Cristina started a “weekend” business for some extra money, which grew and grew. Read her story below.
What does your business do?
Amazon Services Inc., also known as Amazon Printers, is a full service commercial printing company, certified nationally and locally as a small business and woman/minority owned business. We have a wide range of clients, from Fortune 500 corporations to entrepreneurial start-ups and contribute to help some local non-profit organizations. Our talent and expertise comes from over 25+ years in the industry, working with some of the finest crafts people in our industry. We use fine products to create durable, reliable and quality pieces that our clients feel proud to demonstrate and continue to highly recommend us to their peers. At Amazon, we grow with the changes in the industry, providing the latest in innovations, designs and all moving at the same pace as your industry. Amazon is highly known for its strategic solutions to unique projects and deadlines, this is one detail that sets us apart from others in our industry.
We provide the full branding for our clients, from the creative design of their logo or graphics, onto their printed pieces and continuing with building and/or vehicle signage. Amazon is constantly looking for new products to showcase as promotional pieces that our clients could advertising their logo. Including wood pieces engraved with logos, hotel menus, calendars and custom made items. Let us show you what we are made of… quality work with personalized service.
What made you decide to start your own business?
Initially my business was just to supplement additional income, I was working for a politician, and studying at the local university, and this was just as a “weekend” – quick cash maker. My partner had a client that was selling a typesetting machine (no graphic computers then), and it was going to be a $4K investment to buy it. We decided to pay it with each partner putting 50% for an equal share. We went to a technical college and within 3 months of a 6 months course, we thought we were ready. Not really, but with very patient client, and reading up on the educational material, we were able to start our business. And from there, it just grew and grew and grew.
What have been your biggest challenges so far?
Some of my biggest challenges have been taking over as sole owner in 2001, going through a difficult financial hardship in 2009 with an IRS audit, and building and zoning declaring my warehouse having an illegal structure after being here and buying it this way for over 15 years+, and now having under the greatest financial hardship time in history for our business, on top of that, hire architects and engineers to redraw site plans and get new permit and bring our premisses up to code. Between that and the IRS audit in the same year and will lack of funds available, those were the most difficult 2 years of business for me.
How did you overcome these challenges?
I’m not out of the woodworks yet, but everyday I take it one day at a time, I’m working really hard with all my resources available to get financial backing for the upcoming construction/destruction phase. Lack of financing is extremely difficult and my project has a limited time frame before the County puts liens on our storefronts for not completing the jobs in their time frame. But I have taken the steps to move forward with contacting all my women organizations, SBA and banking – getting help from small business resources. Working hard and never giving up, that’s my philosophy!
What advice or tips would you give to other business owners?
I think we all need to work together and help each other through mentoring, networking and giving pro bono assistance, especially to the start ups.
Who inspires you?
powerful women like Julie Stav that is a financial advisor on radio, and has the most humble heart.
Get in touch with Cristina below…
Amazon’s web page: www.amazonprinters.com
Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/AmazonPrinters