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Family dream comes true, Sublime showroom opens

Samoa’s first locally-manufactured sports apparel company, Sublime, has opened a showroom in Vailoa as it looks to expand its presence.

A subsidiary of local family business The Print Company, the sports apparel maker’s Managing Director, Katenia Rasch, said it is the first time they opened up a showroom for their customers other than their own home and factory at Lotopa.

She said while the family business has over a decade experience in printing, it is the first time they are going down this path for the sake of their customers.

"And when we did have resources, there was no one to manage things. We always had that imbalance within us," she said. 

"We established in 2018 but we slowly worked from home."

And while they moved into their new space in Vailoa in January this year, due to the many orders and lack of hands, their grand opening was delayed and minimised to an intimate gathering of family and friends a few weeks ago.

"We've been fortunate with how we've grown for the past two years, and we acknowledge and firstly thank God, and then there's family support," she added. 

"We've been grateful, very fortunate considering COVID[19] and other hindrances"

The business employs four full-time workers – sewers and factory workers – with temporary workers taken on board when needed.

The 35-year-old Ms. Rasch – who is a mother of three young children with an educational background in environmental science and waste management, project coordination and management – said that in order to make their "dream" a reality she quit her job.

"Our families have many years experience in printing - screen printing particularly but sublimation was a passion we had always dreamt of introducing to Samoa and with the Lord's blessings and the great support of families we were able to bring our dream of The Print Company and our sports brand Sublime to life," she said.

In addition, Ms Rasch added that The Print Company is a strong believer in supporting local and small businesses, and they’ve grown since their establishment.

Initially kicking off with sports apparels, the family business is also slowly making a name for itself in promotional materials such as feather flags using the sublimation concept - the use of heat to essentially bring ink and fabric together as one by firstly printing design on a special paper.

"This is a fairly new concept to Samoa with regards to manufacturing and production. I believe we are currently the only company who does sublimation in the country with regards to textiles and sports apparel manufacturing. Other sublimated products available in the country, I believe, are all imported," she added.

"The ideas [and] products are limitless for sublimation which is the meaning behind our company slogan 'You Dream it, We Print it'."

So far the local sports brand company has been supplying gear for Netball, TAG, Volleyball, Touch Rugby, Crossfit and Gym Trainings, both locally and overseas to New Zealand, Australia and Fiji. 

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