We had the good fortune of connecting with Meryl Katlin and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Meryl, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
All of the questions we have to choose from in this interview are very good and important, especially when learning about someone and where they are coming from. Starting out, Risk taking, Family, Social, Balance etc.. it all makes up who we are.

I choose the Social Impact question because this is not just a question about me and my business, this affects everyone.

Basically I have a printing & graphic design studio. Our customers range from Art Directors, Marketing Directors…Small and Large Companies, Professional sports teams and Alumni. Athletic clubs, Musicians, Artists, Small Business Owners and their employees., AND Local business, schools, Clubs, City, Police and Fire, Non-Profits

Working with so many different people allows us to gain access to not only their work life needs but their personal needs and future goals. When I see a spark in anyone I try to help them kindle it, if it is within my wheelhouse and they want my help.

For example: I see so many people who want to market a product and express themselves and have no idea where to start.

This is just one of the types of things that I do, especially in our world of tremendous ability to get in front of people/market/sell but so many are isolated behind their computer screens.

My personal social impact “Super-Power”..lol.. is interacting with people one on on or in small groups.

I need to understand them to do good work with them. To show every person that they have something inside of them that is special.

If someone has a product, service or message that is important to them I help them gain exposure in the most efficient way I am able to, without prejudice.

It may not be something that I personally use or need but their passion sparks me.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What sets me apart is my experience and knowledge in the field. How things were made vs How things ARE made. My thirst for understanding, learning and embracing new techniques gives me the advantage to be current and fresh.

That may sound like a contradiction because. People in my business still want to collect money in the shoebox and do things by hand. :Old School” They reject technology. They think they can’t afford the cost and time to implement change.

All processes begin with an outcome in mind.

Ink on paper started way back centuries ago, how it was done is different now then way back but the outcome meets the same need. I feel it is important to understand all techniques and the history behind it.

My professional goals are not achieved yet. Most would say I have achieved that level but personally I am not satisfied. There is so much more to do.

My journey in my career was not easy at all. I worked in the trade end of the printing industry after college, I worked full time and part time jobs at the same time (there were no hours that were off limits to work). I also had my own small business while working full time. One was a glass etching business and one was a birth announcement company. After my second child was born I started one company to put all my efforts into and that was TypeStyles Inc.

My computer was in the back of the living room, it had a B&W screen (not easy to separate colors for printing), and I went out every day to my Trade shop connections to pick up work from them. One thing lead to another and I slowly grew the business from designing to printing to promotional products.

In 1999 I moved the business out of my house to a storefront. This gave me so much more exposure and credibility to work with larger clients.

I saw an entire new light at this point, hired my first employee, my mother did my bookkeeping and we were growing.

The business was fun, our clients were in entertainment, marketing directors fed my creative mind with all sorts of projects they had us make for them, professionally those years were solid building blocks for me.

A few years later we moved down the road to a larger location, we had an open house and gained more large clients. It seemed like everytime I reached out to people they needed our services. This showed me that when you put effort into anything it grows. I keep that in my head all the time now.

In 2010 we embarked on Digital Apparel Printing, aka Direct to Garment aka Print on Demand. At first I wanted to make sure the equipment would work, not first off the block prototype machinery. My boyfriend, was fascinated with it. I owe my happiness to the DTG machine because now we are happily married 🙂 🙂
I waited a year to do research and get the right models for the business, and waited 15 years to marry him. I love those machines and him too.

There were companies that I followed who worked on the Print on Demand methods, Custom Ink, Cafe Press, Spreadshirt to name a few. I followed their models, websites and advertising methods to produce our version MakeATeeOnline.com

We build the business using software from Deconetwork who have been a major part of everything we do.

Having strategic partners behind me are a must. Deconetwork is one of them for sure!

Deconetwork and MakeATeeOnline allows me to open up individual merchandise/apparel stores for anyone who wants to sell their product online. My new driving goal is to implement 100 Merchandise stores a year, have an in house marketing team and build my creative staff and production facility.

There have been many lessons, some were heartfelt. They have all taught me there is still more to learn.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We would hop in the car and head to Key West, First stop would be rent bikes and head to Hogs Breath when the music is playing. Capt’n Tony’s and Green Parrot for drinks and more music!

Eat at Blue Heaven, Schooner Bar and Grill, Actually every place is great to eat at.

A&B Lobster house for fancy dining.
Go snorkeling and water sports are a must.

Key West is my favorite Florida spot

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Wow, this is tough one. I know that all the people in my life have shaped me and my surroundings to be able to do what I do. It is not fair to credit one person in particular…other than my mother of course.

Family members are our first friends and they shape us from day one. Growing up my grandparents were hard working people, My grandmother worked in the sewing factories, my grandfather baked thru the night so people could have fresh bread in the mornings and my other grandfather drove a cab.

As a small girl I helped my father in our basement fold, seal and stamp letters to prospective customers.

Determination is in my blood.

My mother encouraged my creativity with giving me music lessons and allowing me to paint my room any color under the sun…multiple times. My aunt was a sculptor who made everything she touched look beautiful.

And my grandmother who sewed all day for others would make beautiful dresses and clothes for me that I helped her design.

When I was older my Rabbi Ivan Wachmann taught me what true unconditional love is., and what isn’t.

Now I am fortunate enough to know how to surround myself with people who encourage and walk away from the ones who discourage.

Website: www.makeateeonline.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/makeateeonline/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/meryl-katlin-ba313412/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MakeATee

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/c/Makeateeonline

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