Q: You donated the steel support beam/crate your printer arrived in to a local school where the students repurpose it for welding projects; you powered your company’s Here for Good Campaign that raised more than $18,000 for local businesses; and you focus on retail-quality printing for local companies. Why is giving back to your community important to you?
AC: I love giving back to our community because I think our community has always supported us, too. Our business is largely local, and it makes me so happy to see how many people trust and recommend our business. Community involvement brings customers back time after time and helps us build a relationship, not only as partners, but also friends. We live here, too, and it is so fulfilling to be your friendly neighborhood print shop!
Q: All four of your nominations touted your screen printing knowledge and willingness to give technical assistance to anyone in the industry, even if they’re a competitor. One nomination stated: “Alyson is insanely knowledgeable about the screen printing process and effectively leads our production team. Her peers, both men and women, lean on her expertise to troubleshoot issues in other shops, and she is always open to sharing her knowledge. She has created a network of printers across the country and is highly respected. She does an amazing job leading her team and those that report to her. “How has training and mentoring others in the industry impacted your growth as a leader?
AC: When I stumbled into a Facebook group for screen printing, my entire “print world” flipped upside down. I was working at a really old-school shop, and I didn’t realize there were different ways to do things other than the way they’d always been done. The knowledge I found in those groups from people asking questions and others sharing their knowledge totally changed the way I thought about printing, making me realize there are infinite ways to grow and improve. I really value all of the technical knowledge I have been able to pick up along the way – not only from the groups, but especially from friends I have made in the industry. Because I know how much it helped me, I love to pass it on and share whenever possible.
Q: You know how to run every piece of equipment in your shop, you’ve assisted in a new reclaim department and oversaw an auto install, and, according to your nomination forms, you act like an owner. Why is knowing every facet of the business important to you?
AC: Learning all of the production processes was really a matter of necessity at the beginning of Parkway, but I have loved every minute of it, even through our growing pains. As we’ve grown up to this point, from one manual to two autos, I have done all of the jobs in print production and now am able to delegate it to our team. That knowledge is very valuable because I am able to help and troubleshoot with anyone on our production team with any problem that may arise. For Parkway, my ability to run the entire production side of the business has been a major asset as it has allowed my boss to focus on the business side and not have to worry so much about production itself. The reason I feel such a sense of ownership in the business is certainly (at least partially) because I started at day zero, but overwhelmingly due to the trust and support my boss Jared has given me along the way.
Q: What does being a woman in the screen printing industry and the Print Girl Mafia mean to you?
AC: Being a woman in the industry presents some challenges. I overall have been pretty lucky, but have definitely experienced the “standing in a tradeshow booth and being totally ignored” syndrome. My first friends in the industry were all guys – everything in the industry seemed so predominantly male! When I met several other girls at Printhustlers, one of them started a group chat and the rest was history. I feel so lucky to have such a supportive gang of girls in my life. Even though it started out as a group chat, it has evolved into an initiative to make women feel safer and more welcome in the industry, which I think we can all stand behind. Girl power!
Alyson has excelled in every job in print production, which helps when delegating tasks to her team.