Print Works a labor of sisterly love
GLENWOOD SPRINGS, Colo. The two sisters are hard to tell apart over the phone.They interrupt each other cordially, their voices weaving between them.Susie Straus and Julie Nesbit may have some similar characteristics because they are related. Or it could be because they’ve been working together for the past 25 years. Nesbit started Julie’s Print Works on July 25, 1982, with her parents, Butch and Jean Higgins. Straus came on board six months later, and eventually the name was changed to The Print Works.”We’ve always been really tops on customer service,” said Nesbit. “Our main goal in this thing is to give quality customer service.””That’s why we’re still in business,” Straus said.
“Oh yeah, we’ve been here a long time,” replied Nesbit.The Print Works just celebrated its 25th anniversary, but in all those years in business Nesbit and Straus say that not too much has changed.Sure, typesetting is done with a computer now instead of chemicals, and they’ve always upgraded their Xerox copiers when the time came, but a lot is the same, Straus said.When home publishing became more and more popular with the use of the computer, many feared that print shops would become obsolete, but they haven’t seen a change in their business, Straus said.”We get people in that are frustrated with what they do at home and come in for help,” said Straus.Their father was a guiding light when it came to new and improved technology, and over the years they have tried to be more environmentally conscious by using recycled paper and recycling their own paper.But the basics of running the print shop held steady.
“Our shop has not changed too much,” Nesbit said. “We’re still customer service oriented.”Nesbit said that many people will shop around and go to “those big quickie stores,” but that they come back because the people there aren’t as well trained as their employees.”So we try to unfrustrate them,” Nesbit said.Straus and Nesbit agree that they work pretty well together.”We do have our moments,” Nesbit said. “We have a bench in the back where we can go and talk.”Barb Laidlaw, a typesetter at The Print Works for 20 years, has enjoyed the flexibility of her job, as well as the environment.
“I think they work really well together,” Laidlaw said. “I don’t know how many people could do that.”Nesbit and Straus said that they did have a normal childhood, complete with sibling rivalry.”We knew how to fight, but we also knew how much fun we are together,” Straus said.”We have a moment or two,” Nesbit added.The business has moved locations a few times, but now the sisters own their space in the Van Rand Center, so they’ll be there to stay.And there are always Tootsie Rolls and other candies on the front counter.”A little bribery will get you a long way,” Nesbit said.
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