STAFF



To understand where we come from, you have to know who we are, so here's a little bit about each of us!

Tracy


20 years ago after graduating from the University of SC with a degree in journalism, Tracy told her dad she wanted to start her own graphic design business. So he helped her round up some money and buy some computer equipment which at that time was very expensive. Her first scanner cost $2500.00 . She began Communigraphics in her parents attic and her brother still talks about staying up late listening to her type brochures, newsletters and booklets for local printers. Being so young Tracy took a lot of long lunches to lay in the sun and often started the day a little later than most business professionals. So Dad gave her a little tough love and said "get your own place!"

Thus money for rent and food took priority over the tan and Tracy hit the pavement hard hunting customer's who wanted graphics work. Apple's Illustrator being relatively new and everyone not having lot's of FONT options as they do now or even a mouse on pc and Tracy being a MAC guru made it easy. Printers hired her to do layout , her pastor hired her to do the church newsletter, and the local rec department hired her for brochure work (there's another story there too). Thus CommuniGraphics began to pay rent and the computer payment. Then she started designing T-shirts and logos for schools and friends teams and hiring printers to print them. One night one the local printer wouldn't finish a job she needed for a customer. Knowing that having a job on time was key to her success Tracy panicked! Her brother, Bryan, being her hero came over to the guys shop and stayed up all night and help her finish alone. (Yes in the guys shop! Some screenprinters are really strange characters!) Anyway her brother decided he like printing t-shirts and took off for screenprint classes in Arizona. Meanwhile Tracy met Mark thru the business she was getting from the Parks and Rec dept (told you there was a story there!) They fell in love (ahhhh!). Tracy bought a house on the communities main road and lived in and ran CommuniGraphics out of the house. Still doing graphics and designing t-shirts. She and Mark got married (yeah!) As the business grew, it became hard to work and live in the same place. So a couple of years later Tracy moved the business into a building downtown

Bryan


Bryan graduated from Tech school in computer repair and had probably a more profitable career fixing peoples computers. But gave it all up after going off to screenprint classes in Arizona. He came home and got with Mark and said we can do this let's buy a press! So they went to Dad (during his Friday night margarita!) and borrowed some money, put some of their own savings in and bought screen print equipment and set it up as North Augusta Screenprinting in a tiny old building (with NO air condition) downtown. They worked every night after their day jobs from about 6-midnight printing jobs Tracy rounded up for them. In the summer it got very hot in their little shop (109 degrees) so Tracy never hung out long, just dropped art off and left. So Bryan and Mark bonded over Bryan's country music, the heat and the challenges of a new manual printing press. They burned screens in a tiny closet and washed them out in the back of the building with a hose. Fortunately business was growing (lots of hard work!) and when Tracy moved out of her house into the new facility downtown, she invited North Augusta Screenprint (Bryan and Mark) to join her under the CommuniGraphics umbrella (figured it would be cheaper than paying them, and they would jump at the chance to work in air conditioning). So Bryan quit his computer repair job and came to work full time at CommuniGraphics with an idea! Let's add embroidery. So off to embroidery school Bryan went.

Next they bought their first 6 head embroidery machine and for the first time Tracy couldn't sleep! It was a huge big expensive investment. But it paid off and after Bryan mastered embroidery he wanted another challenge. Having a family history in the sign business he and Tracy decided to head in that direction. So they bought their first plotter and Bryan ran from plotter to embroidery and they needed help. A press operator was hired and desk person. Mom and Dad came and helped being retired and smart and before you know it, there was a full fledge business.

Mark


Mark graduated from Clemson in Parks and Recreation and the very smart people who ran the local recreation department hired him, so he moved to North Augusta, met Tracy and began to learn about graphics, screenprinting and thanks to Bryan, country music. As the business grew, having people you trusted especially with the accounting became hard. After going thru several accounting people, Mark said "I want to do it!" So to Tracy's great fear, he left his job at parks and recreation and came to work everyday at CommuniGraphics. What Tracy feared would be a disaster turned out to be wonderful. Having lots of family on hand made it easier to get more done and provide better service. It was also cheaper! Ha Ha! Mark made a nice mediator whenever Bryan and Tracy disagreed! So the three (the tech guy, the accounting guy and the graphics girl) become business partners.

CommuniGraphics Inc


The three business partners with mom and dad in tow worked hard to grow CommuniGraphics into CommuniGraphics, Inc and learned how to work together (which wasn't always easy). They made mistakes and figured it out. They hired a few more people, worked a lot of late nights, laughed a lot, cried some and the years flew by. Then a good friend came by and said you really should look at the funeral home up the street. His dad had built the original building and he new it was well built. The corporation that owned it now, was going bankrupt. So just to be nice to the friend Tracy and her dad went and looked at it…. and loved it…. loved the price too. It was bigger with lots of space and parking which was a big problem where they were so in (?) CommuniGraphics moved from 507 Georgia Ave up the road to 1400 Georgia Ave. After much argument Tracy and her mom convinced the guys that the chapel of the funeral home would make a GREAT gift store. And they headed off to market to buy gifts. A screenprint facility was added to the back, with enough room for a nice automatic press and larger dryer and as CommuniGraphics grew, equipment was improved on and changed, staff came and went (some quicker than others) and today after a rough run with the economy the partners and the business are better than ever still providing quality work, wonderful service and fair prices. There are a lot of people who are a part of the CommuniGraphics who contribute to that success. They are:

Mom and Dad


In from the get go, Mom and Dad are CommuniGraphics biggest fans and supporters! They have put in money, hours, mentoring, blood, sweat and tears. Mom is the gift store guru. She picks out 75% of the merchandise we sell, she researches products, follows trends and makes customers feel welcome. Dad has been the financial advisor, the strategist and the systems trainer. He's gone from financier to accountant to painter and printing assistant to now he's the babysitter. Playing with grandkids and doing homework when Tracy or Mark can't get home.

Blake


Brother Blake (Bryan and Tracy's baby brother) graduated from South Carolina this year and is taking Communigraphics electronically into the 21st century. He's a MAC guru and has us facebooking, twittering and using google docs making things more efficient and helping to save time. He's also a sales guru (like mom) when he decides to be and can sell anything from t-shirts to Vera Bradley purses!

Brandy


Brandy Howard is our Art Director. She's been with CommuniGraphics as long as we can remember. She keeps us organized and keeps the graphics flowing thru the departments. Makes sure Tracy knows what's wrong, what's not done and makes sure the customer gets their stuff on time. Most importantly she makes everything look good! She is a new mother of three (yes, triplets)! We always say we would be lost without her!

Retail Staff


Our retail staff has the tough job of being happy and helpful day in and day out and they do it well. They keep the store nice and clean, welcome and make friends with the customers, Sell, sell, sell and bake, bake bake. Providing hot fresh cookies for the customers as well as wonderful customer service. They contribute to picking out the merchandise we offer and help to make the store and it's event beautiful.

Sign Guys


Our sign guys paint, cut, stick, design and help customer all at the same time. They do amazing work in small amounts of time and in a very small space. They leap tall buildings to hang big signs and work out in the heat and rain turning vehicles into moving advertisements. They are the best you can find, loyal, hardworking and talented!

Customer Service Staff


Need to know what kind of shirt to buy, want a price on 5 color front, 3 color back on a long sleeve T-shirt. Our customer service staff is the best at helping you figure out what type of garments or products will work for your event, team, school or organization. They are talented, smart and know the products well. Weather its the perfect hat or a give away for your next event, these guys can find you the perfect thing and put your logo on it.

Embroidery Ladies


Every try to sew? Try a machine with 60 needles that move real fast! These ladies are sewing gurus. They can make any logo look beautiful with thread. Not an easy task. It takes talent, patience and love to do their job and they are very good at. Most have been with us a long time and they can get it done and get it done fast when needed.

Screen print Team


Screenprinting is our bread and butter. We've been doing it a long time and we are good at it. Mostly because the guys who print for us are good at it. Surround yourself with good people is one of the first things we learned and our screen print staff is the best. They aren't afraid to try anything and they love the challenge of rush jobs.

Everyone Else


There are always the people behind the scenes who make everything flow, get the bills paid and the stock ordered. They lock the doors, take care of problems and generally keep things running smoothly. For us they are everyone else, but they are very important and valuable!
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