Imagine working in a print shop where a large image of the Blessed Mother and her Divine Son greets all patrons. There are Catholic periodicals on the table in the lobby, and business cards for the local crisis pregnancy displayed as work samples. A crucifix is visible in every room throughout the production area, and a Padre Pio holy card greets everyone who uses the fax machine. Obscene language and immodest dress are forbidden, thereby removing several more obstacles to daily sanctification. Employees are retained not only for their technical competence, but also for their honesty and willingness to honor the values of their employer. When mistakes occur, they are acknowledged and repaired instead of lied about. Customers know they are not being cheated and that ultimate accountability is just a phone call away.
As the Catholic owner of a small business, I give thanks to God for the privilege of working in just such an environment six days a week. But this privilege has come at a high price. Very early on we were asked to print a newsletter for an organization that promotes lesbianism. Of course, we had to refuse. Shortly afterward we were asked to print business cards for a local realtor "specializing in the gay and lesbian community", and we refused this job as well. We've declined to print racy CD covers for local rap artists, ads for motorcycles featuring bikini-clad women in seductive poses, and electric guitar knobs designed and shaped like portions of the female anatomy. Word gets around: the homosexual activists launched a week-long campaign of telephone intimidation, wrote it up in their newspaper, and besieged franchise headquarters with angry complaints. The trunk of my car was mysteriously vandalized during the controversy, and at least one of our vendors has since refused to work with us.
Today, our shop is at a crossroads. We've been open just over one year and our working capital is entirely depleted. We had our first profitable month last April, but sales took a dive in May and June doesn't look any better. There is a real possibility that we will have to liquidate -- or worse.
Therefore I have one plea for the good readers of Seattle Catholic: If you work for an organization that needs printing, or if you know someone else who does, please consider using a hungry little Catholic printer in Sacramento, California. I'm convinced that if we can stay open for the next couple of months -- with your help -- our marketing efforts will pay off, the business will be saved, and the Catholic community will continue to enjoy the services of a printer who shares their deepest convictions.
We specialize in 1-4 color letterhead, envelopes, business cards, brochures, flyers, postcards, notepads, booklets, NCR forms (invoices, purchase orders, etc.), invitations, and anything else that consists of paper and ink. We have both digital color and offset capabilities, and if I may say so, our quality is top-notch.
My press operator, a stub-fingered ex-Army Ranger with 28 years of experience, is truly a master craftsman. He makes our AB 9810 purr like a kitten. My graphic designer is a self-taught single mother with 14 years of experience and a flair for creativity. Our software is PC-based and includes PageMaker, Illustrator, Photoshop, and CorelDraw. But don't let software deter you. We can get the job done, even if it means creating a new file from scratch (free of charge). Everything can be handled by e-mail, phone, and fax. Send me an e-mail and let me make the long distance call if necessary.
Our prices are not the lowest, but you'll find them very competitive for most standard printing jobs. Shipping charges will apply, of course, but considering that our biggest competitor is the internet, they should not be prohibitive! We do have a small number of long-distance customers who have found that shipping is not an obstacle. Our normal client base consists of small to medium sized businesses, non-profits, clubs and associations, schools, and churches. No job is too large or small: we can handle press runs from 50 to 500,000. Production time is 3-5 business days for most orders.
The readers of Seattle Catholic will agree that the establishment of small Catholic businesses is an essential component to any Catholic restoration. Few businesses today are able to survive without making serious moral and ethical compromises, and those who are willing will not survive without the support and patronage of their fellow Catholics. Besides, where else will Catholics turn for homeschool apprenticeships? This is especially important for homeschooled boys in the city, many of whom will need to learn a trade and acquire a solid work ethic, but without the benefits of a family farm.
My sincere and humble thanks to Peter Miller for the use of this space, and to all readers for their consideration. I should mention that we will provide free graphic design (normally $60.00 per hour) for all first-time orders. Please contact me via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org , or by phone at 916-442-9900, if we can be of service.