Women in Print: Andrea Pesci-Jones, Stylerite Label Corporation
Stylerite Label Corporation, Rochester Hills, Mich.
Years of experience: 31
How she got her start: I have spent most of my life in the printing industry. My father founded our sister company, Stylecraft Printing, which specializes in offset printing (business forms and commercial print), when I was just starting kindergarten. Even at such a young age, I was fascinated with the mechanics of the printing presses, and still remember the smell of the ink. I knew [then] that my ultimate goal was to own a printing company. Over the years, I worked in a variety of positions learning as much as I could about the industry. I lived outside the area for a few years and worked for other printers, in addition to opportunities at the family business. Stylerite Label Corporation, which specializes in traditional flexographic printing, was founded in 1989 to support our growing customers demand for pressure-sensitive labels.
What she loves most about the industry: I think the one thing that gives me the most satisfaction is knowing that our products and services greatly contribute to our customer’s success. Most of our distributors have been with us for many years and have grown with us. I have personally enjoyed getting to know them, and the unique challenges they each face. We take pride in providing innovative labeling solutions that fit their specific needs.
An average day: Over the years, I have learned that a typical day at the office can be anything but typical. Each day brings new challenges and opportunities. My position of president encompasses many responsibilities. [Though] some of the things I might do on a typical day include work on sales and marketing, strategic planning, inside meetings, customer tours and visiting customers.
Perhaps my greatest responsibility is to provide our team members a safe work environment, and a work atmosphere that promotes continued growth. By ensuring the success of our employees, we are ensuring the success of our customers. We strongly promote the internal customer concept, and believe that providing each other with a quality service directly reflects on the quality we provide our customers.
I also feel strongly that it is my responsibility to continually look for ways to improve our processes and streamline the business. Our customers are willing to pay a certain price in exchange for a high-quality product and service. We must continually find ways to reduce the cost of business through improved efficiencies to ensure we are always on the path of continuous growth.
Of course, the overall health of the company supports everything we do. We have developed certain business metrics that can quickly give us the pulse of the company. These metrics greatly influence our decisions and actions on a daily basis. I also really enjoy working directly with our team as it relates to problem solving and providing our customers with innovative solutions.
Her proudest career achievements: I always get a kick out of paying off a loan.
On working in a traditionally male-dominated industry: I have not experienced challenges with this.
Her job advice to women: I would say my advice for anyone contemplating a career in the printing industry would be to make sure that you have a passion for it. I believe that where your passion and strengths align, you will find success. Try to find a mentor to work with. It is mutually beneficial for both parties.
Who she turns to for career advice: It really depends on the advice. Over the years, I have developed great relationships with other business owners (both distributors and other print manufacturers), and have a great team that helps manage the business operations. I am in a peer group with other second-stage businesses. We meet once a month to check in and share experiences. I will often seek advice from someone who has already done what I am contemplating, and learn from their process. I do not believe in reinventing the wheel, but definitely want to mitigate any risk associated with a big decision.
One of the early lessons my father taught me about running a business is that the people are the greatest asset, and the only asset that will continue to appreciate over time. By creating a great team, we were able to overcome those early challenges. Since then we have had many great years, and are strongly positioned for continued growth.
I also have been very fortunate to have the full support of my husband Dan. He has always been there to support my decision-making process and share his perspective.
When she’s off the clock: I am a high-energy person. I don’t take myself too seriously and like to have fun. I enjoy sharing a good laugh—even if it’s at my expense. My husband Dan and I enjoy spending time on the water on the weekends. Another of my favorite things to do on Saturday is to go for a long bike ride. I really enjoy the exercise and love being outdoors.
I guess, overall, I really enjoy the simpler side of life and appreciate spending time with my friends and family. Another hobby that does surprise some people because of my high energy is that I love to garden. Gardening to me is very relaxing and very rewarding. Much like growing a business you have to have faith that the roots are growing strong, and maintain the actions that support the growth until you actually see the results … and enjoy the fruits of your work!
Some people might be surprised to know I have competed in over 30 Sprint Triathlons. Also, I won the women’s division of the Cast Net Rodeo in Florida. (That one surprised me at the time.) I studied classical violin when I was young—I still enjoy playing jigs and reels.
Finally, I’m a member of the certification committee for the Great Lakes Women’s Business Council.