EPSON Helps Loftipop Grow from Etsy to Amazon

In 2013, Rachael O’Neill and her husband, Ryan, started their Sarasota, Fla., based company Loftipop as an Etsy shop. Today, they conceive, design and print their décor products in a 2,500 sq. ft. warehouse to ship across the country and through Amazon.

“I looked at Etsy and I saw people selling art prints and thought it was cool,” O’Neill says. “I told Ryan we could do it. We both brainstorm ideas and then he runs with them and designs.”

O’Neill did her homework before deciding which printer to choose for the art prints. “When we were researching, we noticed that Epson was the top of the line. Now, we love using their printers for our art prints,” she says. “I don’t think we’d ever switch to anything else. When our StylusPro 7890 finally died, we stayed with Epson and bought a SureColor P6000.”

A printer is often the first big purchase for a small business, and O’Neill feels that Epson has played a part in the success and growth of Loftipop. “The printer helped us launch our business and to this day the art prints are still a big part of our business, and they always will be, even though we’re doing other things,” she says. “We’ve always had great results and no major issues with them.”

The right printer needs the right media to create the perfect art print, so O’Neill uses LexJet Premium Archival Matte for its longevity. It is an acid-free paper and achieves 200-year archivability when partnered with the Epson inks.

In the beginning, O’Neill thought Loftipop would be a fun side project and never expected it to blossom into a full-time business. “We just opened a shop and put a couple of designs up. They started selling and it went from there,” she says. “We thought it would be cool to have a little side business, but we didn’t imagine where it’d go.”

Once they were comfortable with aqueous printing, they brought in a dye-sublimation printer so they could offer home décor and coffee mugs. O’Neill says it works great having both aqueous and dye-sub printers because they have been able to grow their product offering.

“The art prints launched our business,” she says. “We started doing the prints then expanded to other products, everyone has wall art and drinks out of a coffee mug.”

Growing from an Etsy shop to an e-commerce company didn’t happen overnight and it wasn’t easy, but O’Neill says that they are grateful that they could grow it into what it is today and look forward to continued growth. “We did it in a very safe way. We didn’t quit our jobs to start it,” she says. “We still worked full time for a good three years. We worked on it after our regular jobs and on the weekends.”

Right now, it’s just her and Ryan and a third employee. She says it can get a little hectic during the holidays, but they make it work. “There is work that you have to put into growing a business,” O’Neill says. “But for us, we really enjoy, it’s fun for us.”

In November, they will celebrate their 7th anniversary and are adding new designs and offerings all the time, but it’s the prints that started it all. The right designs, the right printer, the right paper all create the products people want and have taken Loftipop from a small Etsy shop to an Amazon Prime reseller.  O’Neill is excited to see what they’ve built. “Now, we’re happy, we love what we do, and we love working for ourselves.”

Real Color Design Partners with EPSON for Marvel-ous Results

Real Color Design, in Torrance, Calif., has been printing fine art reproductions for years. In 2008, it became an authorized print house for Warner Brothers Studios and they also hold the licenses to print images for Marvel, DC and other well-known studios in California. “Ninety percent of what we do today is related to the studios. Our customers are licensed with Marvel, WB, DC Comics, Dynamite studio,” says print manager, Alex Costa.

With a customer base like that, there is no margin for error. To meet the demands of qualifying as an authorized print resource, Costa and his team work with a fleet of EPSON printers. “We’ve been with Epson since the beginning,” he says. “Currently, we use the SureColor F6200 (dye-sub), SureColor S80600 (solvent) and SureColor P10000 (aqueous) and on occasion, we still use our old 9880.”

Given the wide breadth of Epson technology available, Costa and his team can offer diverse prints to their customers. “We do archival fine art on Hahnemühle, Sunset Velvet Rag and canvas, for dye-sub, we do aluminum prints on Chromaluxe as well as wood and sometimes fabric,” he says.

One of Real Color Designs’ largest customers is Sideshow Collectables. When they got their license to print, they realized right away that they couldn’t just use any printer, they had to find an authorized resource. “They came and met with us, and we helped them build from nothing to getting their print program up and running,” Costa says. “From mock-ups to introducing them to new materials, we’re there with them from conception to design to print.”

It’s that partnership with their customers that has helped Real Color Designs work with some of the most renowned high-end art gallery and collectibles companies around the world. “We were approached by Castle Fine Art, a gallery that is part of a major chain of over 50 galleries in the UK and Europe, that includes Halcyon Gallery which displays great artists like Picasso,” he says.

Relationship building and delivering results has helped Costa and the team create a name for themselves in an industry that demands perfection. “When Castle came to us, they said, ‘We want to start working with you because we’ve seen your work with Marvel.’ We are getting into the high, high-end fine art,” he says. “Right now, we are working with artist Domingo Zapata. They’re going to release a whole new line of prints and we’re working with them the same way we do with Sideshow.”

Costa says that they treat their customers the way they are treated by LexJet. “We see the customer as a partner, the way LexJet has worked with us since we started our business relationship in 2011. Stuart Haddow [LexJet sales specialist] sees us as a partner and tries to work stuff out, figure out our needs.”

The partnership relies on trust. Costa puts his trust in EPSON because he knows the quality that his customers and licensees demand. He puts his trust in LexJet to work with him on existing products and help him find new products that will excite his customers. His customers put their trust in him to create high-end art pieces that look like they stepped right off of a movie set or just out of a comic book.

Epson Introduces Five New Printers at ISA 2019

Thursday, Epson announced new additions to the SureColor P-Series and S-Series printer families. There will be production versions of the Standard P10000 and P20000:

  • SureColor P10000 Production – 44-in aqueous printer designed to create high-quality sign and graphics in fast-paced production environments. Perfect for signage, indoor displays and photographic/fine art printing.
  • SureColor P20000 Production – 64-in aqueous printer designed to create high-quality sign and graphics in fast-paced production environments. Perfect for signage, indoor displays and photographic/fine art printing.

What’s different? ONYX RIPcenter, a workflow software that incorporates Adobe Postscript® and is a powerful color management tool is now included.

The new Production printers offer the same 2.6” wide Epson PrecisionCore® MicroTFP printhead as the Standard edition and the Epson UltraChrome® PRO nine-color pigmented ink set will still be available with high-capacity 700 ml ink cartridges which, along with more efficient ink usage, allows for an extremely low cost per print.

These printers will be available to order starting in May.

In addition to the Production P-Series printers, Epson also announced the availability of Print and Cut bundles for the SureColor S-Series.

Available for order in June, these bundles will include an S-Series printer, and FC8600-130 cutter and Onyx software.

The S60600 is one of the fastest production printers on the market and now, combined with the Graphtec cutter and Onyx GamaPrintPro with Onyx CUT-Server, a premium print and cut solution is available.

The S80600 partners photographic image output with a top-of-the-line cutter and Onyx Thrive, to provide color-critical clients a reliable print and cut option.

Ordering details are not available for these new Epson printers, but if you would like more information, please call one of our printer specialists at 800-453-9538.

First Take: Review of Epson’s New SureColor P-Series Printers

by Michael Clementi, LexJet Experience Center Leader

The first thing anyone asks when it comes to new machines being released into the printer world is: “What’s new?” So we’ll start there. If you are moving up from a prior generation of Epson, the “new” depends on what model you are moving up from, of course, but for this review’s sake, we will stick to comparing the old Stylus Pro 7890, 7900, 9890, 9900 models to the new SureColor P-Series P6000, P7000, P8000, P9000 models.