2nd Skin becomes Eastern Canada's largest textile printing company
By Kavita Sabharwal-Chomiuk
Quebec City-based textile printer 2nd Skin last year reported investments of over $600,000 in advanced technology to help the company serve the Ontario and Maritime regions. Following this announcement, 2nd Skin announced that it had acquired the textile division of Id pro, a major screen-printing company, making it the largest textile printer in Eastern Canada. Now, 2nd Skin is looking to expand beyond Eastern Canada, to the rest of the country.
Moving on up
2nd Skin offers direct-to-garment printing, vinyl transfer, sublimation printing and laser engraving divisions. The acquisition of Id pro significantly increased 2nd Skin’s production capacity, allowing the printer to run nine automatic screen-printing presses out of its new 17,000-square-foot plant. Now the company is able to produce 25,000 prints per shift, compared to its previous capacity of 5,000 pieces per day. Plus, following the acquisition, its range of services improved upon what Id pro was able to offer its distributor clients before the acquisition.
”Our goal was to become one of the biggest screen printers in Canada,” says Rémy Vézina, the owner of 2nd Skin. “With this acquisition, we will do direct sales and sales for distributors with Id pro. With our nine presses, we will be able to manage a huge capacity of production.”
In addition to the acquisition, 2nd Skin also purchased new embroidery equipment to enhance the services offered, increasing the number of embroidery heads from 13 to 19. The company has also started introducing automation of its processes, in an effort to optimize production and provide employees with a more advanced work environment.
Vézina says that the company plans to maintain all staff from both companies, a total of 42 employees. The move to the new building coincides with the consolidation of locations where employees do screen printing, embroidery, vinyl transfer and direct-to-garment work.
Beyond the pandemic
2nd Skin, like all businesses operating out of Quebec, had to close its doors in March for the COVID-19 lockdown, but the company only stayed shuttered for 12 days. The business was allowed to reopen because it had contracts with grocery stores to produce social distancing t-shirts. They also started working on the sale of face masks when they reopened.
Now that the company is back at work, running at full capacity following the COVID-19 shutdown, Vézina says that they’re doing more work related to social distancing, including the aforementioned t-shirts.
“We got a big contract of 45,000 t-shirts for grocery store staff, asking people to keep their distance,” he says. “We will also be doing some floor graphics, banners and things like that.”
Now that the worst of COVID-19 may be (hopefully) behind us, Vézina says the company has undergone several steps to prepare for the recovery. For one, Vézina says all of 2nd Skin’s sales and administrative staff has been working from home since the start of the shutdown. Meanwhile, production staff have been able to work staggered shifts to limit interaction while at work and on break or mealtimes.
In addition, Vézina says the company has deployed signs to remind employees to wash their hands, and has provided extra sanitizing materials to keep areas clean and germ-free.
Vézina is hopeful about what the pandemic’s hygienic necessities mean for businesses in the future, however. “When you have over 40 employees, and you have a flu epidemic, you have three weeks where you’re short-staffed or some staff is overworked,” he says. “With this, this new normal with washing our hands and signs, maybe there will be fewer epidemics in the future, and more productivity.”
Looking forward, Vézina believes the pandemic will impact sales long-term. “I think everybody wants a shortcut, but you need three things for sales: the deals, the quality and the price. The bigger printers have the capacity to offer the best deals. If you offer the best deal, you can provide better prices or better quality with better equipment,” he explains. “We’re offering all three, while most businesses only offer two. If you offer quality and deals, you don’t have the price. I think that the future is going to see that big business can offer the best deals and respectable quality for a good price.”
The company recently launched a sales platform online in January, and plans to invest more in its web solution. Currently, 2nd Skin’s website is only offered in French, but the company plans to launch an English site soon.
“We want to take the markets in all of Canada, not only in Quebec,” says Vézina. It looks like 2nd Skin is well on its way.
This article was originally published in the September 2020 issue of PrintAction.