Name of business: Chaos Ink Precision Screenprinting, Inc.
Owners: Mark Leier and Amy Schram
Why did you open your business in Craig? Opportunity is the reason we opened our business in Craig. In 1997, Danny Griffith, from the Sign Source, had all of the equipment needed for a screen printing shop, and he needed someone with experience to operate it. Mark had dreamed of running his own shop for a long time. Danny agreed to lease the equipment to us, and he and his brother also renovated the shop on Breeze Street to accommodate our new business.
How did you get into your business? Mark learned printing on paper first, through a high school vocational program. After working with paper for a while, he wanted to learn about printing on other substrates. Mark was offered a job at a local garment screen printing shop and accepted the position.
I began in the T-shirt industry in a retail shirt shop in Steamboat. The shop printed some shirts in-house, as well as producing some of its own embroidered garments, and offered custom heat transfers. However, my favorite part of the job was making really creative signs and displays.
Describe your philosophy of being a good business person: Our philosophy of being good business people has evolved from the lessons we have learned since opening our shop. Mainly we try to do what is best for our customers and their needs. We both try to improve ourselves every day, which has a positive effect on our business and our community.
The role Chaos Ink plays in our community is: We provide uniforms for many area businesses and public service agencies. We provide promotional shirts and products for local, regional, and national events. We offer special pricing and donations to area schools and other non-profit organizations for their teams, clubs and programs.
What is the best part of your job? Creating original artwork, and Mark is happiest when everything works out and our customer is happy with their product.
What is the most challenging part of your job? Working with and keeping tabs on suppliers to make sure they do what they say they'll do. So many different people are involved in getting a finished T-shirt to the customer, there's a lot that can go wrong.
What is your advice to a young business person? My advice to someone considering opening their own business is -- Try to learn from your mistakes, don't worry about things that are beyond your control, and don't take what happens in your business too personally. Business is business.