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What’s the Biggest Thing You Learned in 2021?

Your peers reflect on the past year.




Question: What’s the biggest thing you learned in 2021? What are you most looking forward to in 2022?
  • The supply chain issues and lack of product changed the way we did business. It was easier for us to tell people what they could get rather than have them come up with 10 items that have no stock. — Jim Heiser, Bullseye Activewear, Brunswick, Ohio
  • With the right procedures in place, people can work in all sorts of challenging situations. Have open communication whenever possible. If it’s not a firm YES, it’s a NO. — Shannon McKinnon, Aisle 6ix, St Peters, New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
  • I learned you have to completely disconnect to get to the next level because noise is distracting and prevents real, deep work from taking place. In 2022 I’m looking forward to seeing how the industry reacted to digital technology, automation, and innovation. Will people be scared of it or will they embrace it? I’m personally looking forward to seeing what my startup,, will look like at mid-year and year-end. — Gavin StGeorges, Proud TShirts, Miami, Florida
  • How resilient the economy has been since COVID. I didn’t expect such a big rebound. [Looking forward to] things getting back to “normal.” — Robert Francis, ScreenPrintPlus, Naperville, Illinois
  • Continued growth and opportunity. — Alison Banholzer, Wear Your Spirit Warehouse, Huntingtown, Maryland
  • The biggest thing I learned in 2021 was how to adapt to making a large machinery purchase and navigate the waters for having it installed. We purchased an automatic press this year and it is a very involved process from start to finish! — Joe Ortinau, Ortinau Art, Pemberville, Ohio
  •  I’m hoping people are resisting media and understanding that human interaction is the most important thing we have. I am well, I am happy, and I am grateful to all the others who share our love for creating and sharing human interaction through our ink, paper, glass and fabric, and other organic compounds! — Eric Carnell, Independence Printage Corp, Bellevue, Washington
  • The best thing that happened for our industry was Custom Ink. They changed our pricing structure. Two years ago our starting price on 24 shirts was $7.99, last year it was $8.99, and in September we raised it to $9.99. No one complained about the price. To the contrary, people commented on how low our prices are. I started telling clients with our 24-piece minimum they can buy 12 pieces, but the cost is the same as 24 pieces as that is our “break-even” point. — Bill Bischoff, Bischoff Design/Atomic Tees, Modesto, California
  • Learned? How to create a podcast. Goals in 2022: Learning to do it better. — Andy MacDougall, MacDougall Screen Printing, Royston, British Columbia
  • Right now is the greatest time for new business opportunities. While the world is still slightly reeling from the pandemic, those who surge ahead with planning, action, and execution will be miles ahead of their competition when the dust settles. — Marshall Atkinson, Atkinson Consulting, Mesa, Arizona
  • Use rollers on as many printheads as possible; To sell our business and retire in 2022. — John Wilhelmsen, Distinct Impression, Tucson, Arizona
  • CORE4, 80/20 Principle, and LEAN are the three most impactful parts of 2021. In 2022, I’m looking forward to supply chain resolutions, price stabilization, and being able to travel and spend time with positive influential friends and industry peers. — Scott Garnett, King Screen, Roanoke, Virginia

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