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Clear Story CEO Debara Medina on sourcing equipment

Published on May 23, 2012

Clear Story is a young commercial printing outfit in San Diego that specializes in photobooks in the B2C market as well as other short-run commercial digital printing. CEO Debara Medina talks about the process of sourcing equipment for her business.

Cary Sherburne:  Cary Sherburne, Senior Editor at WhatTheyThink.com and I'm here with Debara Medina, who is CEO of San Diego based Clear Story.  Welcome.

Debara Medina:  Thank you.

Cary Sherburne:  You've got a great story about your business.  You're kind of a blend of B2C photo business and B2B photo and commercial print in San Diego.  Maybe you could talk to us a little bit about what your decision process was in terms how you decided what kind of equipment to buy because you came to this clean in 2010, right, with nothing.

Debara Medina:  With nothing and it was a lot of research.  There was a lot of equipment out there and you had to look at everybody who was playing on that field.  I was looking for something that was very high quality and I knew that I didn't want to settle for anything less and I had looked at smaller equipment and I wanted to have my versatility, so I went and was introduced to HP and the—it blew me away.  It really did, the color, the precision of it, the consistency of it.  You can just match that color up every time.  Somebody comes back with a reprint and they want it the same way, you can do it on this machine, so it was—those were the main reasons I went with HP.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah and so you have a 5500.

Debara Medina:  Mm-hmm.

Cary Sherburne:  And they've just recently announced a new one, 5600.  What do you think about that?

Debara Medina:  I want it.  I want it.  I wanted all of it.

Cary Sherburne:  You've got room for two presses you said.

Debara Medina:  I know.  I know.  I do have room for two presses.  I was already talking about my upgrade downstairs before I came up here and it was like oh my goodness, it's a—so when I invested in the 5500 I wanted to have—I wanted it to be the seven color press, so I've got that and I've got the wide ink capability and we've modified it to take really heavy substrates, so I've got it jacked up pretty good right now and so I really want this.  When you're working with a lot of different clients you want to be able to offer them a lot of different things and the upgrade is going to be great.

Cary Sherburne:  And so what are some of the things that upgrade will allow you to do then?

Debara Medina:  It will allow you to do the one shot capability, which is really great and it's—there is things that we're going to have to just play around with on that.  I think in terms of packaging that will be really good.  What I'd like to do is to bring people in.  I bring industry people in whether it's photographers or whether it's graphic designers and I'll ask them you know let's think about what we can create with this and they get so excited about that.  The cardstock is really great.  I don't know if you've seen the samples downstairs, black cardstock with the white ink.  It's gorgeous.

Cary Sherburne:  Yeah, absolutely.  So that was the other thing I was going to talk to you about substrates, is what kind of substrates are you using on that?

Debara Medina:  I am kind of the queen of trying anything and so not to my—my pressman is not so happy about that all the time, but I do.  We've tried all kinds of plastics.  We've tried a lot of—we've run a really heavy cardstock, a letter press stock in the machine beautifully.  We've tried bamboo, all kinds of paper.  We do a lot of the foils and so we try it all.  We really are trying to get the best use out of it and there are so many good quality substrates to choose from.

Cary Sherburne:  So if people want to find out more about your business is it just ClearStory.com? 

Debara Medina:  It's MyClearStory.com.

Cary Sherburne:  MyClearStory.com, perfect.  Okay, great. 

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