NJ INK SHOP, A current West Long Branch, New Jersey, community staple, was working out of a garage just a decade ago. Fast forward to the present day and they’ve weathered the COVID storm, print for local high schools and companies, design and create apparel for respected restaurants, and they’ve even developed a relationship with one of the most influential hip-hop groups of the 1990s.
NJ Ink Shop has an exclusive partnership with Naughty by Nature, the New Jersey hip-hop artists behind hit songs like “Hip Hop Hooray,” “Feel Me Flow,” and “O.P.P.” Naughty by Nature rapper Vin Rock stops by often to check in with his friends who run the shop, Javier Spinoza and Mika Hon, who are usually accompanied by the shop’s dog Tandy.
“(Vin) was just here the other day,” says Hon, while tracking orders on the computer and explaining that I just happened to stop by during one of their busiest weeks. The shop was hard at work thanks to Naughty by Nature fans who have been buying apparel for their friends and loved ones during the Christmas season. Before this, they had just wrapped their end-of-summer sale, which Vin Rock made a promotional video for. [See below.]
The partnership between the local print shop and the Grammy Award-winning hip-hop group brings validity to both brands. Naughty by Nature fans get to peak behind the curtain thanks to Vin Rock’s videos where he visits the shop and shows the quality of the product. Concurrently, Naughty by Nature’s association with NJ Ink Shop further boosts their reputation in the community and the entire state. It’s a win-win.
Finding a solid, long-term client to do business with isn’t always easy. Finding one you actually get along with can be even harder. However, if done correctly, partnerships can provide very solid income streams for both parties. Can you think of a local music group, restaurant, company, school, or club that you could exclusively partner with?
Really put some thought into it and consider what’s important to you. NJ Ink Shop and Naughty by Nature bond over a love of New Jersey, hip-hop music and art, and ’90s style apparel. They created a shared vision together, laid the groundwork, and began to execute using Naughty by Nature’s iconic baseball bat logo as their foundational design.
It might not seem like it now, but this type of partnership is possible for you and your shop. Keep your eyes peeled for opportunities as you interact with your community.
PHOTO GALLERY (5 IMAGES)
Let’s Talk About It
Creating a More Diverse and Inclusive Screen Printing Industry
LET’S TALK About It: Part 3 discusses how four screen printers have employed people with disabilities, why you should consider doing the same, the resources that are available, and more. Watch the live webinar, held August 16, moderated by Adrienne Palmer, editor-in-chief, Screen Printing magazine, with panelists Ali Banholzer, Amber Massey, Ryan Moor, and Jed Seifert. The multi-part series is hosted exclusively by ROQ.US and U.N.I.T.E Together. Let’s Talk About It: Part 1 focused on Black, female screen printers and can be watched here; Part 2 focused on the LGBTQ+ community and can be watched here.
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