Why would two women quit their jobs and start their own printing company in their garage?
Because they had a desire to meet their customers' needs, they knew they could make good decisions, and they had a willingness to work hard.
Louann Richards, President of Graphic Expressions, is a graduate of the MHCC Graphic Technology Program. She has extensive printing and design knowledge and has sold printing in the Portland area since 1981.
Realizing that computers were changing the printing environment and feeling an urge to meet customers' needs, they started their own business (R Printing Services, Inc.) in Louann's garage. January 17, 1994, they were up and running with several strong customers supporting their business move.
Cindy Richards Duyck, Louann's daughter, has earned a Bachelors degree in Business Administration from Portland State University. After college, Cindy entered the printing industry working for a local printing company with Louann.
Just a few months later (August 1994) Louann and Cindy purchased Graphic Expressions, a Tigard printing company struggling through bankruptcy. Louann and Cindy made many equipment and management changes, focusing on service and quality. Within two months a profit was seen.
In 1998, a very significant customer encouraged Louann to expand the business to include fulfillment services. Louann's daughter, Kim Spickerman, joined the company and has developed Graphic Expressions Fulfillment (GEF) which offers complete mailing and fulfillment services. Kim also has a Bachelor's degree in Business Administration from Warner Pacific College.
To accommodate this expansion, a large warehouse in the Tualatin area was purchased. The building was just the right size and price but it was still in foreclosure and had been abandoned for over a year. With a lot of hard work it was changed into what it is today. Louann's family has done much of this transformation.