Being a parent is a full-time job. Running a business is also a full-time job. So how do you successfully be a business owner and a parent? With a lot of blood, sweat, and tears, it’s possible. The crew at Golden Press Studio knows the joys and the woes of running a growing business while being a father. Jonathan Overmeyer, Cory Romeiser, Jared Day, and Josh Rickard share what it takes to run a successful, growing screen printing business while managing parenthood.
Jonathan with his two sons Hawthorne (right) and Hatteras (left).
WHERE IT ALL STARTED
Jonathan Overmyer, owner of Golden Press Studio, began printing in his garage about five years ago. Like many new printers, he started screen printing as a side hustle as he continued working his full-time job at a window cleaning company. When the owner of the window cleaning business sold him the company, Jonathan found himself the owner of not just one, but two businesses. On top of all that, his first son, Hawthorne, was born.
“It was an interesting challenge at times because you’re trying to work but then your family is right there,” Jonathan said.
Switching between printing and being a father was tricky. When his wife needed help with the newborn, Cory would step in to take some tasks off Jonathan’s plate.
“Cory was my right hand man,” Jonathan said. Cory fixed artwork for Jonathan, folded shirts and got them ready for back prints, cleaned screens, and even printed shirts.
Starting a print shop with a newborn was a challenge. Jonathan put in the hard work and saw his print shop growing. Jonathan hired Cory about three years ago for some extra print help.
“He was hired because Jonathan was lonely and was inappropriately stretching people’s artwork,” the team said.
Cory, now art director, grew into his current role of graphic designer for the studio. With more growth came another new opportunity: video. Jonathan hired Jarred, another father like himself, to handle the videography side of the ever-growing Golden Press Studio.
Cory had a son, Davey, in February of 2020, and Jonathan’s second son, Hatteras, was born that April. The business kept growing, and with the addition of more orders and more kids, Jonathan found it necessary to hire another printer: Josh. Josh was a dad too. He has a two-year-old daughter, Juniper. All the Golden Boys are fathers, and wouldn’t have it any other way. Now, they work in a studio about 4 blocks from Jonathan’s house.
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Cory tossing Davey in the air at the studio.
HOW DO YOU JUGGLE BOTH ROLES?
The Golden Boys have learned through experience that sacrifice and transparency is most important when balancing family and work life.
CREATE MORE TIME IN THE DAY
Some days, they have to stay late at the shop to make a deadline. Rather than sacrifice family time, they sacrifice sleep.
“This week I went home from work, spent time with my family, put my kids to sleep, kissed my wife and came back to the studio and worked from 10:00 PM-3:00 AM,” Jonathan said.
While not ideal, it’s only done when times are crazy busy. Losing three or four hours of sleep is worth it when the customer is happy and the kids are even happier.
When the work keeps piling up, you need help. Jonathan has had to learn the art of delegation. He created Golden Press Studio. He cares about every single aspect of the business. Rather than give up more of his own time to do everything himself, he has realized that his employees can perform to his standards and deadlines. Over the five years, Jonathan has entrusted others to specific tasks: Cory with graphic design and photography, Jarred with videography, and Josh with screen printing.
Hiring another screen printer to run the press when Jonathan wasn’t around was a big deal. Screen printing is his craft. It’s the service he’s in charge of. Letting that go was difficult, but he found Josh. The 15-year printing veteran’s abilities impressed Jonathan. By adding Josh to the team, Jonathan created more flexibility in his schedule.
“As long as we’re all connected within the team, it feels easier to delegate and space out the world to where I don’t have to hold down the whole fort,” Jonathan said. “I can just pass things off.”
When you’re running a business, familial support is essential. Golden Press Studio would not be where they are today without the support from their wives and children.
“Our wives sacrifice a lot to make it possible to do what we do, and it’s amazing,” Cory said. “We’re all super grateful.”
Jonathan’s wife, Courtney, and Cory’s wife, Olivia, are both stay-at-home moms. It’s a title that doesn’t encapsulate everything they do. They’re the Chief Home Officer, the Director of Child Development, Teacher, Event Planner, Domestic Engineer, and the list goes on.
“My wife is a superhero,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan remembers times where he’s come home after a tough day.
“[Courtney’s] like, ‘oh man, honey, I’m so sorry you had a rough day.’ And I’m like ‘you’ve been listening to kids scream 24/7. I think I got the long end of the stick on that one,” Jonathan said.
Jarred’s wife, Ashley, runs a boutique, while Josh’s wife, Jen, works in real estate. Having their support to work in a creative job rather than a boring, 9-5 gig has been extremely helpful.
“The stresses of a normal 9-5 are pretty much nonexistent, so when I’m home I can actually enjoy the time I have with my family rather than worrying about x-y-z,” Josh said.
Jarred and his wife Ashley communicated at every step along the way. He recalls a conversation with Ashley when he decided to work for the studio. They created a plan of action.
“Starting anything brand new, it’s a massive sacrifice,” Jarred said. “There’s going to be a financial impact at first, and a lot of time that has to be sunk into it.”
Jarred and Ashley made an agreement as to how long he was going to hustle. After that time was up, they reevaluated to get back on the same page.
“Let’s come back and have that same conversation and see, where are we at? Have we hit the goals we wanted?” Jarred said. Making sure he and his wife were on the same page throughout the process was Jarred’s first priority.
Josh, his wife Jennifer, and their daughter Juniper.
SUPPORTING EACH OTHER
Life is messy, and doesn’t run on schedule. Jonathan realized this early on, and encouraged his team to take time off when they needed it to live their lives outside of work. By being flexible, he’s seen a greater output in work and happier employees.
“When you think about your employees as hourly, over time you realize that people don’t operate like that,” Jonathan said. “Life isn’t that easy, and when you look at how they are as an asset to this company versus an employee, it’s a totally different mindset. If their wives or kids aren’t doing well, it affects their attitude, which also affects what we get done in the studio.”
Working for themselves allows them to be more flexible with their family lives. If something happens at home, they don’t have to worry about their boss saying “no.” Though everyone except Jonathan lives about 45 minutes from the shop, family comes first.
“If we said ‘something happened,’ [Jonathan] says ‘go take care of it,’” Jared said. “No big deal.”
Jonathan, Hawthorne, Hatteras, and Courtney Overmeyer.
Sometimes, the Golden Boys’ families will come visit the shop.
“Have they all done it at the same time?” Cory wondered.
“Thankfully no,” Jared said.
Josh’s family stops by the shop regularly.
“My family stops in probably once a week. Sometimes my wife will stop in with coffee on her way through to do real estate showings, or she’ll bring my daughter by to say ‘hi,’” Josh said. “If we didn’t run a tight ship and keep things tidy it’d be a different story, but I can trust that if my kid’s running around the shop, she’s not going to end up covered in ink or chemicals or anything crazy.”
WHAT THE KIDS WANT TO BE WHEN THEY GROW UP
While most of the team’s kids aren’t old enough to fully understand the ins and outs of screen printing, they still want to be like their dads.
Jonathan’s oldest, Hawthorne, has fired everyone in the shop. When he first heard the word “fired,” he asked Jonathan what it meant.
“I made the mistake of using Cory as an example,” Jonathan said. He explained to his son that if he was not satisfied with Cory’s work, he would tell Cory that his work wasn’t satisfactory, and Cory would stop showing up to the studio.
The next time Hawthorne was in the studio, he promptly fired Cory.
“I told him ‘no no no buddy, you can’t. I can’t do this without them,’” Jonathan said. Hawthorne does rehire the employees he fires, with a little bit of convincing.
Jarred’s son, Maximus, is six years old. He has a big imagination and loves to make videos like his dad. A couple of years ago, Max set up a book and papers to look like a laptop. When Jarred asked him what he was doing, he replied matter-of-factly, “I’m making videos.” Jarred continued to feed his imagination, giving him video assignments and paying him with toy money when the job was finished.
Jarred helped make Max’s video dreams into a reality. They started to create a stop-motion movie featuring Max’s action figures. They turned Max’s playroom into a movie set, wrote a script, and started on the project. Stop-motion is time-consuming, so they haven’t finished the project yet. Max has loved the process, though.
Jarred, his wife Ashley, and their son Maximus.
WHAT DOES YOUR FAMILY DO IN YOUR FREE TIME?
Free time is hard to come by in the screen printing business. Thankfully, the press doesn’t run on the weekends. When the Golden Boys aren’t working, they’re hanging out with their families (or Cory’s working on some sick tricks at the skate park).
Hawthorne is into video games (when he’s not taking charge of HR for his dad’s business). The family will play Donkey Kong on the Wii, as well as frequent local parks and playgrounds so the kids can run around.
Cory’s son is growing into as big a skater as his father.
“I’ll hold him and skate around the park often,” Cory said. When Cory takes Davey back to his mom, Davey’s bummed. He wants to be just like Dad.
Cory and Davey love to skate.
Jarred’s son Max has discovered the magic of reading. Every night, he and Jarred will read a few chapters of whatever book they’re into at the moment. Jarred gives each character a different voice to keep the story as interesting as possible.
“When you read in your head, every character has a different voice, so I do that out loud,” Jarred said.
Josh’s daughter loves going on walks and reading books. Like most young girls, Juniper is also very into Frozen.
“I’ve seen anything involving Anna, Elsa, Olaf, or Sven more times than I can count,” Josh said.
Josh and his family checking out the studio.
ADVICE FOR PARENTS WANTING TO START UP A PRINT SHOP
“Get a dictionary out and look up the word sacrifice,” Jonathan said.
Walking the fine line between parent and business owner takes transparency and sacrifice. The team is all lucky to have superhero wives who hold down the fort and support their goals.
“Your decision as a parent and business owner makes or breaks both relationships,” Jonathan said.
Jonathan also advises that printers work hard and make sacrifices at the beginning, so they have more flexibility later on down the road. All members of Golden Press Studio have sacrificed time and sleep to make the shop successful, so they can go home and relax.
Another piece of advice Jonathan has for new printers is to take your customers seriously. If you do, they’ll keep coming back to you.
“If you’re wanting to make this your full-time thing, you have to really make sure that your customers can rely on you,” Jonathan said. “If you have to change plans with your family, you’d better make it up to them.”
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The Golden Boys hustle so they can have fun.
The hustle has been real for Golden Press Studio. With the support of their families and their commitment to excellence, they’ve made the studio into the success it is. When we asked if they would do anything differently if they could do it again, all the Golden Boys had the same answer: no.
“It’s how we got here,” Jarred said.
Now that it's been a few years, Jonathan is more comfortable with being a father and running a business.
“The kid is screaming, but it’s okay. I’m gonna print some shirts,” Jonathan said.
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