You may already know this but in case you didn't, we, the owners of Select Printing, also run the Select Basketball organization (www.idahoselect.org).
About 6 years prior to now (from the time this post was written) Idaho Select Basketball (as we were known back then) realized that as an organization, we were purchasing as much team gear, event shirts and apparel as most high schools and even some small colleges. And while that was fine (Select Basketball was growing rapidly) we were running in to three main problems: the items were getting more expensive, the gear was being delivered late and the quality was inconsistent.
At that volume the obvious question to us was "Why not start our own screen printing company?"
Except there was a big problem: we didn't know anything about screen printing. Here's how we got started.
Dipping our toes in the water
Despite not knowing how the screen printing business worked, the idea still seemed like a good one. We partnered up with some other guys that knew the screen printing and design business and began what would turn out to be a fun and beneficial learning experience for all of us.
And even though after about five years we decided to go a different direction then our partners, the experience we received laid the foundation for what would become Select Printing.
Heading out on our ownEven though we had separated from our original screen printing venture, the core reason we started hadn't changed. In fact, it was strengthened as our teams, camps and events had doubled in size. We needed more fast and affordable screen printing then ever.
And we thought that was probably the case for a lot of the people in our network as well.
So, with some pretty simple logic, we decided to move forward with a new screen printing company that would be run entirely by us and putting people that we trusted in key positions.
Worst case: we spend the same amount of money on gear that we had in the past, break even and provide a few people with new jobs.
Best case: we find a way to bring down our costs while keeping the quality high and getting everything we needed without being stressed by deadlines.
Wow, were we wrong...
In a great way. It turns out that between our ability to find great people to help us while learning from our mistakes (which we made a lot of at first) we were able to create a the core of a company that could find success.
It's not just us
We now work with all kinds of groups, events, teams and organizations and it's a blast. Because for us, it goes behind just printing some gear. We get a chance to really work with these customers in a unique way since we've been in their shoes.
- We know what it's like to run a business: our ownership group owns three of them.
- We know what it's like to run an event: we've run some big ones over the years (see: BAM Jam 3 on 3 and Northwest Premier Invitational)
- We know what it's like to operate and coach teams: we are in charge of about 20 over our own Select teams each year.
So when we work with our customers to fulfill their screen printing needs, we also get to exchange ideas on how their business is going, other ways we can help and most of the time, we learn a lot from them as well.
As corny as it sounds, we truly form a partnership with our customers. Their best interest is our best interest.