Artwear began when Patti Kaplinski bought a printer and conveyor dryer from a trophy shop in 1983. She began to grow her business and now, almost four decades later, the company has become a well-known brand in the community, recognized for its quality screen printing and embroidery services.
Artwear works with apparel, hats, safety workwear, bags and thousands of other types of promotional products, printing logos, artwork and more. The shop also has extensive experience in printing on a wide variety of FDA compliant medical devices, sign stock, machine parts, instrument panels, and cut and sew stock. During the height of the pandemic, Artwear saw a huge increase in mask printing. Most of the company’s clients are based in the Pacific Northwest, but occasionally they have national or even international clients.
Over the years, Artwear’s growth and revenue have remained steady.
“Over the years many people have worked to help make Artwear a great company,” Kaplinski said. “At most, we had six employees at one time, but in the last 10 years we’ve had one or two employees. The business has always seen revenues increasing, making it financially successful through three recessions and the Covid crisis. Although Covid has been one of the toughest periods, the end of 2019 and 2020 were the roughest period of my entire life … but we made it through and last year has been the best of our 39 years.”
One thing is certain: Artwear has proven its endurance and commitment to Clark County and beyond.
“We are a recognized brand in our community, our commitment to quality work, our expertise in screen printing, knowledge of products and recently, because of supply chain disruptions, our associations with multiple suppliers to source products,” Kaplinski said. “Most of our clients are long-term repeat customers. Technology in the industry has changed a lot over the years and we try to keep a finger on the pulse of all the changes. We recently have been certified at the state and federal level as a disadvantaged women-owned business, which has made it easier to work with government agencies.”
Looking ahead, Kaplinski said that she will be soon looking to pass the baton of the business and Artwear brand to someone else, so she can enjoy her retirement.
“What makes us unique is our longevity and consistency,” she said.
Artwear is located at 1817 Main St., in Vancouver.