running the on-campus print shop.
After a few months I was worn out and wanted something new. My fiancé and I launched a clothing company called Neverest Outfitters. We began sourcing materials from waste like leather, canvas, used vinyl and old zippers. We took out a small businesses loan and purchased sewing machines and began sewing bags right out of our college dorm room. My Duluthian heritage inspired it all. After a few years of running Neverest we decided to pursue it full time after college. We had a year left and were trying to find ways to graduate early. Our option was to take a summer term in Europe. Poor us right? It was April of 2015 and we had a business to run, classes to take, 30 days to relocate our equipment and inventory to create for the Summer. Right at the same time the local print shop on campus was selling off all of their equipment. Buyer after buyer fell through so I made them a lowball offer and happily, they took it. It was now 20 days until departure and I spent our entire savings for Europe on some screen printing equipment. (That was a hard conversation to have with my fiancé!)
So… we took off to Duluth and found a shop on Craigslist on the drive up. We met and signed the lease 3 hours later. We now had 10 days to get the shop up and running to help return some of that investment while we were in Europe. That is where Duluth Screen Printing was born. We launched our website and hired my best friend to run the shop. We took off for Europe and when we returned, the shop was still there. We spent the next 6 months commuting from St. John’s on the weekends to fulfill orders. Duluth Screen Printing took off and to help with cash flow, we sold Neverest. We’ve been at it for a little over a year and learn more and more each day. My big goal is to share my passion for printing and providing higher quality tees. Our mission is for “t-shirts are meant to be t-shirts, not rags”.