::this post ID is 12824::::in categories of ..Business Services....Features....Professional Services....Retail..::

Print Three: Where print meets retail

Photos courtesy Print Three Alberta

By Kathy and Stacey Johnson
We never foresaw working together, but today our Print Three copy centre and print shop in Calgary benefits from our combined experience from the printing industry and the retail sector. Things have gone so well, in fact, that earlier this year, we were honoured at the franchise system’s annual convention with the President’s Award; and our general manager (GM), Mark Eisan, was named Manager of the Year.

I was born in Halifax, but my family moved to Toronto when I was just two years old, so that’s where I spent my early childhood. I’m one of four brothers and we grew up around lots of uncles and aunts. We had about 30 cousins!

As a child, I played a lot of football and did other sports like track and field. I wanted to be a football player or a psychologist when I grew up. I read a lot and my favourite subjects at school were English and social sciences. We moved again when I was 10, to Calgary. That was a huge change, as there was no big, extended family nearby anymore, and 
I became a bit more reclusive. Also, back then, Calgary wasn’t very multicultural, especially compared to Toronto.

Sports remained my main focus. I switched from football to basketball in Grade 10 and kept playing through college. The Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) had a good basketball team and had placed lots of players in the U.S. and overseas, so I chose them over the University of Calgary (U of C) and studied business marketing. I also worked part-time as a bike courier for West Canadian Graphics, a printing company. It was a great fit because it helped me stay in shape for basketball. And doing that for a year, I learned a lot about the printing industry.

I met Kathy in my second year at SAIT through mutual friends on the basketball team. She was studying business marketing, too.

After SAIT, I got a scholarship to play basketball at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, B.C., where I also went back to my childhood dream of studying psychology. My plan was to stay on there and coach. As it turned out, though, I was only there for two years until 
I blew my knee out, lost my scholarship and returned home to Calgary to await surgery and then recuperate.

Sigrid Butler (left) oversees our production department. As we are connected to downtown Calgary’s +15 Skyway network, we get a lot of walk-in business.

When I got back home, the surgery was three months away. In the meantime, to help pay off my student loans, 
I worked in the production department of Weekend Copy, which was roughly equivalent to a Kinko’s. Once my knee was recovering and I was playing baseball, the vice-president (VP) of Weekend Copy suggested I try my hand at sales instead of production. He said I was talkative, engaging and outgoing.

I got that job and did it for 10 years, during which time Kathy and I got married. I found sales required a bit of my background in psychology, statistics, accounting, business management and marketing. I also already knew about our clients’ processes and could help them set up their print files.

Calgary has been home for my entire life. 
I have one older brother. Our mom worked for U of C in the medical faculty and then convocations. Our dad was an upholsterer, for both furniture and cars.

Like Stacey, I was an athletic kid. I was always into track and field, baseball, soccer and swimming. In school, my favourite subjects were definitely lunch and recess, but I also enjoyed arts, chemistry and English.

I never had any idea what I wanted to do when I grew up, but when a friend was heading to SAIT, I decided to enrol in business administration, which involved accounting, marketing, business management, microeconomics, macroeconomics, statistics, communications and legal aspects. It was a diploma program equivalent to a university degree.

During my studies, I held two part-time jobs. One was in a drugstore, which back then was called Super Drug Mart, and the other was as a waitress at Symon’s Valley BBQ Ranch. When Super Drug Mart announced a new location was opening in Crowfoot, I had enough experience that they had me open and manage it. We started at ground zero there and built it to the city’s number one location in terms of sales, profit and low turnover. I enjoyed interacting with the customers and built a lot of lasting friendships with the staff.

Stacey and I had our first child, Taneisha, in December 1999. When we had our second, Ty, in June 2002, I went part-time at the drugstore, serving as a technician and assistant in the pharmacy. I stayed on there until about four years ago.

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