Printwear

May '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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6 4 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 SHOP SNAPSHOT Family Tree K eeping a family business afloat is no easy task, and even if a company can stand the test of time, plenty ends up changing hands and ownership. For T.R. McTaggart, the family name has remained on the nameplate for more than four decades. With its roots tracing back to co-owner Terry McTaggart's parents, the company originated in the wholesale world. It shifted into an early version of what it is today when McTaggart married his wife, Robin. Robin McTaggart's family brought the business under their com- pany umbrella, the Forward Corporation. Since the 1980s, the company has grown its footprint as a division of Forward Corporation with services like screen printing and em- broidery. Lindsay Carpenter, division manager, says the tourism market has been a strong foundation for the business for quite a while. Because Forward Corporation owns a fleet of convenience stores and gas stations throughout northern Michigan, she elaborates, that helps maintain a steady demand for printed garments. "We obviously supply a lot of the clothing and the garments that they sell in those stores, so that has translated into an expertise that we can offer to other small businesses that cater to tourism and that are tourism-retail dependent," Carpenter adds, noting that the tour- ism industry T.R. McTaggart supports stretches far outside the Northern Michigan region. Currently, the business has a vibrant list of tourism-related clients that extends from the coast of Maine to the tip of Florida up to Alaska. That broad set of clients also means that the company must stay nimble with all its internal divisions. Carpenter explains that T.R. McTaggart approaches this with strategies like a set of designers who churn out stock designs in addition to customized artwork for customers. The team rolls out designs year- round, as well as samples to help clients get accustomed to what T.R. McTaggart offers. Along with a versatile design team, Carpenter says the business's set of in-house sales reps, as well as independent sales reps across the country, help complete the equation. "That (setup) has been a good way for us to gain a nice foothold in the market and develop a relationship with a salesperson as well," she comments. And even with the continued success of the company, Carpenter notes that two constant themes run deep at T.R. McTaggart; authenticity and loyalty. "For those of us that are living and breathing this (job) every day, while we didn't necessarily build the business ourselves, everybody feels such an affinity for one another here," she explains. "But it's Terry and Robin's name on the line, and we want to make them proud. I think that that's really been the thing that has stood out to me, is how much everybody has this shared history." With a strong showing already for 2020, the company continues to build on its pre- vious reputation, and look forward to the future. In the past year, the business has in- vested in continuous training for staff like the screen-printing and art departments, as well as refining its business management software efficiency. Carpenter says she's also helped with more core initiatives, too, such as team-building exercises and company- wide events to maintain a positive, interac- tive culture. Additionally, she says T.R. Mc- Taggart is taking its story of employee pride and family values and finding ways to share that with customers, as well as potential clients. "I think that's our next step in our growth… figuring out how to tell a story better," she says. "Because (the company) is such a sort of gem here in northern Michi- gan, and yet it's been a well-kept secret." Carpenter explains that the company continues to focus on how to amplify what's been happening at T.R. McTaggart to help further growth and continue to maintain longevity. For more information, visit www.trmc taggart.com. PW T.R. MCTAGGART LOCATION: Standish, Michigan OWNERS: Terry and Robin McTaggart, and family SQUARE FOOTAGE: 33,000 sq. ft. 6 4 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 2 0 In the past year, the business has invested in continuous training for staff like the screen-printing and art depart- ments, as well as refining its business management soft- ware efficiency. The tourism market has been a strong foundation for the business for quite a while. (All images courtesy T.R. Mc- Taggart) For T.R. McTaggart, the family name has remained on the nameplate for more than four decades.

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