Ten years ago, JB and Abigail Meyer were working in New York City looking to shorten their commute and branch out of their respective careers.
Now, with three kids, they work in Port Washington, designing graphics and helping other local businesses grow like theirs with their company, Chief Graphix.
When Chief Graphix first opened it consisted of just three employees, two of whom were JB and Abigail. The company has grown by eight more people in as many years since its beginning as they gained clients from across the country.
“If you were to tell me a decade ago that this would be what we are doing with our lives, I would have said you were crazy,” Abigail said during a sitdown interview with Blank Slate Media. “So many times I looked at him [JB] and asked what we were thinking by doing this.”
“I knew we could make it,” JB added. “It would just take some time.”
A Port Washington resident of 20 years, JB spent more than a decade working on Wall Street prior to his decision to make a career change.
Abigail worked in the pharmaceutical industry before also coming to the realization that it was time for a change.
Married with one child at the time, the couple decided to attend a small business seminar to educate them on the journey they were about to take.
“People don’t always realize how tough it is to create your own business,” JB said. “It is so difficult to get out there. Especially now with the internet and everything made available to consumers at the touch of a button, local businesses are suffering.”
JB said that convenience plays a prominent role in online shopping in the graphic design industry, but the quality and personal touch that Chief Graphix provides will prove to be beneficial for a client in the long run.
“Let’s say a person pays “x” amount of dollars for a banner that they spent an hour designing themselves, and it’s shipped to them relatively quickly,” he explained. “It mostly is going to fall apart, or not going to look as good as the client expected it to. For just a little bit more money and a quick trip to our shop, we’re able to ensure a long-lasting and professionally designed banner, with a client’s best interest at heart.”
JB and Abigail moved into their new office, located at 26 Davis Ave. in Port Washington, a little less than a year ago. Their operation consists of 11 employees, a flatbed printer, CNC Router for engraving sign and custom cut graphics, and a machine that designs and manufactures ADA-approved braille signs.
Aside from designing banners and signs, the company also creates graphics for vehicles, wrapping boats and ferries in advertisements, floor and wall patterns for businesses, scaffolding graphics, and even small fridge magnets.
“We do a little bit of everything, which really helps us out in the long run,” Abigail said. “One of my personal favorite projects was doing the donor walls and other interior graphics for the new cat facility at the North Shore Animal League. Aside from being huge animal lovers, it was such an honor to help out a wonderful organization, especially when they’re right across the street from us.”
JB and Abigail said that they are happy to expound their knowledge in the business sector to clients that come in, even if they are just looking to have a sign or banner created. They talked about the importance of “paying it forward” when it comes to knowledge on creating a company, as they look to help aid in the growth of local businesses in Port Washington.
“We always love when people come in and we are able to provide them with some of the insight that we hoped to receive starting out,” Abigail said. “There was an owner of a diner that came in looking for a design update, and we ended up spending even more time discussing growth opportunities for another location for his third restaurant.”
While they acknowledge that the company is trending upwards and expanding more across the country, JB and Abigail said they realize that none of this success would be possible without the initial support of the Port Washington community.
“Local stores like ours are so important to the residents that surround them,” JB said. “Whether it’s a design or some advice on a business startup, we just want to help grow this community that has been so incredible to us.”
Abigail continued, saying, “We know that our hard work deserves to be recognized, but at the end of the day, we can’t force people to use our business. We’re grateful they do, and I’m sure they’re grateful that we are a local resource for their needs.”