Beyond Band Shirts: How Midnight Supply Company Serves the Music Merchandising Niche

Midnight Supply Company

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Scheduling, quoting, approvals, payments, customer communication, automation and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.

 

All photos by Owen Weitzel

While many screen printers run shops because they’ve honed their craft and turned it into a business, a whole other subset of business owners enter the industry because of an interest in other worlds tangentially related to it. For Midnight Supply Company owner Christine Geronimo, a lifelong enthusiasm for live music and band merch evolved from a hobby to the catalyst for running the bustling Seattle print shop. 

Christine recently sat down with us to share her journey from avid concertgoer to print shop owner and how Printavo played a pivotal role. She also shares how her early curiosity about the relationship between printed merch and live events has come full circle now that Midnight Supply serves that niche. 

Connecting with Music Merchandise 

Christine spent a lot of time going to shows in college between 2010 and 2012 and felt a gradual pull to get involved in the scene as she watched movements like the Seattle hip-hop scene grow. After seeing a then-up-and-coming Macklemore, she said she was inspired to dive in. 

“I reached out to any sort of business involved with music,” she says, including radio stations, recording studios, and record stores. 

That persistence landed her an internship at Sub Pop Records, a stalwart in the Seattle music scene. From there, Christine worked a series of various music internships, including a stint working for the Pearl Jam fan club.

Eventually, things came full circle, and she landed an internship working for Macklemore, handling online fulfillment and picking up orders of shirts and swag from print shops. 

Regardless of genre or artist, one thing seemed to be constant across the music industry: Quality merchandise was critical to a band’s livelihood. 

“I knew it was so lucrative for independent artists to generate income,” she adds.  “It was literally about selling merchandise to get gas, to get meals, and to cover lodging on these tours.” 

From there, she says she saw a new opportunity. 

“I saw that merchandise was the void nobody wanted to handle,” she notes. 

Christine decided to start a business helping bands sell merchandise at shows and fulfill online orders. Over time, that experience led her to a job at a promotional products company where she served as an account manager.

At that point, Christine gained a broader perspective of the branded merchandise world, selling promotional products to businesses like schools and CrossFit gyms. However, her passion for music-related merchandise remained as she continued her professional career.
 

Joining Midnight Supply Company 

While still working at her promotional products job, Christine says she came across an opportunity literally right up the street in 2015. 

“Through my music connections, I knew somebody that had just bought an existing print shop, and they turned that into Midnight Supply Company,” she notes. 

Midnight Supply hired Christine to manage the shop, putting the screen-printing and apparel decorating worlds front and center. Now, instead of just picking up the printed shirts for bands, she maintained those orders from the ground up. 

Two years after joining Midnight Supply Company, they sold her the company. Within about two years of taking over the shop, the business grew even further. 

“The first thing I did was move us to a new facility and we’ve been growing ever since,” she notes. 

midnight supply company - christine

Christine at her shop, Midnight Supply Company.

Building a Customer List for Midnight Supply Company

Running full steam in the 2020s, Midnight Supply Company now serves countless touring musicians and local acts with various decorating services. Still focused heavily on screen printing, the business also does embroidery in-house, heat transfers, and some label and patch sewing.

midnight supply company 

“The biggest recent jump for us was lining up a new dryer because the one we had was from the original print shop,” Christine jokes. 

The staff has also expanded in printing, shipping, and receiving, as well as the screen department, so she and one other employee can focus primarily on sales and growing the business.

While Midnight Supply still specializes in music and entertainment clients, it’s expanded over the past four years to serve a broader set of customers. Some of that was by sheer necessity. 

Because the pandemic essentially wiped out the live music world, Christine and her team had to find ways to drum up business while venues closed and bands were off the road. 

“Hospitality and entertainment were nonexistent, so we had to shift to outdoor sports and construction companies,” she adds. “We were looking at what was listed as an essential business, which also led us to work with cannabis companies.” 

Before COVID, she says the shop had roughly $1 million in sales but saw a dip from 2020 to 2022. 

Now, the business is stabilizing with a healthy mix of e-commerce and live entertainment-related revenue. 

Calendars and Automations: Printavo Implementation at Midnight Supply Company

Since the shop has grown and moved locations, they implemented Printavo around 2018 to help keep operations nimble. 

“Because we have so many people involved now, Printavo is our main source of communication,” Christine says. “We use automation, production notes, job statuses, and mockups inside Printavo to save time and stay organized.”

One of the most significant changes she says she noticed was how the business was tracking and prioritizing orders. 

“It really was night and day having our calendar and mockups all in one place,” Christine says. “Prior to that, it was a Google Calendar and sheets of paper. If those papers got lost, we didn’t have any way to track them.”

She notes that Midnight Supply’s earlier system was mainly just a calendar with names and quantities listed on it.

“Now, every order in Printavo is identified by a number,” she adds. “That was crucial with shipping and receiving, so people didn’t get confused about which incoming packages were associated with.” 

The business has also streamlined the order-to-delivery window with automations. They’ve configured automations so that once a client pays a deposit, the team is notified for mockups, and when mockups are approved, the team is notified to order garments.


“Before automations, we just used verbal instructions or email,” she notes. “I’m sure Printavo saves us hours at this point having all the information in one place versus having to track it all down via email.”

Quality at the Forefront 

“If you want to save time, headaches, and confusion, Printavo helps by having automations, information, and communication all in one place.”  

In addition to implementing Printavo, Christine says having worked on the client end of branded merchandise has helped shape her keen attention to detail and quality. 

“I remember picking up a T-shirt order that had gotten burned out of the dryer, and we noticed discoloration. We knew it had to be fixed quickly,” she says. “When I got into the production side, quality control was so important.” 

The shop has also improved its proofing process now that tools like Printavo help keep orders organized. 

“Back then, we weren’t paying as much attention to Pantone, placement, and double-checking those things. Now they’re called out on our mockups,” she says. 

Looking Ahead and Continuing to Grow 

As the business closes in on a decade with Christine at the helm, she looks back at its evolution, where it’s arrived, and where it’s headed. 

“It feels really good to see our growth from servicing local musicians to touring musicians nationwide,” she states. “We’ve been able to serve the same clientele, not just local.” 

midnight supply company - shop photo 2

In the last few years, the business has secured jobs with big names like singer-songwriter Steve Lacy and comedian Ben Schwartz. Christine says the job for Lacy was one of the biggest orders they’ve printed. They even tapped other shops to complete a nationwide network that could handle the massive fulfillment requests. 

With a continued interest in bringing the community together, Christine says she’s also collaborating on a forthcoming conference that will elevate the representation of women of color in the decorated apparel industry. 

“I think it’s important to have that space for us and that I see people who look just like me represented because we’re never really highlighted in this industry,” she adds.

From the early days of working with local bands to get into shows for free to serving a growing list of customers in the music and entertainment world, Christine and Midnight Supply Company maintain their roots in Seattle with an eye on the nationwide tour circuit.

About Printavo

Printavo is simple shop management software. We help you streamline your business, keep jobs moving forward and your team on the same page.

Scheduling, quoting, approvals, payments, customer communication, automation and more. With Printavo, you’ll work smarter–not harder.

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