Main Engine Press | Justin Bell

HAPPY OCTOBER, FRIENDS!

I know it’s been far too long since I’ve written a blog, but HERE. I. AM! I have been insanely busy pushing my limits on Facebook, Instagram, Podcasts, Networking and trying to keep up with my website too! To say that I’m busy is an understatement, but honestly, I’m the happiest I’ve ever been in my life and am eagerly looking forward to what my future holds.

Last month, I had the pleasure and honor of meeting up and working with a talented, kind-hearted, gentle and passionate individual that was introduced to me at the beginning of the year by my dear friends, Matt and Ali Fulks. Ladies and Gentlemen, introducing….drumroll please! Justin Bell with Main Engine Press. The more I get to know him, the more I fall in love with him, his ideas and his spirit. It’s a true honor knowing Justin, and the more people that get to know him-the better! He’s incredible!

Justin opened his shop in June 2018. I was his first customer, ordering over 100 shirts for Jay’s Cruise for the Kids (a motorcycle-based fundraiser in honor of a man, Jason Anthony McCreedy, who means the world to me to this day!). Justin was eager to be a part of the fundraiser and supported my vision in it’s entirety. He even HAND DELIVERED the shirts to my home, an hour away from the shop, without expecting anything in return. Since Justin is his own overhead, he was the one to HAND PRINT each individual t-shirt. When I went to visit the shop last month, I got to watch the process from beginning to end. He explained the intricate steps passionately and with grace, making me feel the same passion he has for printing! Justin’s dedication to his craft is inspiring, fluid and is a true reflection of his personality. I dug a bit deeper with Justin, so my readers can get to know this amazing human, too!

1) When did you start Main Engine Press (MEP)?

a) I started it as a brick and mortar space in early 2018. I came up with the idea when I was in college, around 2004-ish I think. I actually still have the sketch book where I first drew up different names and logos for it, and I used to write up rudimentary business plans for it back in the day.

2) What made you want to jumpstart your own business?

a)I worked with a series of printers and design firms for about a decade after I graduated. I was always so frustrated with the way business managers made decisions and the cynical ways they treated their employees and customers. Always in the back of my head was Main Engine Press, and the knowledge that it would be so much better and more positive than the places I worked for. Finally I said enough was enough and I just made it happen. That’s such an important lesson that I wish I had learned years ago, but I’m so glad that I learned it.

3) What is MEP’s mission?

a) The mission is to be a good, quality, reliable, dependable, and hard working printer and designer. It’s really that simple. Reliability and dependability are so important to me. Everyone talks about them, but the only way to be reliable and dependable is to work hard to be reliable and dependable.

4) Why the name “MEP”?

a) It’s named Main Engine Press because ever since I was a little kid I loved the space shuttle. The idea of it, the imagination the reality of it, everything. It’s named Main Engine Press because ever since I was a little kid I loved the space shuttle. The idea of it, the imagination that went into it, the genius reality of it, everything. I remember that in 5th grade we had to write about who our heroes were. Everyone wrote about some basketball player or actor or something, but I wrote an essay that was called “The Space Shuttle is my Hero” and it got published in the newspaper. Probably because it was so weird that a little kid would think that, let alone write it down. Anyway, I always had this fascination with the main engine of the space shuttle. Like, it was the peak of human achievement to me, and every space shuttle launch they would say “press to MECO.” I wondered what that meant, so I asked the librarian one day (this was before the internet, seriously) and we looked it up and I learned MECO meant “main engine cut off.” Basically, it was during the launch when the shuttle was just like “open up the throttle and let it fly” until the engine stopped. THAT BLEW MY MIND. So that’s why it’s Main Engine Press. Press to MECO, you know? 😊

5) Where are you located and how can people reach you to place orders?

a) Main Engine Press is online at mainenginepress.com, and there are lots of ways to get in touch with me there. So far I’ve done jobs from inside Ohio and from different states that range in number of from 1 piece to 1000+ pieces. I always respond right away and love to talk to people about their ideas and projects!