If longevity is a sign of success, then Gary Brown (owner), Surf & Ski in Mesa, Arizona, is the most successful printer in his area and maybe the entire state.
"When we started, there were three T-shirt printers in town," he says. "(Starting a screen printing operation) is not as easy as it appears. Most of them do not last."
Brown has always provided the same high level of customer service, but he hasn't always provided the level of quality that he does today.
"Back in 1968, a friend came to me with a proposal to buy a screen printing business that was available for $2,000," he says. "It consisted of 80 screens, two tables and 5-x-5 foot drying racks made out of chicken wire. All the inks were air dry."
"In those days, printing was accomplished by laying a shirt over a light table. The screen was then eyeballed into place. Once the shirt was printed, it was placed on the drying rack."
"We'd do four-color designs with each person having a different screen," he remembers. "We got pretty good at it. We could hand register to within a quarter inch."
Even though the technology has changed it's still the EMPLOYEES that make the difference.
Simply put, Surf & Ski employs the best in the business from sales to artwork to production and shipping. Oh and let's not our forget our accountant Barb, she's been getting us all paid since the 80's!
Aside from the longevity of the business itself; Surf & Ski is housed in an historic building with a rich history of it's own. Our facility is over 100 years old! Originally the "O.S. Stapely & Co. Hardware" this building's main structure was built in 1895; in the days of horse drawn covered wagons.
Stapley became the first farm equipment distributor in the world when he secured a government contract for supplying all the hardware for the building of the Roosevelt Dam. He was only 23 when he opened the first store in Mesa.
The 16,000-square foot space Surf & Ski now occupies was purchased in the 1990's in an effort to help revitalize Mesa's historic downtown area. The building continues to be an important part of down town Mesa commerce just as it has always been. Surf & ski is proud to carry on that tradition.
Stop by and visit us here in beautiful downtown
Mesa and share our history!