Company: STB Screen Printing and Embroidery
Year Founded: 1997
Founded by: Mark and Marya Hultgren
Location: STB. 10225 Chicago Circle, Bloomington, MN 55420
Number of Employees: Two full-time employees
Annual Revenue: $1.2 million
Facebook: Learn More on STB’s Facebook Page
What are the primary products and services provided by STP Screen Printing and Embroidery?
We started by offering screen printed T-shirts, embroidery and running the banquets for the State High School tournaments in Minnesota. We then expanded to uniforms for companies all over Minnesota and as far as Connecticut and internationally to Yellow Tail Wines.
Besides embroidery and screen printing, our services and products include: banners, car and truck wraps, hats, pens, coffee mugs and other promotional items.
What inspired you to start your own business?
I have always wanted to own my own business and started out when I was seven years old, I went out trying to get side jobs, including a job picking up dog poop in a ladies yard. I worked for her for seven years and when she passed away, she left me her house. I rented that out and used that money to help myself through college. I sold the house at 21 after I graduated from Augsburg College and bought in as a 50% partner in a Burger King franchise in Bloomington, MN.
I’ve tried several other ways of making money along the way including; a ticket business, buying and selling houses, a blacktop company that I owned for 35 years. In addition, I have a passion for hockey which has led me to doing the TV stats for the Minnesota Wild and I coached high school hockey for 27 years.
What sets your company apart to attract new customers and retain your current customer
One of our keys to success in attracting new customers and retaining our current customers is turning around all of our screen-printing orders within 24 to 48 hours. We also work really hard to keep our operating costs and overhead low so that we can offer our services at a great price while maintaining healthy margins.
One of the primary ways we accomplish keeping our costs low is I meet with customers during the day to sell our services and print the shirts at night. This allows us to keep our overhead rent expense extremely low, by renting space in the evenings from another company that uses the space during the day. In addition, we pay a lot of attention to how we source our raw materials, garments and other products to keep our costs lower.
How did you finance your business?
I have started a number of business ventures over the years, and I rarely borrow money to get the business started. I’ve been able to do a great job of saving money so that I can fund the business. In order to make the most money, I work to find a strategy to capitalize on the opportunity.
What would you do differently, had you known ahead of time?
One of the biggest lessons I learned was from when I was trying to buy property in Florida in the early 2000’s. It was in an area that I didn’t know very well and I got caught up in the hype and didn’t have any way of controlling it. That is where I lost a significant amount of money.
What advice you would give to new start-up entrepreneurs thinking about a start-up.
I always ask lots of questions and talk to a lot of people before I make any big decisions, but I’m never afraid of jumping in and doing something. I don’t need to take a long time to say yes, let’s try that. I treat everybody the way I would want to be treated and treat every person like they are my next best friend. As a result, I have gained a lot of great friends along the way.
I have found many ways over the last 50+ years to make a dollar, start a business and turn a small profit. Some ventures have been more successful than others, and I’ve made a lot of money, while on other ventures I have lost money, but have been able to learn and gain experience.