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Introduction

Here we are again. Another year has come and gone. 2015 was a major year of transition for Trust as we moved our business to Fort Worth and tried to get used to an entirely new and different environment. A lot changed in 2016 as well, but we spent the whole year with the strong unifying feeling that this shop is our home. That foundation, along with an incredible core of people working their butts off pushed us to all new heights this year.

“We spent the whole year with the strong unifying feeling that this shop is our home.”

2016 was an awesome year as we continue to stack growth on top of growth. We saw growth in our customers. Even though we added about as many new customers as last year, the ones we already had grew significantly as well. We saw growth in our team, our physical space, and our equipment. We saw growth in our technology, taking the manual labor of production and enhancing it as much as possible for speed and efficiency. We also saw growth in our processes: adding Magna HSA ink to our repertoire, adding heat pressing services, dialing in foil printing, and introducing some awesome internal strategies.

We’ll dig a little more into all the exciting new stuff, but first let’s check out some stats from the year!

Statistics

2016 vs. 2015


Sales

$2.86 mil

(+39%)

Orders

1993

(+31%)

New Customers

144

(-9%)

# of Prints

1.34 mil

(+85%)

Ink bucket

5,148 boxes
+ 482 gallons of ink
+ 104.4 tons of garments
= 502k “new favorite” shirts

8,960

Mockups

4,170

Separations

13,870

Screens Output

Marc screen purp crop

New Space

It didn’t happen until October, but I’m so excited about it that I’m putting it first. Trust literally grew this year, knocking down a wall and adding on the space next to us. This new space adds about 50% to our square footage, giving us some much needed breathing room for our increasingly cramped production area. Originally we were planning to just build a doorway between the two spaces, but we ended up knocking down everything besides a small barrier. This turned out beautifully, keeping the new space from feeling closed off and really adding to the open vibe of the warehouse.

Buildings graph
Buildings graph 2
Buildings graph 3

If you had asked us when we moved into the shop how long it would take us to run out of room we would have significantly overestimated. We’ve now tripled our physical size in under 2 years and we are so excited to fill up this new space and keep knocking down walls. Now let’s talk about the exciting reasons we needed to make such a serious addition to our workspace.


New Equipment

We’ve made some major additions to our equipment this year. First, after 5 and a half years as a two press shop, we have doubled that capacity in less than a year. Last November we added Press 3, and this July Press 4 joined it. Along with 12 years working to speed up and perfect our printing process, our production capacity is pretty exciting. Our finishing department also got some love, with two new heat presses and a couple sewing machines to add some fun new capabilities to our system. Finally, the centerpiece of our new space, The Amscomatic.

Amsco blue

The Amscomatic is a brand new piece of equipment from M&R (we received the 4th one they produced). It is the most advanced folding machine on the planet, using belts, panels, lasers, and witchcraft to turn flat garments into perfectly folded, bagged, and sealed packages with surprising speed and accuracy. The shift from several people crowded around with plastic tri-folders and loose stacks of poly-bags to a 1-2 person team outputting up to 700 perfectly folded garments per hour is dramatic. We are so ecstatic about the capabilities of this machine and how much efficiency it adds to our Finishing department.

New People

New equipment is great, but ultimately useless without the right people in place to operate it. Two new presses means two new press teams, but it also means two more presses that need to be supplied with ink, blanks, and screens. Doubling our printing capacity also means doubling the amount of shirts coming down the dryers that need to be counted, inspected, boxed, shipped, and possibly dealt with by the finishing department. All of this adds up to 10 new team members in 2016 (that’s a remarkable 55% growth in staff). Let’s meet them!

  • Stephane Martin

    Press Operator

    Stephane joins our print team with a great mindset and a hard working attitude. Stephane certainly has traveled the furthest to find his way to Trust; growing up in France and, until very recently, living in Europe.

  • Sean Ramsey

    Press Operator

    Sean brings extensive printing experience to the team, boosting our production capabilities and quickly getting the hang of our techniques and process. He also brings more musical talent and more fantastic hair to a team full of both.

  • Ren Newman

    Finishing Specialist

    Ren endeared herself to us almost immediately, spoiling us with incredible baked goods several times in her first couple weeks and then backing it up with quick learning, a bright personality, and a great work ethic.

  • Jenna Riehl

    Press Operator

    Jenna has not been at Trust for very long, but you wouldn’t know it from watching her work. She has proven herself a diligent worker and a fast learner, and her last name is pronounced “real” which is awesome.

  • Jake Bloom

    Illustrator

    Before we hired him, Jake spent a lot of time around Trust for someone who was not an employee. He's a designer/illustrator with a knack for turning ideas into beautiful designs and a penchant for musical outbursts.

  • Hannah Collins

    Quality Control

    Hannah has fit right in at Trust and is steadily mastering Quality Control. Her energy and attitude brighten our days, and we suspect she might have psychic powers.

  • Annelyse Smith

    Quality Control

    We were very familiar with Annelyse’s work at Juice Junkies before she joined our team as a quality control specialist. We figured if we were going to see her so often we might as well start paying her, and we have been rewarded with addition to the Trust family.

  • Leo Herrera

    Press Operator

    Leo was previously a nutritionist at the Fort Worth Zoo. Trust may be a little less exotic environment, but we are very excited about adding his hard work and smiling face to our team.

  • Joel Collins

    Finishing Specialist

    Joel joined us almost immediately after his sister Hannah, helping out part time during a big rush. We loved his work ethic and his attitude, so we told him he'd better just stick around for good.

  • Josh Hogan

    Quality Control

    When he isn’t traveling the world, Josh resides at the end of our dryer ensuring print quality, keeping our counts straight, packing boxes with love, and drawing on every surface he can reach.

Everyone besides Josh—who re-joined our team after a year spent exploring the world—faced the immense challenge of fitting in and becoming a part of our team and absolutely nailed it. We feel very fortunate with just how many high quality people we have added this year. It has been exciting and beautiful to see each person learn and grow from the existing Trust team while simultaneously adding their own unique personality to the mix.

We are a very different team today then we were when I wrote our Year in Review 12 months ago. There are certainly growing pains. We will always look back fondly on the days when we were more of a small group of friends printing shirts than a business, but mostly we will look forward with excitement to the continued growth and diversification of our team as we make the transition from a small immediate family to a large extended family.

2016 Highlights



Long Lunch Friday

A small thing, but a true testament to Trust’s investment in its team is the institution of “Long Lunch Friday.” This extends lunch by half an hour every Friday to allow our team time to go to a nicer restaurant together or grab a quicker lunch and enjoy free time for basketball, bike rides, or naps. If that wasn’t cool enough, the last Friday of every month is extra special, as Trust foots the lunch bill in an effort to get the entire team eating and spending time together. The last couple months have brought nice enough weather to spend these Friday lunches at the park playing football, sitting in hammocks, and fishing wayward frisbees from the Trinity River.

  • Park 1
  • Park 2
  • Park 3
  • Park 4
  • Park 5


The Addys

In March, Trust teamed up with our good friends at Schaefer Advertising as they hosted the 2016 Battle of the Brands Awards Show. The Battle of the Brands was this years edition of the American Advertising Awards (ADDYs) first round at the Ridglea Theater. Schaefer blew out a sexy look for the awards and we Live Printed their 4 awesome t-shirt designs. It was so cool to be around so many creative people and so much great work. We printed almost 100 shirts, made some great connections, and had a lot of fun.

  • Addys 1
  • Addys 2
  • Addys 3


Brewed Fest

May brought the 2nd annual Brewed Fest, a Wiffle Ball showdown between Fort Worth's coffee makers and beer makers put on by our good friends at Brewed. Trust took an active role this year, as Ryan and Jesse joined the coffee team and helped lead them to a second straight victory. We also printed a bunch of shirts and enjoyed the nice weather. Proceeds from Brewed Fest went to benefit the Fairmount Community Library.

  • Bf 4
  • Bf 5
  • Bf 3
  • Bf 2
  • Bf 1


Schlitterbahn

Before the summer came to a close we packed up our team and took a road trip down to New Braunfels for our Trust Schlitterbond weekend. We rode the rides, floated the river (a couple times), and enjoyed the heck out of the amazing party barn at the house we rented. Sun and relaxation filled our days while shuffleboard, pool, pizza, beer, and awesome conversations dominated our evenings.

  • Schlit 1
  • Schlit 2
  • Schlit 3


Live Printing

Live printing was a big part of our lives again this year. Getting face to face with people, making connections, and sharing the art of what we do continues to be one of the most rewarding parts of Trust. We probably don’t do a good enough job advertising it, but if you’re ever part of a cool event that would benefit from some friendly faces printing some cool shirts please contact us for more info!

  • Live printing 1
  • Live printing 2
  • Live printing 3
  • Live printing 4

Looking Forward

One of the best parts of the end of the year is the promise of the year to come. We are so excited about everything we have planned for 2017. The biggest arena of change will be the customer experience. We are nearing the completion of a massive project that will bring a major upgrade to our technology and allow our customers to interact with Trust in more efficient and more intelligent ways.

Along with that project, we still have so much to learn and develop in our print process. Adding so many new pieces this year was part of a long term plan to free up the right people to be working on the right things. It's nearly impossible to innovate when you're stretched, but the possibilities are endless with a full year of work and development in a fully staffed team.

Washout grey

Conclusion

2016 was another historic year for Trust, with far too many memories and exciting advancements to address on this page. I didn’t even have time to talk about our shop dogs being featured in print, our awesome arrangement with FunkyTown Donuts, Creative Spaces, or our exciting 5k accomplishments.

I don’t want to make it seem like everything is perfect or that we have solved everything. There are certainly pains along with our growth. Our culture is constantly changing and shifting as we add personalities. We can’t pack the whole team in a couple cars and fit at one table at Chipotle anymore. It becomes more and more vital and difficult to keep our standards high and our product impeccable as our production environment spreads out (literally). People who are used to putting their head down and getting stuff done are now being asked to take a step back and lead by words as well as example.

We’ve asked our team to be flexible and open minded as we continue to produce an incredible number of garments through every change and transition. They have responded beautifully, just as we expected. With a strong team working together, any struggle or difficulty becomes an encouraging challenge as we continually learn that we are far from perfect and consistently tackle all issues to push ourselves closer to that mark.

Happy holidays from Trust Printshop! Thanks for being a part of our 2016 and I hope we get to do great things together in 2017.