here is my story:
i have been working on building a business. it is called artizen organics and it is a sustainable apparel printing business. it was started out of my idea to create designs that are environmentally themed and also printed on eco friendly materials such as organic cotton t shirts. honestly, i never expected it to become a business. i shared the idea with my brother and he decided to write a business plan. my family got involved and they decided we needed to make it happen. we were buying a digital garment printer and i was going to do the graphic design and my brother was going to run the company. the idea changed a bit and we were going to offer custom garments to businesses and individuals in addition to the designs i create. well, by the time our printer arrived, my brother bailed on us and i have been left to run things.
it has been since around last august that i have been in charge. our original printer was a total lemon so we bought a screen press so i could take on work while we were sorting out our digital solution. to keep with our sustainable mission, i had to track down the newest environmentally friendly ink technology available. this led me to a water based line of screen inks from international coatings called gen iv. i made a lot of mistakes while learning how to use these inks but after some time of experimentation, i really consider myself to be an expert.
in january, my father and i went to long beach to the imprinted sportswear show and we found the new digital printer we were looking for. we bought a two part printer system that can do really high quality prints on garments as well as print with a mild alcohol solvent on pretty much anything.
In addition, we had to build a website. at first, i tried to do it; disaster. well, maybe not a complete disaster, but i am not a web developer and buying a book on dreamweaver did not make me into one either. we hired someone. best choice ever! now, we have a pretty nice one with a shopping cart and an online design tool. we also have the ability to open up affiliate stores for anyone interested in opening an online eco friendly apparel store.
over the next 2 weeks, i will be packing up my shop and getting ready to move into our new retail space in a historic building in downtown florence, az. rumor has it the silver king hotel (which was a hospital at the turn of the century) is haunted. maybe i will have some stories to tell in the future.
it has been an intensive learning process over the past few months. i have had to learn how to run a business. i am still just an artist but a different sort now. where i used to put in 8 hours a day in a cubicle where i could often get away with drawing at my desk during slow periods of the day, now i have a full plate of networking meetings, design assignments, and printing every day. what i have found is that, for the first time in my life, i really enjoy my work. it is hard and demanding but it is rewarding. i feel that running a green business elevates the experience because i think about my impact on the planet every day. nature is a part of my daily life because it is my goal to protect it.
anyway, thanks for reading! feel free to ask questions if you have any. if you want to see any of this for yourself, visit our website at http;//artizenorganics.com