Meet the Rising Stars: Dominic Rosacci
Dominic Rosacci runs a successful screen printing operation with an eye toward producing ethically sourced and sustainable products.
CEO/Founder | Superior Ink Printing | Denver
Age: 29 | Years in the Industry: 10
Passion Project: Rosacci is a founding member of Allmade Apparel, a responsibly sourced garment line with a reduced carbon footprint, sewn by workers in Haiti in partnership with the Global Orphan Project, which allows workers to earn a higher wage in good working conditions and keeps families together through financial stability.
Dominic Rosacci made his way into the textile industry through a different kind of passion: snowboarding. When injuries from extreme sports sidelined him, he decided – while still in high school – to save his money from working late nights at his grandfather’s Italian food store, buy a four-station/four-color press, and launch a clothing brand. Following months of studying screen printing fundamentals through literature and relying on sales reps to learn about supplies, Rosacci took his first collection of clothing to LA, selling his wares to shops along Melrose Avenue. Eventually, he shifted his business to focus instead on developing, designing, and producing collections for other brands – and Superior Ink Printing was born. He went from a home-based business washing screens out in the bathtub or at the local car wash, to a 15,000-square-foot space with 15 employees.
Rosacci is dedicated to making Superior Ink a socially and environmentally conscious screen printing business. He utilizes soy- and water-based inks, he’s presented to local schools to share what he’s learned about reducing his company’s environmental impact, and Superior Ink was awarded a Certifiably Green Denver accolade for their sustainability efforts.
“With Dom, it’s more about how he thinks about his business and printing vs. the printing itself,” says Ryan Moor, Ryonet, and Allmade founding partner. “He’s a great printer, but there are thousands of printers. Dom integrates his business, team, and customers to create a unique solution and culture.”
What has been most challenging about your path to success?
One of my favorite stories about our journey is actually the end of one relationship that shifted our entire business model and changed my path forever. In 2016, we were producing about 60,000 carded or conventional cotton T-shirts for one customer. I learned a stat that would forever change the way I operated: It takes over 500 gallons of water to make one T-shirt. After doing the math, I realized there were about 30,000,000 gallons of water passing through our doors each month.
I feel that success is too often measured by a monetary value. Although we were making good margins with the relationship, I felt it conflicted with my personal philosophy, so I dissolved the partnership. It cut our revenue in half and we had to let several key employees go. It was one of the biggest decisions I had made and it caused a lot of financial strain. Although it took almost a year to recover, we were able to align with more integrity-driven companies and rebuild our customer base with businesses that shared our common values. Success takes risk, failure, and constant dedication to the greater good.
Running a socially conscious and sustainable business is a cornerstone to your philosophy. How have you made an impact on the industry?
My hope is that any impact that I have in this industry is to inspire others to adopt personal responsibility for their choices in operating their businesses. Purpose-driven brands are super important in order to create positive progression and to help make things better. I feel that by changing our buying habits and getting educated on the biggest impacts from our industry, we have been able to help make a ripple of progress. By aligning with several schools, we have been able to guide future generations on the social and environmental cause and effect of trend turnover and fast fashion. By integrating green practices into our own operation and shifting our blank apparel options, my hope is that the consumers will change their perspectives and realize they do have the power to create positive change.
I feel that if one person makes the effort towards sustainability, great things can happen, but when a business decides to create change, movements happen. That is what we aim to do at Superior Ink and I think it is our responsibility to do our part to make things better. Since shifting this direction we have had the ability to live more purpose fueled lives, and many doors have opened up both in business and our personal endeavours.
Read more about Screen Printing's 2018 Rising Stars Award winners.