This past February, my husband and I invested in the fancy-pants Epson P800 SureColor fine art printer in order to create an at-home Lyon Road print shop. Until that point, I had outsourced all my printing to the company Finerworks. Finerworks did a wonderful job for me for a good year, successfully printing and shipping hundreds of paintings, but I was hungry for more autonomy. After weeks of research and budgeting, we took the plunge. I've now been printing and shipping from my basement for about five months and the results have been even better than I hoped for.
First off, it's better for you, my customer. Here's what an at-home print shop does for you:
- Quality control - I am able to triple-check each print before I send it off, making sure that there are no mistakes, no marks or misalignment, that the color is spot-on and that the paper is crisp and smooth.
- Signature - I am now able to hand-sign every print I send off!
- Speed - My processing time has decreased to 1-2 days, compared to my original 3-5 days. Great for last-minute shoppers.
- Packaging - My packaging system greatly decreases the risk of shipping damage. I can also make the packaging pretty as can be.
And what an at-home print shop provides for me?
- Way more work
- Way more fun
While printing from home is much more labor-intensive, I find the process surprisingly enjoyable. After the chaos of kids, activities, housework and watercoloring, printing has often become a refuge at the end of the day. The process is rhythmic and cathartic and allows me to escape a bit. (Who needs yoga when there are SureColor printers available?) All in all, we count ourselves extremely lucky that our investment has paid off in so many tangible and intangible ways.