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From taxi cabs to textile print horizons

Jamie Bowes of First Displays in Edinburgh has spoken of his journey in the printing industry that has taken him from working at home to a 7,200sq ft factory in the city.

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First Displays has built its reputation on delivering on its promises and never cutting corners

He comments: “I started in 2004 as Cab Ads with advertising on taxi cabs which became First Displays. I worked at home at first and then rented premises, bought a machine to print the signage to put on the taxis. I got enquiries for printing and bought another machine, and then later moved to the centre of Edinburgh.”

His firm was now up and running, buying an HP750 flatbed printer to service a growing market for signs, vehicle graphics, advertising boards, stickers, and trade printing.

"Another purchase has allowed him to print on fabrics, opening up new markets in Scotland, although he says the bread and butter work for the company is with estate agents marketing sites across the country.

It’s all about turning things around quickly and the price but without throwing away quality

The fabric printing has opened up new markets in printed blinds, which he now manufactures as well as printing, revealing how an eye for an opening can transform a small but growing company.

“It’s all about turning things around quickly and the price,” says Bowes, who adds, “but without throwing away quality. We’re hiring more staff which is an investment with longer opening hours and a concentration on customer service. It’s an important part of the business.”

He says the key to success in the printing and signage business is staying small and efficient, offering a fast quality service and being flexible.

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