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Women in Screen Printing

Meet the Women in Screen Printing: Ali Banholzer

Banholzer is dedicated to industry growth and the empowerment of her colleagues.

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Ali-Banholzer

Ali Banholzer, Owner and Chief of Flight Operations Wear Your Spirit Warehouse Huntingtown, MD, wearyourspiritwarehouse.com

HER WILLINGNESS TO share, to keep growing, her grit, her indomitable spirit and her ability to inspire and empower other women are just a scratch on the surface of why she is an exceptional leader.” — Marj Easterling, owner, Big Lick Screen Printing

Your nomination form says “Her dedication to our industry, her focus on our industry growth and her selflessness are unparalleled,” as well as “Ali is not a passive member of groups, but an active problem solver and an accountability agent.” What motivates you to make this industry and your business better?

I truly believe as an industry we are stronger and more profitable when we work together than when we view each other as competitors. There really is a lot of business to be had and when we learn from each other’s mistakes and successes we all capture a larger piece of that pie! When we view each other as competitors we start this spiral of lower prices, undercutting sales, and ripping off marketing ideas. When we work together, we bounce ideas off each other, make them our own, define our niches, and become more professional as a whole. I have been surrounded by incredible printers, designers, and embroidery experts. I have been able to ask questions, get assistance, and even borrow some supplies at times. I have also returned the favor. Some of my so called “competitors” are truly some of my best friends.

Ali Banholzer

Can you talk about your involvement in the Peer Mentor for TAPS Gold Star Widows and why mentorship is important to you?

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TAPS is the Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors. It is a non-profit that supports anyone that has lost a family member that has served in the Military. My girls and I became involved with TAPS in 2016 after my husband died while serving on Active Duty. TAPS has supported and given so much to my family that as time has passed, I decided I wanted to become a peer mentor to support others and give back to the community that helped me through some of my hardest days. I went through peer mentor training and currently mentor several other Gold Star Widows that have recently lost their husbands. I don’t have all the answers, but I am certainly willing to be a compassionate shoulder to lean on.

What does being a woman in the screen printing industry mean to you?

Screen printing has been a traditionally male-dominated industry. Up until recently as little as 4 percent of shops were owned by women. Even now, when I tell my story, most people think my husband started the business and I took over after he died. That couldn’t be farther from the truth. I don’t think women are better or worse than men in any industry, however I do believe each gender has some natural tendencies and strengths, generally speaking of course. I have enjoyed taking those characteristics and deploying them in the industry to maximize everyone’s talents and strengths, being a man or a woman. That being said, I am proud to be a 100-percent woman-owned business that is helping to raise the percentage in the screen printing industry.

 

 

 

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Watch the Inaugural Women in Screen Printing Awards

Congratulations to the six winners of the inaugural Women in Screen Printing Awards. Watch the recording of the live virtual awards ceremony from September 24, 2020. This recognition is received by six female leaders who have advanced the screen printing industry through their innovation, vision in spearheading successful businesses, and philanthropy. Serving in influential positions such as owner, founder, and CEO, these women are impacting our field as a whole as well as the communities they serve.

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