In a digital age, it is nice to know that tangible things will stand the test of time. “When the digital thing exploded, everyone was predicting the demise of printing, but I think people are coming back to wanting something they can hold in their hand.” So says Shelly Houston, who co-owns and operates Rising Graphics with her husband, Russ Houston. The two have been meeting the design and printing needs of the mountain communities for more than 15 years.
In 1997, the Houstons came to the mountains from California, where both had worked in the printing industry. Shelly explains, “I’m a graphic designer and worked for a commercial printer. And Russ worked many years as a print production manager.” Russ took a job down the hill, but Shelly began working for PDQ, Pinnacle Printing, and then Rising Graphics. “I’ve been working for a print shop in this location since 1998,” she remembers. When the previous owners were ready to retire in 2007, Russ and Shelly made the best decision for their personal and professional lives. “It made total sense for us to purchase the business. We love working less than a mile from where we live.”
It is the live-work connection that grounds businesses in the mountain communities, and Russ and Shelly are both proud to provide a necessary service to their neighbors. “We are both here working every day. Anyone who comes in is going to interact with one of the owners—and I think that’s a strong point these days!” These personal interactions are the beauty of local business. “I get a lot of regulars who come in, even for small jobs. It may require a little more time, but people want to come in to see you. We try to help people and it feels good to serve that role.”
Rising Graphics is a full-service print shop, including design services and a variety of printing capabilities. It is a print shop for local businesses as much as it is a print shop for individual residents. “We print anything, from one page to an unlimited number,” Shelly explains. “Some people don’t have a home printer—they can be a pain. So we can print your airline tickets, your shipping labels, etc. On the flip side, we do large jobs for businesses too.” Rising Graphics specializes in marketing pieces, including business cards, brochures, posters and large-format prints, such as architectural drawings and color art prints.
In an effort to meet the needs of local organizations, Rising Graphics recently acquired equipment for t-shirt printing as well. “We print shirts in small quantities, a minimum of 10 t-shirts. It’s a great option for a family reunion, for example, or something where you only need 10-15 shirts.” Shelly explains that this onsite service is a better option than ordering online. “So it’s our t-shirt niche: small orders.”
Rising Graphics also caters to community businesses by assisting with design services, thanks to Shelly’s longtime design background. “You don’t need to necessarily bring in something finished,” Shelly says, just some files and a concept. She can help organize it into a beautiful, finished product. This is true not just for businesses, but for personal projects as well. “A lot of people go on Etsy and purchase a file [for a holiday card or a shower invitation], and then we can print those. But we can print any kind of card you want—not from templates, but custom designs. You can send us a file, for example, a family picture on the front, and we can set it up for you.”
To learn more about Rising Graphics + Printing, visit risinggraphics.com