New owner Darla Hussey brings her experience and ideas
For Riverside Printing’s new owner, Darla Hussey, moving to Winthrop’s printing house is a bit of a homecoming.
Hussey, who grew up in Bridgeport, moved to the western and southwestern United States after college, but couldn’t find the right fit until she landed in the Methow Valley in 2013, when she started working for Methow Valley News as a designer. Now, as the owner of a design and printing business just off the promenade in Winthrop, Hussey feels right at home.
Hussey takes ownership of Riverside Printing from Ben and Virginia Nelson, who bought the business in 2016 and then moved it from 206 Riverside Ave., where the Winthrop Marshal is now located, to its current location at 173 Riverside Ave. , in the small hallway. between Courtyard Quail and Timberline T-shirts.
The Nelson’s, who own the Rendezvous Huts, plan to focus their energy on this accommodation business, as well as their two young children.
The Nelson’s carry the loan for Hussey, who said: “As a working-class single mother, I didn’t think it would ever be within my reach to own a business.” But Hussey had ambition, a nest egg of pandemic stimulus checks, and invaluable support and advice from family and friends.
Drawing on these resources, Hussey began to study what it would take to buy a business that would allow him to leverage his design skills while providing printing services to the Valley. She took possession of Riverside Printing on July 15, two days after Barnaby’s fire on her mother’s property and one day before the Cub Creek fire started. “It was a pretty long week,” Hussey said.
Hussey said her interest in design and printing was sparked as a teenager when she worked on the yearbook committee at Bridgeport High School. After earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Organizational and Mass Communication with a focus on technology, Hussey worked at technology centers in Amarillo, Austin, the San Francisco Bay Area, and Seattle. For a while, she even worked in the 1990s printing mecca, the Mecca of Kinko, in many ways the antithesis of Riverside Printing.
She eventually landed in Othello as a designer for the Othello Outlook newspaper. At a business conference, Hussey met Robin Doggett and Dana Sphar, former employees of Methow Valley News, relationships that later turned to professional relationships, when Hussey was hired as a designer for Methow Valley News. His candidacy was decisive. “I called [editor] put on [Nelson] and told him he needed me, ”Hussey said.
“She was right,” Nelson said. “Darla’s energy, creativity and work ethic have made us a better newspaper, and her influence is lasting.
Hussey is no stranger to difficult times and hard work. Her eldest son, Dean, who graduated from Liberty Bell High School in 2019, was born weighing 1 pound, 11 ounces at 27 weeks. Hussey had to leave the workforce to focus on Dean’s treatment and therapy until he was stable, and re-entering a decent income was difficult as a single mother of two young children with disabilities. learning. In the absence of child support, she sometimes relied on social assistance.
But “we can do difficult things if we ask for help,” Hussey said – a philosophy that brought her to Methow Valley six years ago and now to Riverside Printing. In order to buy the printing press, Hussey asked, and his friends and family helped.
On one of his first days in the store, his friend and photographer Steve Mitchell took photos of the website and promotions for Hussey. Mitchell’s daughter and wife, Neela and Teresa, helped paint the printing house and rearrange its furniture and equipment. Dean, along with his younger brother, Kenny, set up the computer, telephone, internet, VOIP and fax networks (yes, people still fax!).
“If you’ve got the right support, if you break your butt and everything goes well,” Hussey said, “it’s possible to crawl out of the hole.”
Hussey said her welcome as the new business owner to Winthrop has been “so fabulous” that she hasn’t had time to update the store’s website or do any promotional work. “We opened right away,” she said. “There was a backlog of orders. We are working on it.
But, she said, she intends to continue Riverside Printing’s tradition of serving the design and printing needs of customers, including designing and printing posters, cards, mailings, invitations, reports, letterhead, logos, business cards and announcements. “We reproduce, print in regular and large format, and we offer a full range of finishing services, such as binding, laminating, stapling,” she said.
Hussey noted that she would also ship large print jobs for clients, in order to get a better deal, and that she would use a small team of freelance photographers, writers, web designers and programmers. for work that is outside his wheelhouse. “I have pros on the outside,” she said.
Hussey also intends to add a specified degree of design support, which includes graphic design, layout, writing, editing and web content generation. For this reason, Riverside Printing will be closed to walk-in customers on Friday, so Hussey can focus on specific design projects.
Kenny, a sophomore at Liberty Bell High School, will be returning to school in a few weeks, but Dean, who will be in sophomore at Eastern Washington University in the fall and has exhausted learning options remotely available in its major theater, takes a year off to wait for the COVID pandemic to stabilize and to learn to work in the printing press.
Former co-owner Virginia Nelson, who has run Riverside Printing for five years, said she was delighted to see the company in good hands. “We think Darla is a perfect fit. It will continue to provide locals with the printing and design support that is really needed in this valley, ”she said – a sentiment that is echoed by other local business owners and leaders of organizations around the world. nonprofit, who are relieved to see the sustained services and experienced hands.
Familiar hands too. Many Methow Valley residents are familiar with Hussey’s work as a designer for the newspaper, while others know her from her design work on Methow Valley School District publications, such as the MV Pride and the Calendar. school. Still others know her as a quirky face painter and balloon artist – two side-busting stirs that are on hold until the pandemic is brought under control.
Hussey invites customers to get their design and print jobs on the Riverside Printing calendar. Although the business is technically only open Monday through Friday, Hussy said, “If you need it urgently on a weekend, email us. If we are there and available, we will try to help you.
“We’re all here to help solve problems creatively,” Hussey added. “We’re good at it. We find a way. People said to me ‘If you want something done, find a Hussey. If you want this to be done fast and well, just walk away and let them work.
Riverside Printing’s new website, ww.riversidecreates.com, will be launching soon. You can contact Hussey at [email protected]