Friday, January 31, 2014

City Prints teaming up with Charlotte businesses

When native Charlottean Tony Rodono and his family moved back to Charlotte last year, production for their City Prints map d├ęcor company stayed in Atlanta, where he had lived and worked for a decade.

So customer orders for art pieces were first fielded in Charlotte, via the website. From there, the orders were sent to two other businesses in Atlanta -- first a printer to produce the map art, then a fulfillment company to frame, box and ship products out to customers.

All that changes in early February, according to Rodono, when the family-run company's entire production moves to Charlotte. City Prints' new printing partner will be Boingo Graphics, and the new framing and shipping company will be Frame Warehouse.

"We're improving every aspect of our business by enlisting the help of these Charlotte-based companies," Rodono says.

Soon, a process that typically involved weeks of work -- sending specs, frames and molding back and forth between Charlotte and Atlanta -- will now take considerably less time.

"It's an hour an a half, and I'm done," Rodono says.

"This is a fun company. I want to do fun things to print on different products...The ability to do that in a matter of hours instead of weeks" provides a lot of freedom. "It's really uplifting. I"m excited to see where it's going to take us."

The family-run City Prints, which includes Rodono's wife, Katie, and brother Tim, was the Charlotte Chamber East Chapter's chamber’s 2013 Power Up Challenge winner, a competition involving small businesses and promising startups. The company uses map art to depict everything from where someone grew up, to where they've traveled over the years.

They also make prints depicting sporting venues, such this collection of pro stadiums, below.

See more at