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Meet Joe Cannon, Jason and Gabby Nguyen of APDAT Print Co in East Downtown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joe Cannon, Jason and Gabby Nguyen.

Joe, Jason, Gabby, please share your story with us.
APDAT Print Co consists of 3 members, Gabby, Joe and Jason. We started out 4 years ago while Joe was in a band called Soapbox Revolution. The band needed shirts made so Gabby, who always had an interest in screen printing (from art classes in high school) and works as a graphic designer, decided to try to print these herself. After the first run of shirts for the band, Jason and Joe thought this would be a good opportunity to start a screen printing business. We initially started in Gabby and Joe’s house, printing shirts for Soapbox Revolution, but after two months, we decided to put in personal savings to move our operations to an actual workspace. In order to network and broaden our customer base, we decided to try our luck at local pop shops and conventions. In order to differentiate from other t-shirt vendors, we decided to print live, allowing customers to choose a colored t-shirt and a design and have us print it right then and there. We found a lot of success at these local events and were able to make a lot of contacts as well as friends over the years. We recently outgrew our workshop and decided to move into a larger warehouse in East Downtown.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Ha! Definitely not smooth sailing. We initially wasted a lot of time and resources trying to figure out our system for printing. There was a lot of trial and error in trying to find efficiency in bulk printing. We struggled with things like lining up shirts to center an image, using multiple color inks on the shirts and drying shirts properly. Once we felt comfortable with the processes at the shop, we had a whole new set of obstacles trying to figure out how to live print. Logistics were our biggest issue in live printing because we had so much equipment and so little space. We also didn’t know which designs were going to sell and how much inventory we needed to bring. Everything took time and was a learning process through and through.

Please tell us about APDAT Print Co.
APDAT stands for awesome people doing awesome things. Each one of us brings something awesome to the table. Gabby, as mentioned before, is our in-house graphic designer. By day, she works for a local graphic design company. Joe, our in-house printer, manages the day to day activities at the shop, and Jason, an engineer by day, helps with operations and any financial aspects. While all three of us have mastered printing and bouncing design ideas off each other, Gabby takes the lead in turning our ideas into actual prints. Her talent in the design aspect is really what sets us apart from others. Since we’re a Houston based company, we like to create and bring Texas based designs to our live events. As we know, we Texans are proud to let people know where we’re from and it seems to show when we get great feedback from our customers. By giving the option to choose their own colored tee and one of our designs, it allows them to be part of the experience in creating an original shirt.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
If we had to start over, one thing we’d do differently is investing in the right equipment. We ran too quickly with information we obtained without doing a lot of in-depth research. This caused us to outgrow our equipment early on.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Yuri Pena

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