9Tee Mile Screenprinting hits the main street in Kaitaia
Chad and the team are specialists in screenprinting apparel and are experts at turning your ideas into reality.
After initially starting the business at their home studio in Ahipara, Chad and Lisa Merlo’s screen printing business had begun to outgrow the space they had. So, in the middle of the pandemic, they opened their retail store on the main street of Kaitaia which houses the printing side of the business at the back of the shop.
“We saw a post come up on the Northland Inc Facebook page about how they had helped other businesses to access funding to grow their business. We also had a friend who had received RBP funding and they told us to definitely get in touch and see what was available." ~ Chad
When Chad and Lisa first met with one of our Growth Advisors, they were shortly about to sign a lease on a retail property in Kaitaia. Up until this time they had been operating out of their home studio but needed more room for stock and the printing part of the business.
When they opened the retail space, the majority of sales were coming from businesses and sports groups. They also had been working on getting their online presence set up via Shopify with this with being a key strategy for growth.
“Social media and our online presence had never been a strong point for us. The funding we were able to access helped us set good targets and build out our online and social media presence." ~ Chad
However - as lots of small businesses can identify with - along with a commercial lease comes more pressure to make sales to cover your increased costs. Until this time, they hadn’t had to do any marketing with the business growing organically through word-of-mouth. So together with Emma Rankin, their current Growth Advisor, Chad & Lisa identified that the next thing they needed help with was their marketing.
Emma says she fees “privileged to have supported Chad and Lisa access the Management Capability Development fund to co-fund their marketing review project. They worked with a fantastic local business who took a deep dive into their marketing activity and online presence with a view of upskilling them to be able to implement activity that has helped them to grow their revenue”.