Print Stop's Freddy Vasquez talks about starting a new printing business in the Dominican Republic
Published on March 5, 2010
Cary Sherburne: Hi, Cary Sherburne, I’m Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here in Sosua in the north coast of the Dominican Republic with Freddie Vasquez. Freddie, you just opened up a new print shop, it’s called Print Stop. And I was just curious, in an economy where things are declining for the print industry in general and you’ve got a lot of copy shops around here, what was your reason for starting this new business?
Freddie Vasquez: Well, there was the service quality here and that people didn’t know what to print. All the printing was low in design and the quality and everything, and we thought we could put a good designer with good print at a good price and be a good business here.
Cary Sherburne: So, how has it been going so far? You’ve been open how long?
Freddie Vasquez: Well, I’m surprised with the response of the people. So we have more clients than we expected, so that is good.
Cary Sherburne: And how long have you been open?
Freddie Vasquez: Two months and a-half now.
Cary Sherburne: Two months and a-half. And so right now, you’ve got a DocuColor 12, and you’ve got a RISO Duplicator and then a lot of finishing equipment including what? A laminator – talk a little bit about that.
Freddie Vasquez: Yeah, the laminated and plastique.
Cary Sherburne: Yeah, plastic cards.
Freddie Vasquez: Plastic cards, yeah we do that finish here, and in the areas like Cabarete and have the ocean here, so that’s too much humidity, so the menus and everything, they have to be plastic coated, or laminated.
Cary Sherburne: And then you also have in your parent company, you also have a business providing power and solar and stuff like that, but that parent company has an offset press, so you’re outsourcing longer runs?
Freddie Vasquez: Yes. We used the machines the company has to open this and give the service. We try now to invest more in that area so we have a better quality and more quantity of printing. We tried to come with several services in the area that they are not used to, like web designing, hosting, and to sell domains, Dominican domains. So, we are doing that. We are doing security cards on this, and with holograms and everything. And we’re doing buttons, how you call them?
Cary Sherburne: Buttons. Like campaign buttons.
Freddie Vasquez: Campaign buttons. Yeah.
Cary Sherburne: And t-shirts...
Freddie Vasquez: Yeah, we outsource that, but we’re doing this service because people come here and find everything here. So, there are some service that we don’t do directly, but we do it first for the customers, so they find everything here.
Cary Sherburne: That’s great. So, if you can’t do it yourself, you’ll find somebody that can do it.
Freddie Vasquez: Yeah. Anything. We do. Even though we ****, any service that they want.
Cary Sherburne: That’s great. And how do you advertise? How do you market your business?
Freddie Vasquez: We try to get everything in the web page and sell stuff that go directly to the customer explaining and advise them in what to invest the whole budget and where to invest it and everything, and trying to word of mouth.
Cary Sherburne: Word of mouth, that’s great. I’m curious how you find the talent. You’ve got web designers, you’ve got graphic designers. How do you find the talent here?
Freddie Vasquez: We investigate several people, several school, art schools, and we found in a strange area, we found several people like surfers, who were workaholic with graphic design and we found people that were in photo studios that they were good. And amazingly we found in an area that we didn’t even know about we could find those people. But we have very great staff here.
Cary Sherburne: So, they’re really not graduated – the designers haven’t graduated from a school, but they’ve got natural talent and you’ve been training them.
Freddie Vasquez: Natural talent, yeah. And we manage to focus that talent to a market here and try to be as – to sell that talent like **** and marketing talent to their graphic design.
Cary Sherburne: Now, I noticed that the surfer guy isn’t here today. I know the waves are really high today, so I know where he is.
Freddie Vasquez: He might be there.
Cary Sherburne: Thanks Freddie.
Freddie Vasquez: Thank you.