SNO-VALLEY ACTIONWEAR (Back to REZ)
- In 1984 I began the development of PIA Bandannas which evolved into Sno-Valley Actionwear, a custom textile printing and outdoor educational design line. Our Custom printing division supplied printed goods to local schools, teams, clubs and businesses. Our product specialties were a line of outdoor educational designs printed on everything from Bandannas to Tiles.
- Sno-Valley Actionwear printed custom designs for the likes of R.E.I., Eddie Bauer, Jansport, KMPS, Canoe Magazine, YMCA's, BOEING, Mount Rainier Guest Services, Road & Track among others.
The outdoor design line was sold to outdoor recreational retailers internationally. It is with great honor that the Bandanna line was chosen to participate in the 1988 "America Train" product show that toured China.
Initial promotions for the business products and services were conducted locally through Newspaper Advertising, Press releases, Sponsorship Underwriting, Telemarketing, Business to Business Sales Presentations and Community involvement.
Sno-Valley Actionwear grew over the years to include ongoing national trade magazine advertising campaigns, national telemarketing and trade show representation. By the time I sold the business in ‘91 it had achieved coast to coast sales accounts with a foothold in both the Orient and the European marketplace.
The original business PIA Bandannas was to design and print outdoor educational Bandannas. This idea, simple as it sounds was not being done by anyone in the industry. The reason was because modern day screenprinters could not print to the size constraints of a Bandannas. To make things even more challenging we decided that in order to produce a great product it had to be done in multiple colors. People in the industry scoffed at our idea and printers said you couldn't do it. The size of the print area made it impossible for the equipment of the day to do. (This was in the beginning of the T-Shirt printing technology age). I had to build my own multi colored Bandanna screen printer. It was built by hand with parts from Boeing surplus pieces, Motorcycle parts, raw steel and ingenuity. Although based on the principles of a revolutionary 4 station Hopkins T-Shirt printer of the day, this Bandanna printing machine was a "one of a kind". The machine looked like the an early helicopter, with 4 arms hanging 6 feet out, but it worked well, and PIA Bandannas was soon cranking out a multi colored original design Bandanna line called P.I.A. Bandanna Specialties. It was 4 years before any other company was producing anything like them.
In 1989 we moved the business into it's own large production building in Duvall, Washington. By now we were a full service screen print shop and changed the name to Sno-Valley Actionwear.
- Some of our original designs have been sold to various companies.
- A few of the original P.I.A. bandannas designs can still be purchased at select outdoor recreational stores and tourist gift shops around the country.
- Our Soft Sculpture creations remain on display in the historic Paradise lodge on Mount Rainier.
It is with a great feeling of pride that many of the designs created between '84 & '93 are still viable products being purchased and displayed today. Even though the business faded away, the hours of of creation and development live on. This business is one of my success stories.
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