2014 August

Local Business Spotlight

Building a Responsible Company

Flowfold creates authentic, longer-lasting carrying gear. We design our products so that you can enjoy where you go without worrying about what you are carrying.

Peaks Island is the ideal testing ground for the items we create because of the exceptional carrying challenges of living on an unbridged island.

Flowfold products are built with the same high tech racing sailcloths used by the world’s sailing elite. As our production grows so does our network of sailmakers, racing teams and individuals whose waste we put to use. We are proud to continue the tradition of Maine made quality and solid craftsmanship. All Flowfold products are designed and manufactured in Maine, USA.

Our commitment to making a positive impact on our community and the environment is how we give meaning to the mantra: Carry the Future.

Personalized and Customized Mailers At Your Speed (And In Your Budget)

Are you stingy with your marketing dollars? I don’t mean to imply that you are cheap, just that when you spend marketing dollars to get your message out, you make sure that your investment gets to a target customer.

One of the most effective marketing investments is still the humble postcard. In the digital age, advertisements that people can hold in their hand are sometimes more effective than electronic emails and web ads. These days, using plain printed material delivered to customer’s old fashioned mailboxes still works.

The cost and logistics of using postcards can be difficult. Most companies have postcards printed in bulk to get the cost down then ship the cards to a mail-house  which does a mail-merge and prints mailing labels on the postcards. This involves several steps and inevitably, you have more cards left over or worse, not enough.

One easy way to do targeted mailouts is to us ‘Variable Printing’ where a company (such as ours) prints your postcards on demand and the mailing information is printed on each card at the same time the card is printed. Need 50 cards mailed? No problem! Need 5,000? Still not a problem. Need them shipped in several batches over random periods of time? Easy.

Variable printing gives you the ability to print different material for anyone on your list. If you are a Realtor, for instance, you can print postcards with photos of urban condos on the cards you mail to people who live downtown and cards with photos of single family homes to customers who live in the suburbs.

Its one of the conveniences of using a fully digital printer: you can print anything you need on demand and unlike using offset printing where you have to order large quantities, you can send me your mailing list and several postcard files and we can split them up however you like. You only pay for what you need – no waste!

I’ll warn you, though: this is guaranteed to make you stingy!

Don’t Be Tempted…

These days, it is tempting to order printing from an online printer.

They often advertise very cheap rates and have flashy websites.

What most people don’t know is that online printers have hidden costs, high shipping costs, lengthy turnaround times, widely varying quality, no quality control and often very poor customer service.

In other words, you get what you pay for!

In today’s digital world, high quality printing – just like you get from online – is available in just about every city. If you are not a designer and don’t work with printers on a daily basis, chances are, you need some helpful feedback and assistance to make sure your print job looks as good as you need it to.

Here are five ways locally run and operated printers beat large online printers every time:

  • With an out-of-town printer, you have no relationship with the person running your order. With a local, independent print shop, you get someone with some emotional equity built up in the business and their relationships with clients, especially longtime customers. You won’t be just a number or get lost in the shuffle. This means a real person who cares quality checks your order.
  • With an out-of-town printer, you might see emailed digital proofs, which we all know can’t convey depth and color with the same accuracy as a printed proof. Local, independent print shops give their customers a chance to see and touch physical proofs and discuss any changes on the spot and face-to-face with the person who actually did the printing.
  • Online printers can take 2-6 weeks to deliver your job. Need someone today or within 24 hours? A local shop can do backflips for you and make you look great by getting you a perfect print job at a reasonable cost when you need it.
  • If you decide you need extras or other modifications to your order, you’re likely to fill out a complicated new order form or pay an extra fee when dealing with a large out-of-town printers. Independents can adjust on the fly with a mere phone call. It’s just way easier, and quicker, too.
  • There’s always the personal touch and the satisfaction of knowing you’re supporting a locally owned and operated business that keeps your dollars circulating in the local economy. When you buy local and independent, you’re doing your part to help your community stay vibrant. Doesn’t that just feel better than filling out a form online and waiting for the mailman to show up with a box?