Skreened Expands, Relocates HQ to New Warehouse
It’s hard to believe that Skreened.com is only five years old. In that short amount of time, this local company has grown from a one-man operation where owner Daniel Fox was selling tshirts out of a tiny half-renovated retail space near the Cup o Joe in Clintonville, to a team of nearly 20 employees printing and shipping approximately 200,000 custom-made apparel items per year to customers around the world. Their latest evolution includes a recent relocation into an 8,000 square foot warehouse at 2887 Silver Drive.
We recently spoke with Daniel Fox to find out more about what he and his company has been up to.
Q:Tell us a little about the growth of Skreened during your time spent located in the retail shop in Clintonville?
A: We were in our location on North High Street in Clintonville for three years, and the amount of business we were doing was doubling year over year. What was once just myself occupying a small corner of the store when we moved, was now 18 or so folks at different times packing out a 1,300 square foot storefront.
Q: So was the cramped space the main reason for your move?
A: It was wise for us to plan for continued growth and to make room to try some experimentation with the company. We’d go through phases of play and phases of executing on what we learned while we were playing. There’s a Steve Jobs quote that has been hitting me lately and describes a little of that play and execution. “Stay Hungry. Stay Foolish”.
Q: How has your business strategy changed during the past few years?
A: Skreened has always been geared more toward internet-based customers. I don’t know that our primary strategy has changed as much as it has become more clear and refined. We find ourselves saying no to more projects that don’t fit what we’re good at. This is hard at times, because our natural disposition is wanting to help customers in any way we possibly can.
Skreened is more than just a t-shirt company. We’re a platform for bloggers, designers and anyone really, to turn their funny sayings, ideas, designs into something profitable. This will become more apparent as we grow.
Q: What specifically drew you to the new location on Silver Drive?
A: As convenient as it was to be right on High Street, there weren’t a lot of options for the type of places that fits our needs. Space to grow was important, but it’s also important for our culture to stay fun — a place that can really support our growing number of employees as well.
Q: How much growth does the company have room to allow in the new space?
A: When we were first looking at a new business location, we laid out our equipment in stations and ran some numbers to see how much growth this number of square feet could accommodate. It was a pretty large number, but as we’ve occupied the space for a few months now, our goals just keep getting bigger.
Q: So what do you like most about the new building?
A: We’ve got a good amount of multi-use warehouse space that we’ve transformed for parties, storage, a photo studio and a practice space for employee bands. Also, I enjoy the normal things that we didn’t really think about… a break room, parking, you know, exciting stuff…
Q: Was the retail storefront component of Skreened completely dropped with the move to the new location?
A: I think one of the things we’ve learned is that we’re not well suited for a lot of brick and mortar retail business. We still have a walk-in area, mostly for online order pick-ups. We also have a more comfortable space for meeting with clients to consult about larger orders.
Q: With the shift away from the brick and mortar business, will we be seeing other ways that Skreened will stay involved in the local community?
A: Having been on High Street, it was easy to be visible to our community. One of the important things we’re doing now that we’re off the beaten path a bit, is to prioritize being involved in the community even more. We continue to be involved with local events, working with organizations and businesses. Alissa, our Customer Service Manager and bulk order specialist, works with local non-profits to help serve this need.
Q: Anything else we should know about the move?
A: It’s not only about keeping up with growing business needs, but also about fostering community and a sustainable, happy, creative work environment for our employees. I guess the thing I least expected was that our vision for the company would grow to fill and exceed what was possible in the physical space.
More information about Skreened can be found online at Skreened.com.
Photos by Jon Burgess.