When you visit Trust Printshop in Ft. Worth, TX, you immediately pick up on how organized, neat, and clean the entire shop is.
But there’s also a strong aesthetic and visual sensibility, too.
Owner Matt Lucas has dialed in every last detail to create an incredible screen printing shop. From lighting to inks to spoilage to employees, Matt has thoughtfully approached his business with a powerful mentality: quality comes first in all things.
They run a clean, lean, and focused shop. Trust is living proof that it doesn’t have to be hectic at work!
It’s inspiring to see a business owner so invested in crafting an environment that inspires delight.
“There’s a place for me here and I feel that. There’s work to be done. That’s what drives me,” Matt said. The pride and genuine passion that the Trust team has comes across from the moment you step foot in the shop.
“We’re not a sweatshop company”
With 5000K-rated lights, a window in every room to provide natural lighting, and an intentional flow to the entire layout, Trust’s team use every last inch of their 14,000 sq. ft. screen printing shop.
But that doesn’t mean the business is frantic. They don’t run at a breakneck pace, and they don’t take high-volume contract work. “Our business is not set up for contract printing,” Matt said.
This focus on a good environment translates to high-quality work. By refusing to stress their workers or stretch their capacity to its limit, Trust maintains consistent and reproducible results.
That’s why they’ve standardized their printing stations. “We have the same stuff at each station, everyone knows how it works,” Matt said. Any printer could jump in to any station and fulfill their role.
“Our spoilage formula has factory damage built-in”
Here’s a fascinating accomplishment. Spoilage isn’t an issue in their shop. Instead, Trust has to fight the major suppliers to make sure they can keep up with his standards!
Trust guarantees a set quantity for every job they do. They’ve even built factory damage into their pricing and spoilage model. The goal is simple, but execution is tough: they want to provide a perfect experience for every customer.
Sometimes that means a little bit of pain. Matt said, “Whatever the quantity is for every size in the order, we’re going to guarantee it. Sometimes we’re re-setting up jobs.”
Additionally, the Trust team pulls one sample from every print job they do. This ensures they always have a robust stock of sample jobs on stock to show customers. It’s also a great way to have quarterly donation drives.
A web presence to match the dialed-in shop
Trust Printshop has an incredible website for their screen printing business. It’s both functional – with a custom-built user-interface – and great to look at. Vibrant colors, clear images, and a simple layout lead you to one conclusion: this is a shop that can earn your business.
They’re believers in telling the stories that their customers come to them with. The “Our Work” section breaks down who their customers are, what Trust did for them, and shows you very clearly the products and styles that the customers chose.
This is a great example of social proof, but it’s also a wonderful way to signal that you’re completely focused on your customers. We can’t advise you enough to check out what Trust does with their website. Though it may appear like a minimal website, it makes a big statement about their brand, their mission, and their services.
Tips for keeping your shop as clean as Trust Printshop
Matt will be the first to tell you that excellence is not an accident. Keeping a clean shop isn’t an accident, either. You can’t just expect it to happen.
Matt has some simple advice for keeping a clean screen printing shop:
- Use spray web adhesive for fleece, and only if absolutely necessary. Spray adhesives are a mess. Minimize how much you use them.
- Invest in roll-on adhesive and use it. Again, spray adhesives really make shops dirty. Using roll-on adhesives is much cleaner.
- Keep your machines clean. Intentionally include cleaning as part of your regular screen printing machine maintenance.
- Schedule cleaning time. Regardless of when you schedule it, actually set aside at least half an hour for cleaning each week.
- Do “15 minute resets” at the end of shifts. This is a practice that comes from the restaurant industry. In the last 15 minutes, take stock of what needs to be replenished, cleaned, organized, or otherwise attended to – and fix it.
Editor’s note: We recently wrote 3 Ways Successful Print Shops Stay Organized for Impressions Magazine. It’s based on our visits to dozen of successful screen printing businesses!
“A little bit slower, in the beginning, to ultimately be faster”
Matt Lucas and the impeccable Trust Printshop team have built something special.
It’s a fine-tuned, detail-oriented, beautifully efficient screen printing shop that is set up to serve customers and make employees do their best work. They took time to get things right with their process – from the layout of the building to the lighting – rather than rush through and discover they had grown too fast.
Where does that inspiration come from? Why does Matt approach everything with such meticulous care?
“I don’t want to just do things. It’s an opportunity to do something nice, to encourage someone to do whatever they do nicely, to inspire someone in whatever they’re doing. It’s an opportunity to put in the work. We can cheat things all day, but you know it in your heart when you’re taking the shortcut. That just degrades my self-worth and what I stand for.”
A big thanks to Matt and the Trust team for taking the time to chat with us. We really had a great time seeing their shop after watching their brand grow and flourish over the past few years.
Trust isn’t a Printavo customer, but they’re a shop that we deeply admire. They’re doing something that we think the rest of the industry should look to as an example.
We’re always looking to visit print shops, tell their story, and learn from their unique experiences. Check out some of the other incredible print shops we’ve visited recently:
- Legacy Merch in Texas has built a growth machine during the past ten years
- A Small Print Shop is Denver’s clean, organized, and hardly small print shop
- Tonic Studios in Columbus generated some controversy with their take on pricing
- Shout Out Loud Prints went from 70+ hours a week to sanity (and he shares how)
Want us to visit your shop? Drop us a line. We’d love to come by.