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Meet Melvin Ferrer and Rachel Florido of Fresh Prints Design in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melvin Ferrer and Rachel Florido.

Melvin and Rachel, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
Rachel was my best friend’s sister in high school. I went to St. John Bosco an all-boys school and she went to St. Joseph’s, an all-girls school. We both grew up and hung out in Long Beach during those years. I went to Long Beach City and she went to CSULB. Rachel graduated in graphics design was freelancing design projects for a few years, during that time I had opened a marketing and promotions business in Hollywood with one of my colleagues and eventually it lead to a successful business in real estate. Throughout these years we had always been friends and stayed connected.

Fast forward to 2008, the real estate market was about to take a turn, my mom had passed away from cancer, and I felt as if I had lost everything. I didn’t want to do anything and I didn’t return any calls from my clients and I had given up. Instead of the normal condolences card, Rachel handed me this rolled up poster she had designed and printed. I opened it up and it was a silly picture of a cat hanging from a tree, with the caption, “Hang in there.” I didn’t think much of it at the time but the following year, I needed a designer for some of my clients and I asked her for help. We worked together on a lot of projects out of my living room that year, she was very creative and came up with bright ideas and designs that really impressed our clients. We helped real estate agents recreate their marketing. After the bubble had burst only the agents that really stood out were able to reclaim sales and drive the market. We were printing signs and flyers posters from my living room with the minimal equipment we had until we outgrew my living room.

Word spread that we were designing and printing marketing materials and we would get calls from random people wanting work done. We really needed to find a place where we could do business. With the help from one of Rachel’s friends we opened up a small office in Long Beach in Jan 2012, down the street from Rachel’s home at the time.

We called ourselves Fresh Prints Design – design studio and creative print lab. We started with our laptops, folding tables and chairs, and a small printer. We didn’t have much to work with. Any money we would make we would put back into the business and buy more machines and supplies. We worked day and night in that office to get things done and keep our clients coming back. We built a good team and made things happen. We took jobs that other print shops simply wouldn’t take and we built a strong online presence with great reviews and referrals from all our past clients. Within 3 years we had orders spanning across the world. Clients would call us to create designs and print jobs for local conventions. Local businesses were hiring us to update marketing and design, and we walked along side many new businesses grow from just an idea – just like we did.

Fresh Prints Design moved in 2015 to a building in Bixby Knolls, ironically the building had been a print shop for nearly 50 years. As soon as we heard that, we knew it was a sign. We signed the lease and just kept on growing. We always set goals and have worked on anything that we could imagine. We set goals that we never imagined reaching and we never let an opportunity pass us by. And I am excited to announce that we will be expanding our business again very soon!

Has it been a smooth road?
We’ve had our struggles like every small business. We always took risks in order to grow. When we first started, a customer had placed a large order, we put in a lot of time and effort into it. The job was a few thousand dollars, mind you in the beginning we started with almost no money, they gave us some cash, and big check that bounced a few days later. We took it as an expensive learning experience.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Fresh Prints Design – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We are Fresh Prints Design, we aren’t “the print shop down the street.” We are known as the people that can get it done, people have walked in because a print shop that we’ve never even heard of referred them to us. Word gets around I guess!

We try to do right by our customers, many of which we have had a long term standing with. I think that we are most proud of seeing what has become of the clients that we worked with from the ground up. It is extremely satisfying to see someone’s idea become a reality and just the fact that we helped turn that idea into something tangible, whether it is printed, designed, or created, that is huge!

One of our proudest moments is when one of our original clients Gio from Groundwork fitness had a ribbon cutting ceremony with the Mayor of Long Beach, and in front of her business she had placed our business as one of the logos in her sponsorship wall, she wanted to thank us for being with her literally from the ground – up.

I think that the fact that we started off as “Fresh Prints Design – Design studio and creative print lab,” just set us apart. We never wanted to be a print shop down the street. We do a lot of jobs most print shops won’t even try and take. Most people don’t even remember the print shop down the streets name. But they almost always remember us… or Rachel at least.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
We live in such a diverse city so many different types of people and art is everywhere. We are so diverse and so creative that it shows in all forms. Whether it’s the clothes or shoes you wear or even automotive culture.

The crime and violence that shows up every once in a while, we can’t avoid it.

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Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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