The Women in Print Awards: Nicole Piach
The co-owner of Digital Print Specialties has made a name for herself as a pioneer in textile imaging.
Digital Print Specialties
Hazel Park, Michigan
Industry innovations: Developed line of specialty print media; among the first to adopt dye-sub technology
Philanthropy: Supports students at Parsons School of Design; served on Olympic torch run committee
Key accomplishments: Produced 43,000 square feet of sublimated fabric in 36 days for Super Bowl XL
What are the current challenges facing women in print?
Being a glass-half-full kind of girl, and given the context of this question, I believe that being in a creative industry such as printing where the workforce is statistically predominately male opens the doors for opportunity more than poses a challenge.
In this growing and seemingly ever-changing industry, it requires ongoing learning, creativity, and innovation. This requires great teams, which create great businesses and products.
I see opportunity in the teams. It doesn’t matter if you’re a mom-and-pop shop or if you work for a multimillion-dollar organization. Great teams consist of different people, with different ideas, thought processes, and most importantly, personalities. Be the leader, the shaker, the expert, or the worker bee. These traits make up the team. With that being said, both men and women have a lot to offer, and yes, we may be wired differently, but it’s when you combine all these unique facets that teams and businesses and, ultimately, the individuals find success. That’s opportunity!
What would you say to a young woman who is interested in working in the printing industry?
The first thing I’d say is “have fun”; it’s a great industry to be in. It’s creative and you get to work with other creative people, and it’s where no two days are ever alike. In some cases, one day you’ll be printing a poster for $1 tacos and then the next day thousands of graphics for the Super Bowl – true story!
Secondly, being a mom to a 20-year-old daughter and an 18-year-old son, my advice to both of them is to make sure you’re passionate and love whatever you do. Success is built in time, by trial and error, in both good and bad economies. Resilience, whether you are an employee or self-employed, is much easier to achieve and maintain when passion is part of the equation.
Lastly, gravitate to and surround yourself with great, knowledgeable people across all sorts of industries. Printing spans so many markets that you never know where your next account or big project will come from. It could be a fashion designer in New York, a hospital in Toronto, or your favorite restaurant down the street. It really is an exciting industry, and it can be whatever you make it to be!