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Community Highlights: Meet Heena Patel of Earth Dog Enterprises and International Minute Press

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heena Patel.

Hi Heena, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
Our print shop has been serving our community in the Triangle area and beyond for 30+ years.

We thank our older customers who stayed with us and to all the customers who joined us along this 30+ year journey, we serve a vast variety of industries from heating and cooling, pest control, law firms, unions, food products, restaurants, natural beauty products, real estate, telecommunications, manufacturing, community colleges, political candidates, special needs and community theaters, construction, coin clubs, rehab centers, equine care, transportation, and medical facilities.

We initially started with an offset printing press and thanks to technological advances, digital presses helped create more efficiency within the printing industry. Today, we have full digital print production in-house. ‘Big Al’, our amazing printing press can produce a large variety of print jobs, from simple to complex.

The earlier years had us finishing jobs by hand, whether cutting, creasing, or folding. Today, our other fabulous machines – ‘Mabel’, ‘Frank’, and ‘Paddy’ in our finishing department happily match “Big Al’s” excellence in producing high-quality products. We have two incredibly talented in-house designers, Paula who has 25+ years of experience in design and print and has been with our shop for 11+ years. While Paula’s main role is Senior Graphic Designer and Press Operator, her ability to understand our customers’ vision for their branding/marketing has been instrumental in to our high customer retention rate. Mehdi was an innovative graphic designer and printer in Afghanistan before he emigrated to the USA a few years ago. In Afghanistan, he had to overcome numerous challenges, an unpredictable economy, and life-threatening events in order to fulfill orders for local Afghan businesses and communities.

I came with 25+ years in the international development background, having worked with indigenous and economically disadvantaged communities around the world. My experience at the grassroots level has greatly helped with keeping our focus on the importance of supporting our grassroots customers to ensure their success.

The customers we serve form the backbone of our local economy and they deserve the best. We help our customers in developing the most effective marketing and branding materials as well as creating essential workflow documents for customers to help them maximize their efficiency. We stayed open every day during the Covid-19 lockdown as we are deemed an essential business.

And when business was slow we printed free posters for nursing homes and assisted living facilities. We also procured masks for our customers who absolutely needed them to conduct business. Our little print shop welcomes everyone and kindness, gratitude, creativity, and laughter are our pillars of guidance.

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
No doubt there were numerous bumps on the way. Most recently with the lockdown, our business was hit pretty hard as many of our customers had to close shop themselves. One of our staff lost her husband to Covid-19 and I lost my father.

It was a time of much sadness but we took hope from each other and our wonderful, caring customers. Our Union gave us tremendous support and brought us personalized gifts to help us through our grief. The current struggle is the high cost of doing business as paper and material prices have soared with no regulation and we face numerous production delays.

But we are working through it a day at a time and continue to put our best foot forward in serving our customers with the highest quality products. We know they need to get themselves back on their feet too. We are all in this together.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Earth Dog Enterprises dba International Minute Press?
We are mainly a business-to-business printing shop. We print anything with a logo, from business cards, brochures, booklets, door hangers, duplicate forms, postcards, mailers, and signs, to a large variety of promotional items. We also offer exceptional in-house design services to companies that need to develop or change their brand marketing.

What sets us apart is our continuous presence in the community for 30+ years and our personalized customer service. We consider each of our customers as our partner and we have maintained our 5-Star Google Ratings over the years. Our doors are always open to all sizes of businesses from start-ups to large corporations.

We also keep our prices competitive and aim for our customer’s success and we always make time to inspire and connect customers with other businesses, while learning about their stories, challenges, and successes. We also respond quickly to urgent orders if it is critical to our customer’s business.

We mostly print on recycled paper, endorsed by the FSC and other environmental organizations. Our color toners are non-toxic and the packaging is recyclable. We reuse our boxes and leftover paper as much as possible.

Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
It’s a bit unpredictable due to the current economic climate, severe supply-chain issues, and delays in technological advancements.

However, I believe printing will become more efficient but will still be very much in demand. We have withstood the digital revolution.

Can you imagine walking out and seeing no signs, no branding on clothing, no colorful billboards, no brochures or booklets to read? Print is here to stay but hopefully with continued environmental and social sustainability.

Contact Info:

  • Website: www.impnorth.com
  • Instagram: @IMPNorthRaleigh
  • Facebook: @InternationalMinutePressNorthRaleigh
  • Twitter: @NRaleighIMP

Image Credits
Mehdi Rafiee & Fly Creative

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