Q: So what led you to Replica?
A: Replica had been around for 30 years. It had a great product but wasn't well-marketed. The previous owner invested in new technology and equipment, so I didn't have to worry about that.
Q: How's the biz-model work?
A: It's about building the brand. We were the best-kept secret to clients.
Q: What's Replica do?
A: We do print, high-quality color production and wall graphics, as well as custom wallpaper.
Q: Is that what sets Replica apart from competitors?
A: That and our people. We have a great team who probably cares more about your business with us than you do.
Q: How many employees?
A: We have 11, nine full time and two part time.
Q: Who are some of your clients?
A: The Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, Daroff Design, the Short Partnership. We also do work for nonprofits.
Q: What's the biggest challenge growing the business?
A: We've increased our revenue 60 percent in the last three years. This is a $1.7 million business. Once customers see our quality, the product sells itself. We're volume-driven rather than sitting here gouging each individual client. I'd rather be busy, take less margin and have more clients.
Q: What's next?
A: The goal is to build a franchise model in other cities. As you saw upstairs, you would expect to walk into a print shop but instead you see flat-screen TVs, 8-by-10 movie screens, more of a career space where designers can come in and co-work. (On the street level, the office is set up almost like a cafe with high tables. The print shop is downstairs.)
We're looking to open up a creative cafe sometime soon, perhaps in University City.
Q: Who are the investors?
A: The initial investment is through an angel who was my mentor. We believe we can open other locations here off the cash flow from Replica. We're also launching a brand that's going to focus on custom wallpapering.
Q: When you talk about the brand, what exactly is the brand?
A: Replica Creative is a brand people can come to for ideas, a social brand that is on Twitter, and we host events in our space upstairs called Replica After Dark.