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Polka Dot-themed Printing Company To Move From Wrightsville Location

By Christina Haley O'Neal, posted Jul 17, 2017
PrintWorks “The Polka Dot Printer” is moving from its Wrightsville Avenue location this year. The polka dot oak tree was cut down in 2016. Courtesy photo.
PrintWorks, “The Polka Dot Printer,” is moving from its Wrightsville Avenue location, where the boutique print shop has held its themed storefront for more than a decade.

PrintWorks recently announced the acquisition of Ship & Mail Plus in Canterwood Centre at 2316 S. 17th St., according to Joanna Puritz, owner of PrintWorks. The company will be moving from its current location at 5317 Wrightsville Ave. and leasing a space next to the acquired store.

The move will allow the company to be housed in one space. Puritz said the move will also expand her current space by 1,000 square feet.

The Wrightsville Avenue location has been home for PrintWorks since 2004, the same year the company got its polka dot theme from the iconic oak tree at the front of the business. Painted pink with polka dots to make the large tree more visible to drivers, the tree brought controversy between the company and the city of Wilmington, sparked by a resident complaint of unsightliness. Puritz said that controversy put her business in national headlines.

The 100-year-old oak tree was later condemned -- deemed by the city as diseased -- and cut down last year. Since then, Puritz said she felt it was time for a change.

“It’s not the same anymore,” Puritz said Monday. “Honestly, I felt like it was just time. It was time to move to a retail spot. The lease was reasonable and being over there … I feel it’s an opportunity.”

After purchasing Ship & Mail Plus from its previous owner, Tony Huskey, Puritz said she is going to combine the two businesses and employees into one base. Puritz plans on taking down the wall between the two leased spaces, Units 140 and 150, at the 17th Street shopping center, expanding the location into a single 2,800-square-foot space.

“It will improve our speed in getting the product to the client, or the client’s client,” she said. “It just streamlines the process.”

Paula Rosen, who has been employed with Ship & Mail Plus for more than three years, has also become the manager of the new division. With Rosen and an additional employee with Ship & Mail Plus, the combined total between the two companies will make five employees.

Puritz said she hopes to add two additional employees after the transition and move is complete.

“It should be a pretty smooth transition over there. We have already picked up a few clients as a result of this move,” Puritz said. “I am moving it to grow. My expectation is that the business will grow exponentially.”

The two companies are currently operating at the original locations. PrintWorks is tentatively scheduled to be in its new space and running by early September, operating under the new name, “Ship and Mail Plus PrintWorks,” Puritz said.

She will be keeping the polka dot theme for the business.

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