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Upgrading to Your Greener Future Has Never Been Easier

In today’s blog, You’re going to explore the journey of John Gibbs, the Owner and Founder of Logo Daddy Graphics in St. Louis, Missouri and learn about his decision and experience switching from blue to Green, his impactful experience with ROQ, and the strategies he uses to overcome challenges and run a successful business. 

Outside of Logo Daddy Graphics

Just like with John, ROQ has helped hundreds of Apparel Decorators upgrade their aging production fleets to ROQ, re-train their workforce to compete in the modern marketplace, and build their legacies to boldly #PressOnward to a greener future. Learn how you can too by following our easy upgrade process here.


John Gibbs, Owner & Founder, Logo Daddy Graphics


We are in St. Louis, Missouri. I’m John Gibbs, I am the founder of Logo Daddy Graphics. Being in business for 17 years has a lot of challenges. Just from a staffing perspective, you want to find people that are going to be with you long term, want to find people that you can trust. You want to find partners that you can rely on in this industry, it's not easy to do that. I think that's one of the biggest challenges in our industry now: so many people talk about trying to find help. At Logo Daddy, we've built a nice culture, we're very fortunate, we have a lot of long-term employees. We have employees who have been with us for all 17 years, we've had 14-year employees, 12-year employees. A lot of our people, once they're here, they don't leave, and I'm proud of that. I think that you do have to build a culture, I think you have to provide a nice place to work, a nice space to come to. And ultimately, I think that you have to lead by example and hold yourself to a high standard, hold all of your team to a high standard as well.


We've been very fortunate with our staff to do that and I just think that that's really the key to success, getting the right people. I've been fortunate to meet the right people. I think ultimately, that's what brought me to ROQ. We were a blue shop and we started going to shows and learning, training, and doing different things. And everybody I kept meeting, they became my friends and I would call them to ask questions. And it was typically all the guys that I wasn't buying equipment from and I found that just becoming good friends with them, they would guide me through a lot of things. They would offer support, they would call and check on me all the time, I think that's important. So I think finding that, as a partner, with your equipment manufacturers or whatever it is, whether it's ink, whether it's equipment, no matter what.


Grimco, all their staff has been great with us, ROQ, Ross, Ryan, everybody, they've always treated me fantastic. So I'm really proud to be part of the team now, and honestly, it's been one of the keys to our success. I was just telling somebody that, to be able to transition everything in this shop from one shop to the next and not miss a minute of production, I don't know anybody that has been able to do that. It's very difficult and I wouldn't have been able to do that if it wasn't for the ROQ team working with us so closely, to make it happen.


When we knew we needed more space, we were going to move our entire building and I'd already become great friends with Ryan and Ross and everybody at ROQ, and I knew that I was going to make the switch to green at some point. And to be honest with you, it was kind of funny at the time, because I didn't really know why, other than I like those guys and I like the team, you know what I mean? I like the camaraderie, I like the education. I like that every time I go to a class, their name is at the top of the list as a sponsor, those things mean something to me. I know that they're kind of putting their money where their mouth is, and so I liked that about the company. Once meeting them, we decided that we were going to change things around - it was sort of like everybody, all hands on deck, trying to figure out how to do that. So how do we leave one shop and then move to another shop and not miss any production and change everything out? Because you have a lot of gear you have to sell.


Logo Daddy ROQ Printhead

I started working with Ross and with Ryan, on getting the new equipment set up and what was available. What could we get here? How did we want to do it? I started working with Grimco, to figure out that piece, to see what equipment we needed for our dark room, things like that. And it took a while, but we pulled it all together. We were able to set up our entire facility here, which is 22,000 square feet and have it operational. Before our team ever walked in this building, everything was running and tested. And then we shut down production at our old facility on a Friday and stopped running M&R's and we started on Monday morning running ROQ's, at the new facility. And we didn't miss any production, we already had shirts stacked, carted, sorted, it was pretty crazy.


I said earlier, I didn't really know why I was switching, the truth is, I had been to a million classes that I saw ROQ presses operate. I've seen a lot of M&R, I've seen MHM, I've seen all the other companies.


All I knew was that I could print on anything and I knew that the equipment must be good, because a lot of people are using it. But to be very honest, I was pleasantly surprised and I think my staff was as well. The ROQ equipment is fantastic, it's faster setups, I think that our team learned, probably in less than a week's turn, it almost felt like what we have always been doing. I have printers that have been printing for 35 years in this industry and in a few days time they were already sort of bragging or boasting about the ROQ. What things that they liked, instead of coming and telling me all the things they hated about the new equipment, they were telling me things that they liked and I thought that was pretty great. And we've never looked back, honestly, we've had great productivity, I think we've increased our productivity quite a bit. Set up times are way faster, our processes, we've dialed in, with the new equipment, and it's like, even myself, even when I have to jump on press and do something. If there's a sample that has to go out, it's fast set up times, it's just easy to use, very user-friendly. Anytime I've ever had an issue, when we have had an issue, it gets handled very quickly, I love that. When I call somebody and say, "Hey, I need something," I get a call right back. The relationship that I've had with these guys and the ROQ team, is just incredible, you know what I mean? These guys are my friends, literally, they're some of my best friends.


I just don't worry about equipment anymore. I know if I need a part, it'll be here, I know if I need advice, it'll be here. I think everybody likes doing business with their friends, that's why your customers do business with you, right? If I had a customer that didn't like me, they probably wouldn't continue to buy apparel from me. And so that's really the part that I like most about the ROQ. But equipment's just machines and there's more to selling something than just... the T-shirt that we sell is  just what you're going to wear on your back, but it's the experience in buying that T-shirt that makes a difference.


We probably could have made the switch before, I think the thing I was most scared of making a switch, like any other business owner, you have a lot of money invested in your equipment. Can I get the right amount of money back out of my equipment? Is it even worth anything now? Would somebody buy it? That was the reason we probably didn't switch sooner, is because I thought I couldn't afford to, but I found out that you can afford to. And now, I am so thankful that I made that decision, because the difference in our production now, versus where we were at before, is hands down, night and day. The amount of apparel that we can produce in a day, with the new equipment, is probably, and I honestly feel like it's double from the equipment that we had. Not to say that we had the best equipment that was on the market then and I feel like we do now. So that's part of it. We went from a Ford Escort to, probably, a Lamborghini, but it's nice. I'm glad I made that switch, it took me a long time to decide to do it, but it was one of the best choices I've ever made.


I always tried to keep the business small, but it was for a personal reason. I have a kiddo, who had a health issue, a pretty serious one. And so while we were tackling that health issue, I just wanted to keep the business maintainable and stay good. Have good employees, maintain good customers, but I never wanted it to get any bigger than that, I was pretty happy just being small.


Logo Daddy

Once he won that battle, once we were out of the woods on that and everything was good, I had always told myself, "Hey, that kind of stuff is scary." Like when I think about business, nothing in business is scary to me, I have so many people that go, "Why would you buy this big building and you've invested so heavily and the times are tough right now and interest rates are up and everything's bad." Nothing about business is scary, if you have a sick child, that's scary. You can't fix it, no amount of money is going to fix it. I told myself, when he was not doing well, that if he could be better, nothing about business would ever scare me or stop me again. And so once he was good, we started growing and that's the phase that I'm in right now, it's like a growth phase, and I just want to keep going. That's why switching to ROQ and being able to get this building, being able to do all this, this is just the first step in what I have planned, but there's really nothing scary to business.


If you're debating whether to make the move on a piece of equipment, that's like one of the smallest things you can think about. Get the equipment, go make money, that's what you need to do. And that's how you succeed.


For me, it goes back to what I was saying about the classes and all the sponsorships and everything that ROQ's involved in. I just think it shows that they care, it shows that ROQ cares, because why when I go to a water-based camp - is their name at the top of the list? And why when I go to a trade show, are they putting on a lot of the education and having a lot of the speakers and doing all these things in the industry, right? I think that that's the key, right, like I'm in this industry, I want to learn more about it, I want to get more education, I want to talk to people that are more influential in this industry, that can help me. That has been there, have done things I haven't yet, and ROQ has always sort of facilitated my ability to do that. So that's one thing that's powerful for me, as a company, I think that's impressive, that they do that. And I think they started doing that at a time when it necessarily wasn't the most popular thing to do, right. None of the other companies started doing that or had to do that. But ROQ started investing in education, investing in trade shows and just getting people in to see the equipment, really getting people excited about our industry. So many young people, when I talk to people at young shops, everybody has ROQ. So there's a reason for that and it's because ROQ was the company that was reaching out and getting our industry excited about screen printing and about the next generation of screen printers, and that excites me. Hopefully these are the crew that are going to someday run my business, when I'm not here anymore.


So I love that, I love getting young people involved in this industry, I love all those kinds of partnerships. We partner with schools, local colleges, and try to get here to see what screen printing is. Even at our event this weekend, it's like we want to do shop tours, because we want people to walk in and ask questions about, "Hey, what are these big green octopus looking things?" Let us show you, let us teach you more about it.  And I like that I can say, "Hey, ROQ is hosting a class and this, you guys should go," or, "There's a trade show, and when you get there, go see our friends at ROQ." They're always doing something good in the industry, and I think I value that more than anything. And it shows that they're putting their money where their mouth is. 


I wouldn't say I bought into it, but I think the thing that I always heard, or one thing that made me nervous about going into ROQ was, everybody talks about M&R or whatever. M&R has been this giant, for a long, long time, they have great equipment, they build fantastic people. I guess, my concern was always, is the ROQ equipment really as good as everyone is saying that it is? Does it set up as fast? Does it last as long? Does it do all these things? And I'll be honest with you, one of my biggest surprises is, after we made the switch - I had some very talented printers that were stopping by our facility, to see us and just people that have been in the industry a long, long time. And I won't mention whose name it was, but one guy said, "ROQ's are printer's presses. It's the press that you want if you're a printer." All the presses print, but ROQ gives you more ability to dial things in, it's easier, it's faster, it's a printer's press. And so, I guess, that helped, knowing that other guys in the industry felt that way about the equipment.


If you buy a car, you want your friends to feel like you bought one of the nicest cars. It's got a great safety rating, it's got great reviews and all those things, but you also want it to hold up to real world stuff. And we've been using these presses now, only for a year, but I can tell you that these presses are going to last  long, well after a lot of the equipment we've had in the past, would last. I mean, we have a press that has a million impressions on it, and these presses would go for millions and millions more impressions.


It's fantastic equipment. You want to be solid in your purchase, you know what I mean? You want to feel confident that you made the right decision. And thus far, I don't have any question that we didn't make the right decision in switching to ROQ.


Originally, I guess, when I'm looking to buy new equipment, the first thing I'm not thinking about is safety. But as I'm thinking from a business owner standpoint, and I'm not the one running these presses everyday, and I have employees in work comp and all these challenges, safety is a huge thing. And so I was very happy to learn all the safety features that ROQ does provide. When the technician started saying, "Hey, this is something really cool, the ROQ is never going to pinch somebody in the press, because it's going to break free as soon as it feels resistance." And just with the safety bars, I love the safety bars versus some of the other safety things we've had in the past. It's a huge deal, these presses are huge, they weigh a lot. If somebody gets trapped in there, they can get hurt really badly and my company can be out of business.


Folding Shirts at Logo Daddy

So with ROQ, with some of those things that we were hearing, is fantastic that that can't happen. So it's sort of a peace of mind that I didn't know I was buying, but I'm glad I have it. Yeah, so when we switched to this building, it was a lot, we switched everything, all at the same time. So we switched the facility, we switched the equipment, we switched a lot of things. And so from an employee standpoint, it's been fantastic, we've moved into a very nice facility. I think that our employees are very happy. I would like to think that you could ask any of them, if they're happy, and they would admit to that. But from an equipment standpoint, I think the employees are very happy with that as well. The equipment, it looks great, when people walk in, it's pretty impressive. We have three autos, we keep Everything is pretty clean, pretty nice, it's pretty impressive. These machines are impressive just to look at and watch them move, my employees love it. They're quiet, that's something, maybe, everybody doesn't think about that, but if you're running this machine for eight hours a day, why does it have to be loud? Why not have to be quiet?


So we were impressed with how quiet the equipment runs. And just overall, how consistent and how smooth it is for things like setups and things. And our guys, I think they love working on this equipment more than what we've had in the past. Some of that could be the facility, this is a lot nicer facility. But I think a lot of it is the equipment, the ease of use. In this day and age, everyone wants to do something that's easier, right? We try to automate everything we can, to make a job better, so somebody has a better quality of life. I think that the equipment that we've purchased through ROQ, I think gives our employees a better quality of life, day in and day out.


I have so many people that come up and go, "Hey, I remember coming to your garage when you were printing in your garage." And our garage is really nice now and we have really nice equipment and we're proud of that. So we want to show everybody, one of the biggest things we do to win customers is we bring them to our building. We want them to see what we're working on, the level that we do things, how clean we do things. And typically, when they see that, they stay with us.


ROQ's been very helpful in just sort of helping us pick the right equipment, just things that I didn't think about or know about their equipment ahead of the time I purchased, that was nice for them to sort of clue me into before I made those purchases. At the moment, we have three guys that are our press operators, but I had two women that were my head press operators for a long time. If you're buying a press, if you move up to some of the nicer models, the heads lift up for you pretty easily, it's a little lighter. There's things like that, that you learn, there's a little more bells and whistles on some of that stuff. But it's nice knowing that and the cost difference isn't really all that great.


So again, I go back to, if I can give my employees a better quality of life, an easier job, day in and day out. And if the press manufacturer has these bells and whistles that they can offer on these presses, to make life better, then I think it's well worth the spend to get it, to go to that next level of press. We do have one of each level here, but we do a little bit of display work and we do different things. We partnered closely with Grimco as well, and so we like all three levels of presses, but as you get into the eco and some of those presses, it just doesn't get any nicer. The thing pretty much does everything for you.


I went on a retreat with a group of printers that mostly use different equipment than ROQ, and - I continue to try to tell them that ROQ, why we switched, some of the things that we've already talked about, with the partnerships and just the relationships that we built. And it's funny because some of them love their equipment, but when I ask them why, they can't tell me. If I say, "Can you call the owner?" They can't. "Can you get carts tomorrow?" They can't.


You know what I mean? "Does your manufacturer care about you the way that my manufacturer cares about me?" And so I think that I would tell anybody, no matter what equipment you're using, take a look at ROQ. Because I think that ROQ is hungry and eager to do the right thing. I think they're hungry and eager to put some good equipment out there and to really, the name, you guys say it, "To be your partner in print," right? I don't think that's just a fun catchphrase, I think that we say it as one, but I really do think that there's meaning behind that. They've shown me that, so I think that they would show anybody else in this industry that. I don't think that I'm some special case, that they just happened to like me. I think everybody there is a pretty good person and I think that they're going to help my competitor's shop right down the road, the same way they're helping me.


ROQ ECO at Logo Daddy

And maybe even better from time to time, who knows? It's just, I think that they're a great company to build that relationship with. And I don't care what company you use, I think that you should take a serious look at ROQ before you make your next purchase.


From the service experience that we've had with ROQ, my production manager usually takes care of a lot of that, but what I like is getting the report back from him, that if there's an issue and he contacts, he gets a pretty quick answer. We get parts pretty fast, I really feel like they make us a priority. Again, like I said earlier, I don't think they're making me a priority, because we're so special, I just think that they make their customers a priority. When my production manager, if something goes down on a press and we need something repaired, we need it right away. We might have a big order to get out or we might be in the middle of something, middle of a big job, and so we need that to be ROQ's top priority. And I think that he would agree with me and I would say that we've always felt that way. We've gotten quick responses, even if it's just somebody that can just jump on the phone with us and help us troubleshoot something or walk through something.


I know we've made a phone call that's got three or four people on the phone sometimes, to answer a quick question, to make something happen, and I appreciate that, as a business owner. That's all you can really ask them for, it's not a perfect world, things are going to break. They typically don't break until it's a bad time for them to break, but then if you get somebody that really cares about helping you through that problem quickly, that counts for something.


I think overall, we're very happy with everything. I think that one of the things I really love about ROQ, or that we have now that we have the ROQ presses, is that we don't service these presses nearly as much as we used to service our other presses. It was something on the daily, and the weekly, we were thinking about, and now we don't have to do that.


If you want to get in touch with Logo Daddy, because you'd like to buy lots and lots of shirts from us, you can just go to logodaddygraphics.com and there's a lot of ways you can get in touch with us there. If you'd like to get in touch with me, personally, I am @therealjohngibbs, on Instagram. Please hit me up, send me a message, and I can definitely chat with you or answer any questions that I can. I have mentors and I have mentees, and I like to do both, so anybody young in this industry or that needs any advice or feels like maybe I could offer some advice, not that my advice will always be the best, but feel free to reach out and I'd love to talk. ROQ on.


 

John Gibbs' journey illustrates the transformative power of partnering with the right team and upgrading to the right equipment. His experience transitioning to ROQ not only streamlined operations but also fostered a supportive network of industry experts and friends. Just like John, You, too l, can elevate Your business and #PressOnward towards a more efficient and sustainable future. If You're ready or even considering to make a change and enhance Your production capabilities, don't wait. Book time with Your dedicated  ROQ Solutions Partner today and take the first step towards a Greener, more productive and prosperous tomorrow.






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