For 16 years, Birmingham, Alabama’s New Republic Printing has been striving to achieve the highest possible quality screen prints for a wide variety of niche audiences. Owner Stephen McCarthy was kind enough to take some time to tell us about his business and his experience using the all-electric Anatol VOLT screen printing press to keep pace with his shop’s growth.
Would you mind giving us a short summary of the journey your business has taken you on?
McCarthy: I started in my garage printing for my band and for friends’ bands in Austin, Texas. We continued to grow at a steady pace and gain customers from all over the nation. We printed everything by hand until November ’17 when our VOLT arrived. Since then we’ve seen business increase 150% due to faster turnaround time and even higher quality prints.
What types of clients do you typically serve, and do you specialize in any unique styles of screen printing?
Our client base is not your typical shop base. We don’t do much work for schools, sports teams, family reunions and the like. Our customers are touring musicians, the haunt attraction/horror film industry, the skateboard industry and other varied “fandoms” like Star Wars, Star Trek and super heroes.
What are some of the goals you have for your business?
To provide the best-looking, softest garment printing at competitive pricing and to push the level of printing beyond just ink on a shirt, but instead to create wearable art.
What kind of equipment did you use before purchasing your Anatol VOLT?
We only used Vastex™ manual presses; a 4 station/4 color and 10 station/10 color.
What challenges led you to look for an automatic screen printing press to supplement your manuals?
We were growing too rapidly to keep up with demand and needed to expand in a more efficient manner while keeping up our high-quality standards.
What factors were most important to you when evaluating your options?
Efficiency, accuracy, ease of use and price.
Which machine did you decide on and why?
Our only choice was the Anatol VOLT. We didn’t want to have an air compressor in our shop and have to deal with the constant noise and downtime.
What made the VOLT stand out against the competition?
The all-electric VOLT was a must for us as our presses are not hidden away in a back room but rather front and center in the middle of a retail location. We are basically “live” printing every day and we encourage people to come into the shop and be a part of the process. With none of the noise of a traditional pneumatic press, we can hold on a conversation at normal speaking levels.
When you first got your VOLT, what specific features or benefits did you like most?
The ease of setup and the operating system, also the Step Back option.
Can you quantify your Anatol purchase in terms of money or time it has saved you or gained you?
We’ve done over 120,000 shirts on the press in just over a year of ownership, while still printing on our manual presses every day as well. We could not have kept up with the growth had we not made the jump to the VOLT, so the purchase has been essential to our progress.
If another screen printer asked you about buying an Anatol machine, what would you tell them?
Do it and ask Drew to install it!