A Passion for Cycling Boosts Business

For Michael Savino, it’s all about who you know. Leveraging his own interests and encouraging referrals have helped him grow his small screen-printing and embroidery shop by more than 100% in the last year. Winchester, VA-based Artisan Grafix teetered around $100,000 in sales in 2014, and Savino expects the shop to grow to revenues of about $250,000 by the end of this year.

Savino’s business has been around in various forms for nearly a decade, but it wasn’t until he relocated from New Jersey in 2013 that things really started to take off. From a converted garage, Savino and a handful of employees churn out decorated apparel on a single-head embroidery machine and a four-head, six-color manual screen-printing press for their enthusiastic clientele. “Once people figured out that we were doing it in-house, it’s like a whole different world,” he says. “Word of mouth has been great.”

Savino says he started out “pretty much where everybody starts out,” creating logoed apparel for lawn care companies and contractors, but Artisan Grafix has since branched out and is doing more corporate sales and decorating garments for special events. The cycling world has been especially kind to Savino. “That’s a personal passion of mine,” Savino says. “It’s one of those niche things that I have a lot of contacts in.” A particularly lucrative event for Artisan Grafix has been the annual Tour de Long Valley in Savino’s New Jersey hometown. The event boasts more than 700 riders, and Artisan has been creating event shirts for participants every year.