A year ago I’m not sure how I envisioned this year going, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t imagine it went like this. It’s truly been the most challenging year I’ve had in business but at the same time the most rewarding and promising. I think it’s come down to the fact that though we have been in business for 13 years, right now we are at a point in our journey where things are starting all over again. We’ve been lucky to be a part of over 100,000 of your startup screen printing journeys, and even though startups are challenging they bring the most exciting, rewarding, and memorable times in one’s life. Through all of the challenge and change, I’ve learned the most about myself, our team, and you/our customer and industry. I’ve never seen the future clearer and brighter.
Moving and changing.
Yup, we moved 6 times, the first three were with ink as we on-boarded and perfected the Wilflex product line. The next was opening up our Chicago distribution center, followed by moving our Washington distribution center to Portland to make room for the final move of Riley Hopkins manufacturing into our HQ in Vancouver, WA. For all of you who’ve moved, you know that doing one move in a year can be challenging. Six moves was strait insanity, but as we finish organizing and putting everything and everyone in place in their new homes, it’s good to know we are staged in better spots for a roqin 2018.
On the product side, we are constantly listening to your feedback and working with our R&D team and vendors to improve the quality and value of the products we provide. This year we focused a lot on ink as we built out and improved our Wilflex product line. The Wilflex Epic Lava’s series has grown to over 20 colors, we upgraded our Lava Low Bleed to the new Perfect White, and for all of the Original Meteor White fans out there we brought back Meteor White Classic.
Through these changes and moves, if you experienced delays, missed shipments, or not properly poured ink that resulted from these moves that we haven’t had a chance to make right yet please do let us know, connect with our success team or even shoot me an email at email@example.com and we will get you taken care of!
Back to the core
One thing that we know makes Ryonet different and special in this industry is the journey we get to be a part of in the startup and growth life cycle of a screen printer. Screen printing is how we started and the connection to you, the screen printer is what makes us special. You are our core and we have decided put a concerted effort to align the resources and focus to strengthen you and our relationship with you.
The team and being lean!
We’re excited to build out our screen print-focused team at Ryonet. Throughout next year we will be refining and strengthening Ryonet’s core business as its own business unit with a full team, resources, systems and processes to drive a better experience for you! Along with our team, we are leaning out our processes and systems to take out the waste and ad value. We’ve been fortunate to have been taken under the wing of PolyOne (Wilflex’s parent company) to have two of our team members Chris and Tami certified as Lean Black Belts this year and help us build out a lean plan for Ryonet. Also, at SGIA this year, Richard Greaves recommended a book called 2 Second Lean to me! Wow, what a great read and one you can learn from for FREE here. There is so much opportunity in this industry eliminate the 8 wastes and 5S operations and we are excited to continue to refine and implement lean at Ryonet.
I have to give big props to our marketing team who coined our enhanced membership program “The Band!” This year we will continue to build out the value of this core part of Ryonet with not just additional “perks” like special pricing for Band Members, but will also roll out business processes and tools to help you run your shops leaner, meaner, and cleaner than ever before!
A new world
With a stronger team and business focused on you at our core, we are excited to start something new with the opportunity to continue to build and develop “A Better Shirt, for a Better Tomorrow” with Allmade. Allmade launched in March of this year with a successful Indiegogo campaign that raised over $120,000 for our first production run. Since that start, you have already helped create over 40 living wage jobs in Haiti that add quality lives to over 300 Haitians and keep these families together! Impressively with the garments, we have already made we have used over 1,000,000 recycled plastic bottles! Allmade now has over 100 early adopters, many of which are already printing Allmade Shirts like Threadbare Print House that is located in Eugene, OR. Learn how you can join us in making the world a better place one t-shirt at a time at www.allmade.com.
Stay hungry, Stay foolish
If any of you have ever received an email from me, you’ll notice this phrase after my name. Originally quoted by Steve Jobs from the Whole World Catalog in his Stanford Commencement Speech in 2005, this has been the raley call of my life since I heard it shortly before Steve’s death 5 years ago. It is hunger that drives us to be better. It is foolishness in the eyes of the comfortable to put ourselves out there in ways that have the opportunity to do so. It is this foolishness that continues to drive our hunger and it is this cycle that creates the things in this world that change lives and make a difference. This year, through screen printing, I got the incredible opportunity to connect and start to get to know Patti Jobs, the younger sister of this legendary creator and visionary whose companies products, movies, and experiences have touched us all. It was through her own mission to make the world a better place for someone she knew and wanted give a hand up to by helping him grow his screen printing business that we connected and I was inspired all over again by a member of the Job’s family.
So as we wrap up one year and start up another I challenge you all, who I am lucky to be on this crazy t-shirt journey with, to stay hungry, stay foolish and to make it better and change the world, one print shop, one screen printer, and one t-shirt at a time!