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Meet Andy Meyer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andy Meyer. 

Hi Andy, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
During the pandemic in the winter of 2020, myself and the other co-founders of Franklinton Press were in a limbo of deciding what our next move was in the midst of career changes and uncertain opportunities. All of us had a diverse and complementary mix of skill sets and experience, so we decided to pool our resources to officially write a business plan and form the company in December of 2020. At the time, I had a personal screen-printing studio in the basement of another company called What? Productions in the heart of Franklinton that served as the launching pad for Franklinton Press. It was there that I taught our small team the fundamentals of screen printing while we began the process of acquiring our first manual press and a small business loan that would allow us to purchase the assets from another screen-printing company in town that had gone under due the pandemic. 

During the period of a week, we had to move an entire warehouse of equipment into our newly rented space that was terribly run down and abandoned. For the next 2 months we worked endlessly renovating the building that lacked basic necessities like water and electric all while organizing our equipment and finally getting it all assembled. We did this all while growing our client base and taking on jobs that we were able to complete in our basement space next door. 

I only had roughly 2 years of part-time experience working at a commercial screen-printing shop at this time, so having equipment from another shop that I didn’t know how to use was extremely daunting, knowing that the future of all of our livelihoods depended on learning how to use it efficiently. But we problem-solved our way through the obstacles, asked for help, and finally became familiar with everything that was once unknown. 

Making a quality product is one thing, but running a business is a whole other monster. The first year of our operation involved many long nights, a lot of mistakes, and a lot of instability. This was the blood, sweat & tears phase, if there ever was one. It was here that we honed in on how to create lasting relationships and how to cultivate a healthy company culture. 

Year two has brought more clarity, more staff, and finally, a workflow that we can get good at. Not to say that we have it all figured out by any means, but at this time, Franklinton Press is comfortably employing 14 hardworking creatives in our city, and we are honored to print for hundreds of local companies, brands, and individuals. We have 3 in-house apparel brands, a non-profit that supports the Franklinton neighborhood, and have our sights on creating a retail collective space to house our current and future brands we wish to grow. 

That’s the long & the short of it. It’s been a crazy journey for us, but we are elated to see the growth of our company and excited to continue laying our foundations in the ever-evolving Franklinton neighborhood. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Many struggles. It’s not easy having 4 co-owners of a company. A main struggle we’re still honing in on is all of us finding our specific roles & lanes. There’s a lot of hat-wearing when starting your own venture, so it’s been a journey for us to deicide on what we are all best at and who should own certain responsibilities. We’ve definitely grown so much since the beginning, and we’re all getting more comfortable with divvying tasks, so none of us get burnt out. 

Maintaining the shop can be an obstacle as well, as things break down, equipment is added, or things have to be built. We’re currently on the tail end of reorganizing our shop after we added a brand-new automatic press to our production floor.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
I have a fine art printmaking background from OSU and was heavily involved in the DIY art scene in Columbus before starting this company. I’ve had a few big gallery shows in the city throughout the years and specialize in digital art that I then transfer into the screen-printing medium. Having started this company, my focus has changed more into a fashion lens as I make work for my apparel brand called Heavy Mind inc., that I sell online and at pop-up vendor markets around town. 

At this time, with so much changing in the world and in my own life, my art interests vary and change often, which is something I’m trying to cope with an accept. My “art” these days has been running the company in all honesty, as it takes up most of my time. But my previous work explored imagery and consumerist themes of the 80s and 90s that were once used to stylize the visual landscape of my childhood. I incorporated early internet imagery, glitch art, and references of psychedelia to evoke a melancholy of a future that was promised but never came to be. 

I’m eager to continue evolving my personal work and show it to the world when I feel it’s ready in the mediums I have access to. 

Are there any books, apps, podcasts, or blogs that help you do your best?
At Franklinton Press, we use a shop software called Printavo that streamlines our invoicing and scheduling workflow. They provide a wealth of content, as well as a podcast that explores the screen-printing industry and lends tips to new shops. This has, by far, been the biggest resource that has helped me. Besides that, Reddit always prevails as the best forum platform that allows ideas to be shared. 

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Andy Meyer

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