T-shirt maker: Reno provides faster service | nnbw.com
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T-shirt maker: Reno provides faster service

Rob Sabo

Marc Katz, co-founder and president of CustomInk, an East Coast company that makes custom T-shirts, says his company’s decision to expand West with a northern Nevada facility was made primarily to provide better service to western region customers.

CustomInk, headquartered at Tysons Corner, Va., leased 25,000 square feet at Capital Commerce Center off East McCarran Boulevard. The company expects to employ between 75 and 100 workers once the facility is fully operational, Katz says.

Katz says that although the company’s two eastern locations stay open until 10 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, a facility based in a western state allows for quicker turnaround times on orders and extended service hours. CustomInk, founded in 2000, has annual revenues of $83 million and does all of its business online.

“Having a Reno location allows us to take advantage of the different time zone and logistics.” Katz says. “We will be able to have greatly improved customer service coverage and delivery times.”

Katz says CustomInk executives scouted several western states for a possible expansion but chose northern Nevada for its quality of living and the favorable cost of doing business. About 10 employees mostly managers have transitioned from its Virginia headquarters to get the new operation running and train new staff.

“CustomInk relies very heavily on its people,” Katz says. “This really is a service business, and we are all about talented and caring people working together as a team to come through for our customers.

“Knowing what an important element of CustomInk that is, the idea of setting up a new location thousands of miles from our headquarters, and ensuring those standards and values translate, we recognize it is a very important challenge.”

CustomInk expects to begin T-shirt production by summer. Its handful of Reno employees currently are working in sales and service roles. The company expects to hire as many as 100 production and processing workers, sales reps and service technicians over the course of the year as it ramps up production.

“Now that we are in the process of getting a solid foundation laid with this early team, we will want to build on that as soon as we can,” Katz says.

The Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada assisted CustomInk with its expansion plans through tax abatements approved last week by the Commission on Economic Development. CustomInk will invest $1.25 million on new equipment.

EDAWN also helped the Virginia company locate temporary office space in downtown Reno to conduct training and hooked CustomInk up with JobConnect for its initial round of recruitment, says Paul Kinne, EDAWN’s vice president of marketing.

Gordon Zack, Eric Bennett and Dan Buhrmann of the industrial services team at CBRE assisted CustomInk with its lease negotiations in the Prologis-owned building.