For Marty Spak and his wife, starting a screen printing business happened on a whim. Spak was combing through the newspaper when he spotted an ad promising “everything you’ll ever want to know to start your own t-shirt business” for $400.
“Jokingly, I said to my wife, ‘Do you want to start your own t-shirt business?’ and she said, ‘Yes,’” Spak said. “We bought the information, and my wife started out with t-shirt parties, like Tupperware parties but with t-shirts and nightgowns.”
Spak entered into the business about eight months later, when he heard of someone looking for custom jackets. He offered to fill the order of 250 jackets.
“I made $10 per jacket profit, and for me, that was like a whole month’s salary. I said, ‘I was in the wrong business; I should be selling t-shirts.’”
Spak quit his job and went door-to-door through a local industrial park offering to print t-shirts for the businesses there. “The first week that I started that business, I took $5,000 worth of orders. I never looked back after that,” Spak explained.
Initially, Spak’s orders were filled by a local screen printing shop. When they weren’t quick enough to fill orders, Spak bought his own printing equipment and began filling orders from his garage.
Thirty-four years later, Roselynn Fashions continues to grow and expand. The shop fills orders for local municipalities, civic groups, nonprofit organizations and sports groups around Elgin, Illinois. During the busy spring and summer months, Roselynn turns out about 15,000 items a week.
Last year, Spak shopped around for a new automatic screen printing machine to supplement his existing automatic, a Lawson™. The goal was to meet the company’s existing demand and be able to increase production to take on more orders. Spak, who has experience with many different brands of machines, ultimately chose a 10-station, 8-color Anatol Horizon to add to Roselynn’s operation.
“I priced most of the popular ones and Anatol came up with the best price, and I thought it had more features than the other ones offered,” Spak said. “I just thought I got more bang for my buck.”
The effect on the shop’s production was instantaneous. In its first year of operation, the Horizon increased Roselynn’s production and cut labor costs dramatically.
We’ll do about $300,000 more in sales this year with the Horizon than we used to, Spak said. “Our employees were working 70 to 80 hours a week to keep up with demand. After the Anatol came, it cut out all of the overtime.”
The consistency and the quality of the Horizon’s print allow Roselynn to maintain its high standards for the products it provides customers.
“We like it a lot. It does a great job. It’s fast when we want it to be fast, it’s accurate all the time. We’re very happy with it,” Spak stated. “We’ve done a lot of printing with it, and we couldn’t be happier with it. I’m glad I made that decision, to go with Anatol rather than somebody else.”
In fact, Spak has been so happy with the Horizon, that he has been willing to demonstrate the Horizon for other potential buyers. His advice for those interested in the Horizon is a testament to Roselynn’s success with the machine.
“Get the same one I got and you’ll be happy as a lark; that’s what I tell them.”