A message from Founder Len Naumovich: The History of Primo Designs
In the Beginning
I started Primo Designs, printing t-shirts in the basement of my Uncle’s duplex in January of 1985. I had learned to screen print on a single color wooden table top press in my garage as a hobby. My Uncle Joe agreed to help me finance the purchase of a 4 color press, 4’ dryer and a vertical camera with a film processor.
This was the beginning of a journey that has lasted for over 38 years at this point. It was a one man shop, where we did art with Letraset, burned screens with grow lights, washed them out in a shower stall and reclaimed them in the bay of a car wash.
In order to survive, we had to “Serve Others” in any possible way. Just give us a chance.
We had to:
- “Solve Problems” like learning how to print on a hat or nylon jackets or using number stencils.
- "Compete” with a few local printers, hoping to one day print as well as they did.
- “Grind” through every job, with very little industry knowledge and even less business background, to make a little bit of extra money.
- “Focused and Disciplined” enough to keep reading and experimenting to develop procedures that we could depend on to print quality products. That was our existence in 1985.
Fast forward to 2019, we had 32 employees, 15,000 square feet of production in screen printing, embroidery and digital printing. We had a retail location on the “West Side”, a newly renovated back building, a sales team, art department, printers and embroiderers. We were a growing company.
March of 2020 brought the Covid-19 pandemic, and we would never be the same again. We had the same core values, but they had to be used very differently, to help us change our business in the middle of a worldwide shutdown.
We learned that “Serving Others” meant serving the customers who were still needing our products and serving the very minimal staff who had to produce them. We learned to “Solve Problems” by being efficient and doing more with less. We found that our greatest “Competition” was leaving our old ways behind and learning new ways to communicate with our customers and our fellow employees. We had to “Grind” through days of staff shortages, supply chain issues and economic uncertainty. We needed great “Discipline and Focus” to keep from slipping back into our comfortable and familiar ways of doing business in our community.
Our Plan for Success
This is an amazing story of a 38-year-old business, learning a new way to measure what matters, developing the next group of leaders, getting people in the right seats where they can use their talents to reach their goals and help the company grow. This is a story of new ideas, new markets, automating what is possible and training the processes that will make us successful.
It is time for the next generation to grow from contributing, to leading. It is time for us to grow new leaders from within the company, and for them to develop leaders from their peers. It is an ongoing process of growth, both as individuals and as a business. That is our plan for success.
I believe in all of you.
Owner, Founder, Primo Designs