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Preparing for the future: Growing a Shallotte business

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

SHALLOTTE—It’s large enough to be competitive in large metropolitan cities, but it calls Shallotte home.

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“I had no idea how large your business was” is a phrase often heard by Coastal Printing & Graphics Inc. owners Jimmy and Melody Bellamy.

The print shop on Village Road is deceiving from the outside. Inside the building extends to house a large-scale commercial printing business that just recently expanded its capacity.

“We added something large for our company,” Melody Bellamy said. “Our commercial printing and design company absorbed a mailing company.”

The addition of the mailing component to the business means “from conception to completion” everything is done in Shallotte.

“This is huge. It is something you typically only find in big cities,” Melody Bellamy said.

In the past the company outsourced the mailing portion of the business to other companies outside of the county. Now this is no longer necessary.

“It is limitless now,” Melody Bellamy said.

“It is always something we partnered with another company for but due to the economy there aren’t as many partners as there used to be,” Jimmy Bellamy said.

“We are looking long-term—where is print going? We want to be in a position to be prepared,” Melody Bellamy said.

In addition to the expansion, the business has remodeled its front office space and added additional space in the back for the mail operation.

The mailing component enables clients to draw up a direct mail/marketing concept from scratch and have every aspect completed in the store from graphic arts to printing and mailing.

“It allows a faster turn around with bulk mail,” said Ashley Bourland, the Bellamys’

 daughter who began working in the business at age 10 answering phones. “It allows us to have better quality control and a quicker turn around time.”

As people turn to digital means of advertising more and more, Jimmy Bellamy and his customers have found direct mail has sustained its value.

“It is still the most effective means of marketing for the dollars spent,” Jimmy Bellamy said.

“The largest percent of people respond to direct mail,” Bourland added.

Last year one resort client from S.C. tried a direct mail concept, ordering 750,000 units. This year the client upped the order to a million pieces due to the brochure’s success.

“You don’t have to have a large business to benefit,” Jimmy Bellamy said. “You can target specific areas and populations.”

“You can get a very specific client base,” Bourland said. “We offer a service as well as a product that allows our clients to perfect, expand and promote their business. Our clients are able to come to us for everything from logo creation to complete full package product creation.”

 

Growth

The growth of the business to become a commercial print and graphic design company offering mailing on the scale of a large city was the following of a vision for the Bellamy family.

The company began in 1988 by Jimmy Bellamy’s father and aunt. At the time Bellamy’s father also owned and operated Kimball’s Furniture at the site of the current Coastal Printing & Graphics.

“Jimmy’s family vision was always bigger than a hole-in-the-wall print shop in a small town,” Melody Bellamy said. “The vision was for more than that and to meet the needs of larger businesses.”

The print business began in a 2,400-square-foot building with four employees. It is now 15,000-plus square feet with about 30 full-time employees. The addition of the mailing services created four new jobs.

The company added a second location in 1996 named Inlet Printing Company in Murrells Inlet, S.C.

In 2009 Coastal Printing & Graphics Inc. entered the Printing Industry of the Carolinas awards, a symbol of excellence for the graphics industry in the Carolinas. The first year the company won 13 of the 15 categories entered. In 2010 it claimed 12 of 13 and in 2011 it garnered 11 of 12.

Coastal Printing & Graphics Inc. will celebrate its 24th anniversary this April and hopes to be around for another 25 years, the Bellamys said.

For more information call 754-5929, stop in at 125 Village Road or online www.teamcoastal.com.

 

Rachel Johnsonis a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at (910) 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com.