Roland DG, the world's leading provider of digital printing solutions, has launched its brand new Level Up Lab educational workshop, supporting small businesses and creators to upskill and drive growth across their business.
The event which recently debuted at the brand’s creative centre in Barcelona, already has a waiting list for the next event, due to take place in 2024.
There has been a fundamental step change in small business ownership – they don’t play small. Small businesses’, mean big business. Roland DG has been a long supporter of small businesses. From providing free storefront makeovers for struggling high-street retailers across Europe after Covid-19 to launching its VersaSTUDIO desktop solutions, dedicated to enabling hobbyists to turn their passion projects into full-time careers.
To mark the next step in its commitment to supporting creators - both current and next-gen - Roland DG has launched the Level Up Lab, providing a free European training and support programme that helps creators elevate their creative ideas and customer offerings.
The first event was attended by seven small business owners and creators turned social influencers from across Europe including the UK, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. The first-of-its-kind event for the print industry consisted of creative workshops, product demonstrations and discussions with its print and business experts.
The intimate workshop brought together like-minded creative professionals including graphic designers, artists, illustrators and art directors for a jam-packed day of inspiration and creativity to help fuel business growth and success. The creators also got the chance to pick their favourite design from their own collection - working with Roland DG’s printing experts, alongside VersaSTUDIO technology - to create new products for their businesses, including apparel and tech accessories.
Catherine Kay, Founder of Katnipp Studios, based in Teesside and Abbie Franks, owner of Proper Good, in Manchester attended the recent workshop in Barcelona.
Katnipp Studios is a small family-owned business that specialises in bright and beautiful kawaii and Japanese-inspired products and merchandise including stationery, stickers, pin badges, clothing and accessories, and has amassed over 250k followers across their popular YouTube, Instagram and TikTok accounts.
Proper Good is a lockdown-born Manchester based art print and homeware e-commerce store, creating funky, feel-good homeware and gifts that are bold, colourful, and inspired by 60s and 70s, and has an engaged following of 25.7k followers on Instagram.
Catherine Kay founder of Katnipp Studios commented, “I have learnt so much from the Level Up Lab. We got to see so many different printers and I can't wait to take what I have learned onboard to my small business. My favourite thing about the Level Up Lab has been seeing the opportunities and the scalability that these printers can actually offer us. We can go anywhere from a desktop printer all the way up to a huge wide-format printer, and the printers themselves offer loads of different, flexible products such as stickers, art prints, canvases and more. I'm very excited about the opportunities for my business.”
Abbie Franks, owner of Proper Good said, “At the Level Up Lab, I made a t-shirt which is based on my ‘Good For The Soul’ print. During lockdown, I asked my followers on Instagram to share the small things in life that make them happy, and I made it into an art print. I have been wanting to make it into a t-shirt for the longest time and it looks great. I really wasn't expecting the details and text to come out as clear as they have. I will be wearing this t-shirt for the rest of my life!”
Stephen Davis, EMEA Marketing Director & UK President at Roland DG commented, “The Level Up Lab is an opportunity to bring together small businesses, makers, creators and innovators to help them grow and scale their business, and unleash their creativity. We have brought together incredibly creative minds from across Europe including illustrators, designers, crafters and artists, who have some very exciting plans for their own businesses.”
The event has already garnered a waiting list of other talent, ready to see how they can take their small business to the next level, with the help of Roland DG’s workshop and industry expertise.
Davis continued, “The event has provided a great opportunity for us to learn more about small business owners, their workflow and patterns of business, helping us to think more broadly about how we can support them not just with their print processes, but to maximise their businesses and unique offerings. The energy has been fantastic and we have had consistent feedback from the group that they are leaving feeling incredibly inspired and ready to go back to their businesses with new and fresh ideas and inspiration.”
The next Level Up Lab will take place in 2024 and small business owners and creators are encouraged to contact Roland DG directly if they would like to express their interest.