By Nikki Bardwell
Garland Printing opened its doors in 1953 with a hand fed press and a linotype machine. The next year, owner Breezy Bruesehoff proudly purchased a modern Heidleberg, the fastest platen press in the world.
Mark Sleizer now proudly stands next to the machine his grandfather purchased and still uses the Heidleberg, along with the massive Ryobi offset color press. Over 50 years later, the three generation family owned and operated printing company strives to hold true to its mission of giving customers more for their dollars, owner Mark Sleizer said.
Garland Printing provides customers not only with high-quality, full color commercial printing, Sleizer said, but also adds a personal touch by walking the customers through the printing process step by step.
"In here you get to know someone," Sleizer said. "Our staff is what makes us special."
Customers can walk through the doors of Garland Printing into the warm, family atmosphere with just an idea or their own design. The Garland staff takes it from there to create a professional looking piece.
"We see a job through with enthusiasm and that's our reputation," said Sleizer.
Garland Printing does most of the printing for local businesses such as The Ruby Slipper and The Tin Man Gallery.
"Garland Printing is accessible and easy to work with," said Mallory Schulyler, an employee at the Tin Man Gallery. "They do all of our monthly postcard printing and even make prints of some of our artworks."
The customers are not the only ones who are happy. The nine-member staff reports that they love their jobs. Dave Sams has worked at the shop for over 33 years. Sleizer only started working at Garland Printing 29 years ago at age 15 as an after-school job. He believes the atmosphere with a long-term staff is one of teamwork, enthusiasm and a genuine joy of helping clients.
"Our employees are happy and like working here," Sleizer said. "We are an at-work family."
In the highly competitive world of professional printing, Sleizer sees building client loyalty as one of the keys to success. The staff at Garland Printing includes extra services free of charge, such as one-on-one, sit-down meetings with design experts to discuss things that need fixed before the printing can start.
"Our return clientele is who keeps us going," said Sleizer."We appreciate the business we get and try to keep our customers happy." The staff works hard to keep prices comparable to larger printing companies by hunting for the best prices for paper, buying in bulk, and even recycling.
"We have not been directly affected by the economic down turn," Sleizer said. "But indirectly yes. Sometimes when the economy is down printing may go up due to the need for companies to advertise."
But right now there are more printers in Spokane than jobs and the need to come in with the lowest bid is important. The standard price for a print job is usually the cost to print the job plus 30 percent. Now, Garland Printing has sometimes gone as low as the cost plus 10 percent to win a bid. That's the lowest rate the company can go without losing money.
"The key is to keep a positive attitude, never give up and always trying to better the business," said Sleizer. "And every job is done with a smile."