You know the saying, “What Happens in Vegas, Stays in Vegas?” Well there’s no need for us to keep it a secret that the recent SGIA Expo 2014 was a hugely successful event. As always, our team members who were present appreciated meeting so many of you who were able to stop by. And so did I. One of my favorite encounters was meeting with Bob and Elaine of E.A.Graphics. E.A. Graphics is located in Sterling Heights, Michigan, which is very close to Stahls’ in St. Clair Shores! E.A. Graphics is family-owned and operated and has been in business since 1975. But we have more in common than just being neighbors. Bob reminded me that he purchased some of his original screen printing equipment back in 1976 from our Aunt Gertie. Gertie, or Gertrude, was our father Ernie’s older sister. If you’re not familiar with the Stahl family history, our grandparents A.C. and Ethel Stahl started Commercial Art Products in 1932. It began as a small family-run lettering and imprinting business in Detroit with their three children—Ernest, Helen and Gertrude. Commercial Art Products prospered by providing its customers with virtually any type of lettering or imprinting they demanded—screen printing, hand-sewn lettering, embroidery, chenille, and sign printing. If a product didn’t exist to fill the customer’s needs, A.C. Stahl invented one. As the imprinting industry became more and more specialized, new markets had evolved. Each of the second-generation Stahl children decided to concentrate on a different niche of the business.Helen Stahl-Hart began Hart Processing in Marine City, Michigan. Gertrude Stahl-Balddock focused mainly on embroidery and chenille but also offered screen printing. She named her company, Service Emblem of Detroit. Our parents, Ernie and Ricki
Stahl accepted the challenge of offering customers pre-cut lettering and numbers and started Stahls’ Felt Stamping (today’s Stahls’) out of their garage in Roseville, Michigan. So it was great to be reminded of that history when Bob stopped by. I used to work at Service Emblem when I was in high school, cutting screens by hand. Bob and Elaine were on the lookout for new digital technologies and took a few moments to have a “selfie-shirt” made in our booth. After taking their photo against a green screen, our artist on hand, David Grimm photo-edited their faces into a template and then the shirt was printed onto a t-shirt using Epson Direct-to-Garment technology via the SureColor F2000. I have a lot more to report and many more photos, and we will be sharing more of what “happened in Vegas” next week. Have a wonderful weekend everyone.