screen printing business 12_17_13

Jordan Inglebright watches employee Mike Chirila print a shirt at ESEF Apparel, a screen printing shop she founded in Vacaville. (Robinson Kuntz/Daily Republic)

Local Business

Entrepreneurial spirit grows young business

By From page B7 | January 05, 2014

FAIRFIELD — When Jordan Inglebright turned 18, her parents asked her what business she planned to start instead of what college she planned to attend.

The offspring of entrepreneurial parents (owners of Roadrunner Towing and American Auto Body Specialists), Inglebright decided to do both; at the same time.

These days, the 24-year-old is a college graduate from San Francisco’s Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and the University of California, Berkeley. She is also closing in on her seventh year of self-employment with her company ESEF Apparel, a screen printing design shop located in Vacaville that counts among its customers several departments at NorthBay Medical Center.

The business originally began in 2007 as a clothing company by Inglebright and some friends. Inglebright created her own marketing venues by hitting up some of the under-21 clubs to allow her to host an event on a night that usually wasn’t busy. She’d hire bands, make the T-shirts by outsourcing the screen printing and then, depending on the agreement, she’d collect the door cover charges plus money from T-shirts sales.

“It was kind of fun because we created our own demand,” she said.

When she turned 21, she said that opened an entire new set of venues.

She called herself tenacious, with an innate nature to hustle, and rather unwilling to settle on the word, “no.” She said for everyone who gave her a chance in the early days, just as many told her to go away. She credits her business sense, acumen and attitude to her parents, who she called “super supportive.”

Armed with that business sense, she kept asking herself how she could make her business better.

“You can’t stay static,” she said. “You can’t stay the same because the market is constantly changing.”

That attitude saw the rebirth of her company as a screen print shop. She bought her first press in 2010 and set up shop in her garage and networked while at U.C. Berkeley, bringing in customers not only from campus but Berkeley establishments as well. This time, instead of outsourcing the T-shirt designs, she began to make them herself, along with the help of her first employee, Mike Chirila, an experienced screen printer she found on Craigslist.

A year after setting up shop in the garage, she ran out of space and moved to a spot at her parents’ business on Walters Court. Once again she expanded and ran out of room and a few months ago set up shop at her own location on Eubanks Court in Vacaville.

The original screen printing press still stands in her Vacaville shop – dwarfed by the newer manual machine that is the largest on the market. Right next to that small machine, Chirila and the newest employee, Joe Perdoni, recently worked on some staff T-shirts for Liberty Christian Center, rebranding itself is Liberty Church. Pedroni placed the shirts, Chirila used a squeegie-type tool to lay the paint – one coat and one color at a time. Between coats it’s “baked” in a flash cure unit.

“It’s fun because you get to do something different every day,” Chirila said. Appealing to his artistic nature, he said that he likes working with the customer to expand on their design ideas.

Paying rent, water, sewer and garbage never felt so good to Inglebright. She credits the growth to not only hard work but to how the company treats its customers. She’s more than tripled her business since moving to the new location and now has about 140 customers. Along with the success and new business location is the sobering realization that she now owes allegiance to two employees. What was once a way to earn some extra money is now a business and career for her.

She runs into the incredulous; those who don’t believe she’s a real business owner – complete with Chamber of Commerce membership. She said the problem isn’t just that she’s young but that she’s also female. That makes little difference to her, though.

“When people tell me I can’t do something, I’m like ‘OK watch me do it,’ ” she said. “Someone (once) told me U.C. Berkeley was competitive. OK, watch me get in.

“You have to be competitive to get anywhere. You’re not going to be successful (just) because you have good ideas.”

Reach Susan Winlow at 427-6955 or [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at www.twitter.com/swinlowdr.


Discussion | 21 comments

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  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:55 am

    Obama said, You didn't do that.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 8:42 am

    The Mister, of course you are quoting out of context.

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  • The MisterJanuary 05, 2014 - 10:25 am

    CD, in the same way you quote the Bible?

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 10:42 am

    The Mister, I don't "quote" the bible, I mock it. There is a huge difference between quoting that fictional work and deliberately misrepresenting comments by real people.

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  • U B The Prima Donna CDJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:02 am


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  • Entrepreneurial Spirit Rocks....I wonder Why?January 05, 2014 - 11:06 am


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  • Dale Hawkins - Susie QJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:12 am


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  • FDCJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:18 am

    We all know by now that CD derives some inner joy or sense of fulfillment by offending Christians but is afraid to spread his same kind of hate and discontent to any other religion, particularly the one whose name we all are now afraid to utter.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 11:54 am

    Mr. Crutchfield, I give what I get just like many Christians believe they're entitled to. Only they feel justified because they believe they have some supernatural entity backing them up. How many times have I told you that I put ALL RELIGION in the same pot Sir? I like to condemn them ALL equally, okay? Do you finally understand that? ALL of them!

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  • FDCJanuary 05, 2014 - 4:00 pm

    No you don't, CD, at least not equally. You utter really nasty words about Jesus but you don't dare say one thing about that other religion's prophet, do you? You don't have the fortitude to say anything or perhaps you believe that other prophet was just dandy. In either case, you restrict your most offensive language to Christians and Christianity in general. You just won't admit your bias. As I have said before, I have no problem with your not believing in a power greater than yourself. I cannot understand why you don't extend that same courtesy to me and to other people who believe otherwise. It is completely unnecessary for you to be offensive and is beneath you.

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  • CD BrooksJanuary 05, 2014 - 6:36 pm

    FDC, I just don't what to say about that? It isn't personal. When folks from other faiths come in here and bring the same nonsense (sorry) I will respond in the same fashion. Feel free to believe I do not support or believe there is any form of a god-like entity. If I knew or cared enough to list the others I would but that would be redundant. I trust my faith in me, it has worked nicely so far.

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  • FDCJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:09 pm

    One word: chicken. Adieu.

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  • @ CDJanuary 05, 2014 - 5:05 pm

    Please type this.........." I renounce all works of Satan "

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  • @ CDJanuary 05, 2014 - 6:46 pm

    Almighty...I mean Alrighty then, CD since U R your own evil God....please type....I renounce all works of CD Brooks

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  • rlw895January 05, 2014 - 10:38 am

    Yeah, he said it. He left off the "alone." Did you miss the part about the UCB education/network and "super supportive" parents?

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  • rlw895January 05, 2014 - 10:40 am

    Ms. Inglebright herself would say she didn't do it alone. That doesn't diminish her accomplishments; it's just being honest.

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  • Mr. PracticalJanuary 05, 2014 - 1:35 pm

    Actually, the vast majority of small businesses got no help from anyone and did do it alone. Even in the correct context it was a irresponsible statement.

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  • rlw895January 05, 2014 - 4:35 pm

    It's possible the "vast majority" THINK or SAY they did it alone. America is an incubator for business. No one person built the incubator.

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  • U have no idea of the depth of your own arrogance U rlw UJanuary 05, 2014 - 4:41 pm

    How do you know what the young lady would say?....stop putting words in everyone else's "mouths"...More illuminati tactics....Stick to your own thoughts please and stop telling us what you think people you don't even know are thinking....Blatant Blatant arrogant BS of rlw....Please GO AWAY if you can not break yourself of this annoying habit.

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  • rlw895January 05, 2014 - 10:28 pm

    My, my. Of course I don't KNOW. You're putting that word out there, Ms. Illuminati. When I write an opinion, I drop the "I think" or "I believe" when it's obviously an opinion. But in this case, I'm pretty sure Ms. Inglebright would at least credit her parents, who she called "super supportive." She seems smart and confident, which to me means she would be happy to give credit where it's due and not need it all for her own ego.

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  • TonyJanuary 05, 2014 - 7:42 pm

    Way to go Jordan!

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