By Paula Anderson
Thomas Kelly, founder of Creative Soulz Printing LLC, found his spark for creative print and graphic design in 2019.
“My passion for print and design can be traced back to my church roots, where I spent significant time working on various programs for Youth Day, Church Anniversaries, and the College Ministry,” said Kelly.
“I would also often create party invitations, flyers, obituaries, and other projects for myself or friends and family.”
According to Kelly, he was designing a youth program for his church in 2019 and he needed programs printed at a reasonable cost.
“That’s when the Lord gave me a vision to go into business where I could design and print for myself,” he said. “It was at that point I went to buy my first printer and Creative Soulz Printing was born.”
Most entrepreneurs want to service all potential clients, but Kelly realized this was not the best way to conduct business.
“In the beginning, I wanted to take on every project I could. But over time, I learned what things I enjoyed doing and what things either were too complicated for me to perform on a consistent basis, or would cost me more money and time than just saying ‘no.’ I have gained a better understanding of what brings me joy and how I want to expand my business,” said Kelly.
“There are still times when I might get a different client request, where I will research to see if it is something I can handle because I would be intrigued to learn if I could. But there are also times when I will refer a client to someone else for a project or simply to tell them I can’t fulfill their request.”
Access to capital has been one of the challenges for start-ups and new entrepreneurs according to research. Kelly describes his experience with capital.
“My main challenges have come due to a lack of funding. Because I have been limited to purchasing lower end equipment, this has affected my service times because I may have to outsource some items, which makes me depend on other factors, including shipping timelines,” said Kelly.
“In the past, I typically save until I am able to purchase equipment without any financing, but even then the printers are limited to certain production. Recently, I was granted a wonderful opportunity for funding, which allowed me to purchase an upgraded industrial printer which will certainly help my business grow and help me reach new clientele.”
Kelly states that overcoming obstacles can be a challenge for many business owners, but he finds a way to keep moving forward.
Creative Souls Printing Graphic Designs/Courtesy images
“I have a true passion for seeing my work help other businesses flourish. So even if I know I am on a tight deadline, I make sure my work is delivered on time and my clients’ expectations are met, if not exceeded. I get joy seeing products I have produced for others in promotional videos, or even in person at various vendor events. To hear my client’s say how well their printed materials have helped get their business noticed more, is what keeps me motivated to keep going,” said Kelly.
Sharing advice to help new entrepreneurs is another way to pay it forward according to Kelly.
“You are going to make mistakes at first, but that’s how you learn. Keep going and don’t let negatively or mishaps get you down. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, those who are new just like you, and those who have been in business for a long time. You will learn from both, as well as be able to depend on each other when there are things to celebrate and when there is something to pray about. Whatever you do, keep going!”
To learn more abou Creative Soulz Printing, visit creativesoulzprinting.com.