Written by Christine Walsh
In my recent #BMOREcakeNwhiskey50 meet ups with women in business, they have all asked me how I got in the business of printing. Well, here it goes! In 2006 I was working at the Maryland General Assembly as a Legislative Administrator. At the time, I was recently married, and one day my husband came to me with an interesting proposition. He suggested the idea of this company, Alpha Graphics, as my venture into entrepreneurship (he was their attorney). The then owner, wanted to retire but didn’t want to let go of her long-time employees, most of whom she’d worked with for the past 25 years. She conferred with her attorney, my husband, who nudged it my way, encouraging me that this was a “solid company with long time, loyal employees.” I called it my “leap of faith” as it was the biggest leap I ever made in myself. I presented an offer and she accepted, gladly.
I bought Alpha Graphics, quit my job at the General Assembly and pursued a life of business ownership. These were long days and even longer nights as I worried about payroll, clients, shipping products, calling clients and oh yeah…using a calibrated press! My nights and weekends were filled with reading books about about marketing, entrepreneurship, sales, managing the numbers and strategizing. I soaked up everything I needed to know to run a successful company. But success doesn’t come easy nor does it come fast. Success came after many years of doing the wrong things because with every wrong came the right way. Every mistake I’ve made has made me a better business owner and employer. Owning this great company has also allowed me to think creatively to bring new products and services that my clients want. We continue to uphold the core value of great customer service and teamwork. This mantra has lasted more than 45 years. We want to continue to be the go-to designer, print shop and graphics shop for Baltimore and more. I will continue to support the community, the people and the businesses that have given Alpha Graphics its shot at greatness!