Authentic voices. Remarkable stories. AOL On Originals showcase the passions that make the world a more interesting place.
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One entrepreneur is recycling age-old techniques and cutting-edge technology to create a successful niche business. A different ...
way of printing is proving powerful for The Firecracker Press.
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Small Business Is Our Only Business
Eric Woods: It’s really a dying art, the processes as we go through; it goes way back of its years that to me is really exciting.
Christopher Hanley: Eric Woods. Founder and owner of the Firecracker Press is not only an entrepreneur, he’s something of a time traveler. This innovative business owner has created a successful niche business by bringing together ancient printing methods and the latest electronic technology to make new products and art forms.
Wood uses Hand Crank Presses side by side with computers to create new exciting designs in his successful niche business.
Eric Woods: When we’re combining these two technologies you have to have a little bit of that kind of grease monkey mentally, but the computer side you go to have clean hands so it’s a completely different situation.
Christopher Hanley: Woods doesn’t mind getting greasy as he sets tight clean wood blocks and even runs Hand Cranks. It can be a time consuming and intricate process to print with the wooden block.
Eric Woods: Lots of pain but kind of formulated this place that would be a studio where we could get our hands dirty and actually print things, but also on flipside to that, used my education and my skills as a designer to kind of feed that other side of the hands on side of the business.
Christopher Hanley: The Firecracker Press uses computer technology in the process to create designs that have proven to be both a business and artistic success.
The mix of computer design and aged old printing techniques can be found on posters, T-shirts, stationery, book covers and wedding invitations.
The Firecracker Press’ customers include Rock bands, brides and breweries. Regardless of his clients’ lifestyle or background, Woods unique mix of old and new creates products with personality.
Eric Woods: Each of the posters and a lot of the projects we do here have a real personal connection to me and we try to find, try to tell a story through a lot of things that we develop here, posters included. So each one of the posters kind of tells us a different story and has a lot of different personality and background that come with it. That through finding something that I really love and the passion about, I’ve been able to build a kind of network of friends and clients that I never would’ve kind of come up with through any other situation, work situation.
Christopher Hanley: It’s the uniqueness of the products of these presses that drives this business. Most of the customers come to the shop through word of mouth. Demand for the Firecracker Press products keeps the printers running and moved the firm into a bigger facility for an expanding work force.
Eric Woods: We’re certainly growing here and trying to find ways to make that growth comfortable and stress free as possible. We certainly want to grow but at the same time it’s sometimes hard to find qualified individuals, you know, to help you grow.
Christopher Hanley: A retail division to sell the Firecracker Press expanding line of clothing, posters and stationery is another way Woods plans on growing his niche enterprise. He advises that other entrepreneurs considering launching a niche business to be prepared to educate consumers on what makes their business and services different. Identify your target client and the best way to tell them about the advantage you offer. And requesting referrals from customers and getting media attention has proven successful in educating potential Firecracker Press costumers.
I’m Christopher Hanley reporting for SBTV.com, Small Business Is Our Only Business.