Room to Grow

Classic Creations Screen Printing in Hillsville, VA, opened the doors of its $2 million facility in December, but the brand-new company is already poised to grow. “We’re still in our building process and taking baby steps,” says owner Keith Sanders. “Sales have far exceeded my expectations. We still have to be frugal and wise.” Right now, the shop employs about 20 people, but expects that number to grow to close to 60 by year’s end. As the customer base expands, Sanders says he expects to install more presses and add embroidery to the mix.

Sanders, an industry veteran with more than 30 years on the job, says he spent about 15 months refurbishing the building that now is Classic Creations’ home base. “I’ve got a state-of-the-art facility,” he says. The 54,000-square-foot warehouse is designed so that production flows in a loop, with a layout that’s meant to minimize the amount of steps employees need to take, Sanders says.

Many of the employees started out as fresh and untried as the brand-new equipment they’re using. Sanders said he and his vice president of operations decided their main requirement for new hires would be their desire to work. “We’re willing to train them, and we’ve decided we’d like to train them in the way we want to train them, the way we want them to work,” he says. And, recent studies indicate that employers prefer to hire attitude and personality over skills, which can often be taught to new employees.

Classic Creations does work for sports licensing groups, collegiate programs, advertising specialties and also has been trying to break into the music industry. The shop has nowhere to go but up.