The former Logger’s Mill building located at County Highway B and Hall of Fame Drive is the new site of a familiar business under new ownership: Hidden Bay Graphics.
Shannon O’Hare and Beck Neibert purchased half of the Hidden Bay business formerly located on Dyno Drive that included Hidden Bay Sports. (The two Hidden Bays are different companies.)
Most of the Graphics side employees moved over to the new site, including Director of Sales and Marketing Tami Rusch (whose family had owned the company), as well as Rusch’s sisters Lucy Lambert and Shannon Bobb.
For decades, locally and nationally, Hidden Bay Graphics has been providing screen-printing, embroidery and promotional products. Rusch said the company has a high reputation for using the top quality inks that last.
“My husband just threw away one of the first T-shirts we ever made in 1989 because the cloth was coming apart, but the ink still looked good,” she said.
O’Hare and Neibert had been talking about starting their own business or taking over another. It became apparent the opportunity was the one O’Hare knew intimately at Hidden Bay Graphics, where she had several duties, so the women approached the owner and an agreement was reached Dec. 27 and the new site officially opened Jan. 7.
“I think we saw a good opportunity to grow the business,” Neibert said.
The new location features smartly designed offices and production spaces.
O’Hare’s 93-year-old father, Robert J. “Swanie” Swanson, oversaw the renovation.
“My dad took up Becky’s and mine vision and he drew up the plans and got the contractors and brought them all in,” O’Hare said.
“He was here every day at age 93,” Neibert said.
Tragically, when the renovation was completed and a contractor’s party was held at the site to celebrate, Mr. Swanson passed away on Nov. 13.
To commemorate his important contribution, a plaque is displayed prominently near the retail area.
Facing the streets, the site has good visibility and the new owners anticipate there will be more retail business, including all of the Hayward Canes merchandise.
But the bulk of the business is making silk-screen and embroidered garments that sport the names of resorts, bars, organizations and corporations and an assortment of promotional products (1 million items available). Because of the approaching spring season, there’s a focus on helping resorts and campgrounds for the May fishing opener.
The company takes attractive apparel and adds signature designs and logos that take the name of the business out in the world.
“We encourage our customers to see us as a marketing arm of their business,” Rusch said.
You never know where a branded garment is going to be seen by others. The Jan. 31, 2018 Record article, “Hayward Coffee Co. gets international jazz exposure,” recounts a Norwegian jazz drummer Henrik Lødøen who bought a Hidden Bay Graphic screen-printed hoodie while visiting Hayward with “Hayward Coffee Co.” across the front. Then later a photo of Lødøen in the hoodie appeared on a BBC website giving an international shout-out to a Hayward business.
All three women and three other employees recently attended a Business After Five event and all were sporting Hidden Bay Graphics clothing with a new logo that offered a professional presentation.
Besides businesses and organizations, the company also services events such as the Lumberjack World Championships, Fishing Has No Boundaries, the Musky Festival and others.
“We want people who do these events to think about using our products,” said Rusch. “We also like that we are helping local events and are part of them.”
The company produces a catalogue of options and also features an in-house art department with a graphic designer for custom work and original logos.
New directions, too
Along with new and bigger space, there’s a larger vision unfolding and to help fulfill it more sales people are being brought in.
Another new feature is a digital heat machine that will allow for small, unique production, so that group photo of the weekend with friends can quickly be spotted on T-shirts. The applications for such niche marketing are seemingly endless.
And besides printing on generic apparel, the company also can print designs on brand names such as Carhartt, Columbia, North Face, Under Armor, Marmont, Spider and more.
The website is www.hiddenbaygraphics.com.