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Rising Stars Awards

Meet the 2020 Rising Star Award Winner: Robert Mensah

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Robert Mensah

Robert Mensah
Creative Director, Brand Emp, Accra, West Africa

emp-online.com

1. There currently aren’t any structures, associations, or equipment for screen printing in Ghana. How did you enter the screen printing industry?

I grew up in a house by a shop that used to develop screens for screen printers who could not develop their own. So, I used to go there to be with the workers and ask questions on how the screens are developed. That’s how I got the passion for screen printing.

Robert mensah Shirt designs

2. Your nomination form mentions training high school students on the trade as well as the importance of branding, entrepreneurship, savings, and investment when starting a screen printing business. Why is education at a young age, especially in a country that doesn’t provide these resources, important to you?

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Education in a country like mine that does not provide such resources for up-and-coming, young people who have a passion for the arts and also screen printing involves mentoring them and guiding them as a source of inspiration. They see they can still make their dreams come true by being guided, mentored, and provided with support and logistics, like one-color table top manual screen printing presses – that would go a long way to help them.

3. You mention industry vets like Mark Coudray, Andy Anderson, Charlie Taublieb, James Ortolani, Bill Hood, and Andy MacDougall as mentors. Discuss the importance of mentorship in screen printing and how it’s helped advance your business.

Mentorship has played an integral part of my business and also my career by changing my way of thinking and shaping my brand. All these mentors I listed have provided great advice and motivation because we have interacted on several occasions for years and they have seen how I’ve gradually evolved with their advice and mentorship. I’ve also heard and read stories about them and how they started their businesses and all they had to go through to get where they are today. So, even considering my country of origin and lack of equipment and tools compared to those in the states, their journey has been an eye opener.

4. What do you consider your greatest professional accomplishment to date?

My greatest accomplishment to date was competing with big brands and big businesses to win to my five Impressions Awards among all the big names in the industry. I made waves globally, despite the challenges in my country and industry.

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Adrienne Palmer is the editor-in-chief of Screen Printing and Big Picture.

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