Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Jouanna Wells, Co-Owner of Artistic Apparel, Graphics & Sign, located in Aurora, CO, USA.
What's your business, and who are your customers?
Artistic Apparel, Graphics & Signs (AAGS) is a branding and marketing specialist who produces signs, banners, custom apparel, and promotional products to support the marketing of businesses and organizations. Since starting our business in 2008, we have increased our product offerings over the years to meet the needs of our customers and provide a full-service marketing and branding solutions portfolio. Our customers are businesses, organizations, and individuals looking for unique, high-quality branding items or custom garments.
Tell us about yourself
We started this business idea in 2008 with a 6-person partnership focused on fraternity and sorority apparel. Over the years, we transitioned from our basements to purchasing an already established business in 2013. A year later, we bought another business and merged the two. This expanded our product offerings and propelled us into working with schools, businesses, and other organizations.
Our current motivation to do our work is intertwined with a strong desire to be the best in the industry and provide a great work environment for our employees. We have become a union printshop to provide a pension for our employees because they have longevity with us. We also employ neurodiverse individuals and want to support them into retirement.
What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?
We are very proud of our union partnership to ensure our employees have a retirement when they are of retirement age. We have also developed a partnership with the Colorado Neurodiverse Chamber of Commerce. Our partnership will help us support our employees who have learning differences. Currently, we have 3 employees who have autism or a learning difference. As we continue to hire, we are committed to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and will focus our efforts on this population.
What's one of the hardest things that comes with being a business owner?
As a small business, meeting monthly revenue needs is always a tension. Especially when you have employees, you know that someone else is depending on you to pay their bills. We are grateful for every customer that walks into our door, and we try to make sure they know they are appreciated by providing high-quality products, timely product delivery, and efficient communication.
What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?
Appreciate every customer, value your employees through compensation and a healthy working environment, and set personal time boundaries to ensure you are not trying to do everything, be everything to everybody, and not take care of yourself.
Where can people find you and your business?
If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solo or small business entrepreneur that you'd like to share, then please answer these interview questions. We'd love to feature your journey on these pages.
Turn your craft into recurring revenue with Subkit. Start your subscription offering in minutes and supercharge it with growth levers. Get early access here.