She serves up fresh digital prints

ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Amy Voloshin, co-owner and art director of Printfresh, has brought success to her digital-print shop by cultivating relationships with New York-based (and beyond) fashion firms.
ALEJANDRO A. ALVAREZ / STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Amy Voloshin, co-owner and art director of Printfresh, has brought success to her digital-print shop by cultivating relationships with New York-based (and beyond) fashion firms.
Posted: June 06, 2013

AMY VOLOSHIN OF Fishtown is co-owner and art director of Printfresh, which sells digital prints - original designs and vintage textiles - to major clothing brands. It occupies 6,000 square feet in a former box factory in North Philadelphia that Voloshin, 32, and husband Leo, 31, bought and renovated. The business, started with $25,000 from personal savings and family, ranked No. 23 on the 2013 Inner City 100 list of fast-growing small businesses compiled by the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City. Leo is CEO/CFO. I spoke with Amy.

Q: How did you come up with the idea for Printfresh?

A: I got a job at Urban Outfitters in 2003 designing prints and garments. In early 2006, I took a job art-directing at a studio in New York. But later that year, I came back here and started Printfresh with my husband.

Q: What does Printfresh do?

A: It's business-to-business. We create digital prints on a computer. A lot of it is done by hand at first - paintings, drawings - and scanned into a computer. We collect the designs, and our sales team goes to New York or LA.

Q: How often?

A: Probably four days a week to New York. Our target customer is any major apparel manufacturer that does more than $5 million in annual revenue. We don't do manufacturing. We only sell intellectual property, the concept of the design, such as an allover print or a T-shirt graphic. The designs cost $600 each, but embroidered designs can be $650 or higher.

Q: Who's the retail audience for your prints?

A: Women's, juniors' and girls' apparel, including swimwear.

Q: How many clients do you have, and who are some of them?

A: We have about 3,000 clients we connect with annually, but about 100 make up the bulk of our business, including Target, Macy's and Victoria's Secret.

Q: With whom do you compete?

A: Most firms that compete with us are in the United Kingdom, but our designers know the U.S. market better.

Q: What's behind the name?

A: The look of our studio is contemporary and clean. We do print, and fresh is an apt adjective.

Q: How many employees?

A: 22, mostly in design and sales.

Q: How big a business is this?

A: We had 2012 revenue of $1.5 million. Goal for 2013 is $2 million.

Q: Where do you see it headed?

A: In 10 years we'd like to be a $7 million company. This is a challenging business to grow.

Q: Why's that?

A: It requires a lot of people, and as a business owner, you have to decide what your comfort level is. If we grow to 100 employees, would we still have camaraderie in our corporate culture?

Q: What's next?

A: We've introduced a service studio, we now have a CAD [computer-aided design] artist who makes prints factory-ready and creates custom designs.


On Twitter: @MHinkelman

Online: ph.ly/YourBusiness

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