From one-man bands to whole battalions, every job is treated with the same level of service, consistency and quality of products. P&P editor Melanie Attlesey speaks with founder and director of Print Inc, Angela Windsor, to find out more.
Based in the heart of Cross Hands in South Wales, Print Inc was founded only four years ago, but has since expanded beyond its local beginnings.
Angela was already immersed in the printing and embroidery industry through the award-winning AVA Dancewear, of which she is the owner and manager. But with a vision to significantly improve the service and quality of products offered to customers within the wider industry, she went on to found Print Inc in 2016.
Print Inc supplies the whole package. Everything from workwear to PPE to signage and branding, with the sole aim of being the solution for the branding needs of customers. “Our embroidery machines, heat press and vinyl cutter are constantly in use and the workshop is a hive of activity from the minute it’s open to the minute it closes,” says Angela.
Just one year after opening, Angela and Print Inc were recognised by the Women in Business 2016 awards in the New Business of the Year category and was also a finalist in the Beacon Bursary. “It was a surprise to have reached the final selection within the first year of trading as Print Inc,” Angela comments. “Having the business recognised at such an early stage was a huge boost for us and certainly gave reassurance that we were heading down the right path.”
Following this recognition, Print Inc expanded and purchased more embroidery machines and hired more staff to meet with the increasing demand. It was around this time that Print Inc began to work with perhaps one of its more high-profile clients, the Welsh Guards. Following an event that Print Inc sponsored, the team began with just one small order to showcase the quality of their work, which over the years has grown to Print Inc supplying the 1st Battalion Welsh Guards, along with other battalions in the British Army, with a range of embroidered range of garments and clothing for their soldiers.
Angela says that Print Inc’s core values has helped their growth with the military, as they are synonymous with each other. In July Print Inc received the Armed Forces Covenant Bronze Award, after pledging support for the military. Not only this but Print Inc also proudly sponsors the Veteran Awards for Wales, England and Scotland, as the event’s official print partner.
“Working with the Welsh Guards has been extremely rewarding, not only as a company, but also on a personal level, as I have a keen interest in helping our military personnel. Working with the Welsh Guards has not only given us a wider platform to expand, but it has also endorsed our brand and reputation within the business community,” explains Angela.
Adapt to survive
Like many businesses over the last six to eight months, Print Inc has had to adapt to survive the coronavirus pandemic. Despite starting off 2020 in a strong position, the global lockdown in March saw a dramatic decline in sales for Print Inc. “We took the sad decision to temporarily close the production factory,” says Angela. “The team were placed on furlough until we had a better understanding of what we were facing. Like most businesses we were all working in the dark, with no way of knowing what was around the corner.”
To support the needs of any frontline members of staff that may have needed uniforms during the initial stages of lockdown, Angela made the decision to take home some of the machines so she could fulfil any urgent orders, until the team returned to the production factory a few weeks later.
Over the coming weeks Angela pivoted the business from supplying regular PPE offerings such as high-vis and site safety, to include a wider range of masks and gloves. In addition to this, Print Inc went down the route of designing, developing and manufacturing its own scrubs range. “Due to the pandemic, we were unable to supply our community teams and carers with scrubs as our suppliers were out of stock. Therefore, the manufacture of scrubs enabled us to continue to supply the community teams as and when they needed them,” she explains.
Back together again
Within six to eight weeks the production factory was back up and running, which saw the return of the team. As industries across the UK began to reopen, Print Inc saw an increase in the demand for workwear and clothing once again. During this time Print Inc also partnered with a local sign company to offer branded COVID-19 screens and printed signs to customers.
“We believe we have an extremely good rapport with our clients, and their ongoing support and vice versa has certainly enabled us to work together through this extremely difficult time,” Angela says.
It is without doubt that coronavirus has changed the way businesses operate. For Angela and Print Inc this means staff wearing face masks, being more conscious of being in close proximity to colleagues and the regular cleaning down of touch points, while client interaction is either done via email or telephone, with the odd Zoom video call thrown into the mix.
For the clients and companies that Angela deals with, she says that coronavirus has changed the way they buy products and what they view as essential moving forward. “Six months ago, I would never have envisaged branding face masks, however this is now a daily occurrence within our print production. I think, having workwear may be deemed more of a necessity rather than an add on, and we could actually see a rise in demand as it is easier for staff to ensure cleanliness, or even reduce the risk of spread if they only have two pieces of workwear, rather than their own clothes. Time will tell. I do wish all others out there within the garment decoration industry a steady return to recovery if they have been hit hard by coronavirus,” says Angela.
Passion and drive
Despite a tough few months, it is clear that Angela is very passionate about what she does and has a drive to succeed. She even offered up the following advice to anyone who may be looking to get started in the cut-throat world of garment decoration. “The apparel decoration and print industry can be extremely competitive and more often than not you can find yourself in a price competition, with a very quick race to the bottom. This will render you out of the market before you are in it. My advice would be, aim to be the best within your section of the market. Do not waiver in your costs, products or service and know your worth.”
Taking on her own advice, in the coming few weeks Angela will launch a new venture called Tarw Sports, which will offer quality sportswear and team kits. This company will uphold the ethos of Print Inc and complement its offering. “I am incredibly excited to launch this business as sports and activewear are a passion of mine. I am a keen cyclist and a huge rugby fan,” exclaims Angela.
With no plans to slow down any time soon, Angela says that her number one goal is to ensure the continued growth of Print Inc. She wants the company to become known as the go-to brand for the military and businesses within the UK, which could be seen as a bit of a challenge. She says: “The aim is to continue the growth we have seen over the last four years. With this, we will be employing and training more staff, including a graphic designer and a larger production team.”
With someone as passionate and as driven as Angela at the helm, it is clear that Print Inc will have a very bright future as the company looks to become the number one military and business supplier in the UK and beyond.