Kyle and Annie Robinson started Print My Threads, an apparel screen printing company, in 2009 after their move back to Ashland, Kentucky – Annie’s hometown.
Soon after, demand allowed them to move the business out of their garage and into a storefront in downtown Ashland. In the fall of 2013, Print My Threads secured financing through the Mountain Association to purchase and renovate a vacant building in nearby Flatwoods, KY, in Greenup County, that was originally built in the 1960s as the town’s local roller skating rink.
Today, Print My Threads manages a full-time staff of nine employees and prints apparel for companies, events and retail clothing lines all over the country. They attract customers who appreciate their use of sustainable processes, inks and fabrics, and they work with clients looking to build their brand, tell their story, and make money through the use of custom screen printed apparel.
In recent years, they began working with the Mountain Association to save on energy bills. After making a few energy efficiency upgrades to efficient central heating and air, and the addition of spray foam insulation and LED lighting throughout their facility, the last step of going solar made dollars and sense for their bottom line.
And in Fall 2019, Print My Threads installed 108 panels for 38.88 kilowatts of solar power. This will provide about 14.5 percent more energy than they have used in the past, making it possible to add central cooling to the 7,000 square foot production area.
The Mountain Association helped get nearly $40,000 in grant funding through the USDA Rural Energy for America Program (REAP) for the project, and financed the remainder at a low interest rate. The system is expected to save Print My Threads over $6,200 per year.
With a monthly loan payment to the Mountain Association of $218 and monthly solar savings are averaging $517, this results in about $300 per month of additional cash flow for the business (please note: this information is shared with the generous permission of Kyle).
Even in the event of likely increases from KY Power, their system should have a simple payback of 5 years or less.
Kyle has also utilized the Mountain Association’s Business Support program to work with a Mountain Association consultant on a production management system to increase efficiencies on their production floor.
“This is our fifth project working with the Mountain Association. Their guidance and ongoing support services go above and beyond our financing needs,” Robinson said. “I really don’t think we’d be where we are if we didn’t have the kind of flexibility the Mountain Association was able to offer.”