Duluth Screen Printing Co. recently opened a multi-purpose shop in Canal Park called Flagship. The new space is serving as a retail store and office for the company, which has its main production facility in Duluth’s East Hillside.
The party will contribute to Duluth’s Independence Day festivities by bringing in the band Guytano, pizza from Old Chicago and beer from Fitger’s Brewhouse. Music will be playing all day, with the main set, food and beer beginning at 5 p.m. and continuing until close. The launch party will include a giveaway of 50 limited edition Fourth of July T-shirts. Miscellaneous prizes can also be won by the “spin the ships wheel” game during the party.
CEO Ian Scherber nearly doubled his staff for the Flagship addition, hoping to utilize the new location as a retail showroom, a customer service center, and even as an events center. One of the newer additions to the team, Anthony Rogentine, was hired as general manager in February. Rogentine emphasized the importance of the Canal Park location, but also stressed the company doesn’t plan to deviate from its locally-driven mission.
“We want to work with as many people as possible, giving credit where credit is due. This place wouldn’t be possible without local talent,” said Rogentine. “We want artists to have another outlet to support their work. There aren’t many places that employ graphic design and we want to keep that talent around.”
Flagship plans to incorporate new local talent every 2-4 weeks by focusing on different clothing collaborations and limited edition T-Shirts to grow relationships and donate to local initiatives. Another addition to the store is an interactive touchpad that allows customers to familiarize themselves with the various clothing lines and the monthly “Featured Artist.”
Scrolling a finger across the touchpad in the middle of the store displays photos and a quote from Samantha Nielsen, a local watercolor artist and the first “Featured Artist” to have her designs showcased at Flagship.
Nielsen and Rogentine show that Duluth Screen Printing Co.’s retail expansion stays true to the mission of “conducting business on a local scale” by continuing to hire local college graduates and partner with a variety of local artists.
Rogentine is a graduate of the College of St. Scholastica, where he double majored in marketing and business management.
“We want to remind people that this is a fun place to hang out. We waited on the grand opening and wanted to time it so that we can showcase what types of events we want to have here going forward,” said Rogentine.
Flagship was designed to be a welcoming storefront from the beginning. The customer service center, the interactive touchpad, the printing press in plain sight, and the openness of the store were all intentional contributions toward the goal of engaging more with customers. Eight colorful banners hang from the left side of the ceiling to showcase the different clothing lines that all have charitable or local causes associated with them.
The “Heritage” and the “Lighthouse” styles show Duluth’s scenery and narrative, while the seafoam green “Heart” press is representative of oil leaking from the heart of a ship. The “Greater” collection proceeds go toward local freshwater conservation funds, and the “Featured Artist” line displays work from local artists like Nielsen every month.
The eight banners are intended to keep the company accountable to its local promise to be creative, and in Rogentine’s words, allows “customers to choose what they buy and where we will donate those proceeds.”
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