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@Work: Island Images

March 24, 2005 -Jill Daane and her husband John Hanysh have been running Island Images at 121 Little Princess for 20 years.
"I can't say that it has been easy," she says. But, she adds that she would not trade the life she has had on the island for anything else.
"Our customers are pleasant and they keep returning," she says.
Island Images is a full-service printing shop. Two years ago the couple acquired a four-color press so they can do just about any print job.
Their customers cover a broad range of businesses and community groups. Island Images does the Chamber of Commerce Directory. It does the posters for Agriculture Fair and for island races. The company also produces church newsletters and fliers for politicians.
The company used to be more focused on printing publications for tourists. But, Jill says, "After Hurricane Hugo hit, we had to change direction."
The tourist trade still does have an effect on Island Images. Jill says the company does work for Buccaneer and Carambola Resorts.
The company can be "very competitive" on most moderate print jobs, according to Jill, but on "monster" jobs it is tougher to compete with stateside printers.
She believes that Island Images could help more customers and keep the business on island, but says, "Some people are just so used to doing their printing off island, and it is hard to get them to change."
The couple now has two other full-time employees. "The number has gone up and down," she says.
The couple tries to keep their prices competitive by being efficient in their employment practices and in getting the best equipment.
Jill says, "We do it all." She explained printing companies in the states generally focus on a specialty, but because of the limited market on St. Croix, Island Images is willing to provide a variety of services.
She says that the full-color press at Island Images is the only full-color commercial press in the Virgin Islands. The company went through seven other presses before acquiring that one.
She notes that her industry has been affected dramatically by the home computer revolution, and not necessarily for the better.
Customers often bring disks with projects on them to be printed. The problem is the projects are done in a non-professional software that doesn't interface with the printing equipment. She says, "This is not like printing something on your laser printer."
She doesn't see the electronic media completely replacing print meeting. Actually, though she has a good 20 years before contemplating retirement, she says, "I will probably work here until I die."
As most small business owners find it hard to get away from day-to-day business to get a vacation, Jill and John have found a solution. They close the shop the last two weeks of December and one week in mid-summer.
Jill says, "It is just a little thing we do to make sure we keep our sanity."
New services being offered include: checks and banking supplies, envelopes, labels and tags, promotional products, tax forms, holiday cards, and calendars.
Island Images phone number is 778-8690. Its Web page is www.islandimages.vi/.

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