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Artistic Imprints: Your one stop printing store

BY: Jennifer Lysiak, Lancaster Editor | December 13, 2012

LANCASTER- Starting their business with limited funds and absolutely no knowledge of the screen printing industry, Mike and Darlene Krawczyk, owners of Artistic Imprints, worked together through many obstacles and still today continue to grow their business nearly 20 years later.

It all began for the Krawczyks when they realized they were tired of working for somebody else and they knew they needed to find a business that would allow them to find the happiness they were looking for.

One day while waiting to have shirts printed, they decided that the screen printing business was something they thought would be a great fit for them. After weeks of research, phone conversations, and trying to learn how to use a computer, Artistic Imprints was opened for business.

“We were so lost for the first several months,” said Darlene. “No one would tell us anything or give us any pointers so it was all trial and error. The first company that we purchased screen printing equipment from sold us the cheapest equipment possible so our production time and printing capabilities were a joke. I think we threw out about a dozen jackets because they sold us this oversized rubber band to hold the jackets in place rather then what is called a jacket hold down. Looking back, we were pretty pathetic.”

During that time, the Krawczyks learned what worked and what didn’t work, they learned the screen printing business inside and out, and most importantly they learned focusing on what a customer’s true needs are is what has made Artistic Imprints an even better business.

But now, almost 20 years later, and faced with the same economic struggles that have forced so many small businesses to close, Artistic Imprints is still holding on. They have expanded their line of products offering custom screen printed apparel, vinyl window lettering and signs, business cards, invitations, and promotional products.

“You have to keep moving forward in any business to be competitive,” said Darlene. “That along with one on one personal service is what keeps them going. When you walk into our shop, you are going to deal directly with one of us.”

Darlene, who is a design specialist, said she enjoys working with the customers and working with graphics and generating logos.

It is Darlene’s responsibility to handle the printing end of the business, while Mike and their son, Andy, focus on the vinyl graphics portion, and Andy’s wife, Mary, also helps out in the business as well.

“It’s awesome working together,” remarked Darlene. “There are days we get on each other’s nerves, we do. I’m going to say that we don’t, but we work through it.”

Also, Artistic Imprints offer low minimums, which most printing shops frown upon, said Darlene.

“There are no unenthusiastic employees, no one who will make you feel like you are a bother, no matter how small your order is,” commented Darlene. “Someone coming in today looking for six shirts could possibly come back in three months looking for 500. Every customer is important.”

Darlene added that one of their first customers that ordered shirts in their garage now works for a large company and is still one of their best customers.

“With that kind of relationship, customers become friends,” said Darlene.

Artistic Imprints, located at 5862 Transit Road, in Depew, is opened from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday; and evenings and Saturdays are by appointment. To contact the shop, call 685-5030.

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