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How long has Windmill City been your print shop, and how did you get into screen printing?
Windmill City started in the fall of 2014. Glen did a little soul searching in 2013, rode his bicycle across the country, sold his skate shop of fifteen years and decided to teach himself how to screen print after identifying a hole in the local market of reliable, quality printing. I (Ashley) joined in 2019, after a bit of corporate burn-out in the hospitality industry and the appeal of growing something of my own.
What else do you offer beyond screen-printed apparel?
We offer in-house embroidery services and the sourcing of custom-branded merchandise. We also have a souvenir shop of sorts, Super Number One, where you can buy desert-inspired and California-centric goods designed and produced by us, our friends and California-based businesses we admire.
How is working as a husband and wife team? Do you have any advice on the matter?
For us, working together has been successful and we enjoy it (most of the time). We share a similar work ethic which is important in any partnership. Our roles are well-defined and pretty divided in day-to-day responsibilities, with Glen overseeing production and me overseeing sales and handling operations. Together, we collaborate on the creative aspects of our business, which is the fun part.
As far as advice goes, having defined roles and responsibilities has been key - we divide and conquer. Also maintaining a work-life balance is important - designating time for just yourself and also family time, free of work and distraction, ultimately has made us more productive during working hours and saved us from burn-out.
How do you enjoy the desert when not working?
We love the outdoors. Glen spends a lot of time on his road bike. I enjoy hiking with our cattle dog (with the exception of Palm Springs, the desert has a lot of dog-friendly trails). We have a one-year-old, so a lot of our activities are now toddler-friendly and in the day, exploring parks and playgrounds, events and markets (our favourite is the monthly Palm Springs Vintage Market) and patios around town.
It seems like you create merch for almost all of the business up in the high and low deserts, even huge festivals like Desert X. Do you have any dream clients?
Ultimate local dreams would be to create the merch for the festivals at the Indio Polo Grounds held in April. We may currently be in the process of inching towards that goal :) In another reality, Glen’s dream would be to print for Slayer. I’d like to be more connected to local art foundations/ (Looking at you—HDTS, Palm Springs Art Museum, and others!).
Your shop has grown immensely in the past few years. What has been the biggest challenge with that growth?
Employees - the more you grow, the more people you need. Managing personalities, personal issues causing call-out and preventing the spread of illness in the workplace are all things we have to deal with on a daily basis… plus the anxiety that comes with being responsible for several peoples’ financial livelihoods. That being said, we have a great crew. We’re lucky and thankful to have found some amazing people in a small labour pool to fill positions that are sometimes very niche and require a very specific skillset. We wouldn’t be where we are without them!
Thank you sharing some insight into your business, and thank you for continuing to print our ideas!