BONNERS FERRY — From a small space on Kootenai Street, to a shop in the building by the city parking lot, to their current location in downtown Bonners Ferry where Mandy’s Gift Gallery was, Vinyl Expressions has flourished exponentially over the years.
They offer custom printing mainly on apparel, but they also print on cups, bags, and make stickers and automotive decals. With the added space in their building, they were able to add tanning beds.
Owner Angela Hittle said, “The motive to buying the building was to house our business.” She had rented the building out since they bought it last summer, and after some renovations, they were able to occupy the space.
Hittle began the business as a hobby at home, making school apparel and items for fundraisers, as evidenced by the school spirit items and apparel throughout the store today. As her hobby became a demand, the space she was working in rapidly became too small. Now her business has ample space, and she utilized her previous experience owning a tanning salon to bring in a little extra income with the beds at the rear of the store.
They carry different kinds of tanning products and moisturisers as well as candles, souvenirs, and huckleberry products.
With her future daughter-in-law able to work full time and assist with the expanding company, Hittle was further encouraged to open up shop.
“Once I had someone to do it full time with me I decided to open up a location and try it,” said Hittle.
Some connections bring in customers from out of town; for example, Bonners Ferry Conoco ordered custom shirts from Vinyl Expressions, which brought in uniform orders from the other Eagles Landing locations and Simple Simon’s Pizza ordered uniforms, which brought other branches of the chain to order from Vinyl Expressions.
“It’s fun to work with businesses, as this is how they advertise. Whether it is making uniform shirts for their employees to wear, signs, banners, or vinyl lettering for people to put on their own billboards,” said Hittle. “You can make a local connection, but you never know. You take care of anyone that walks through the door, because you don’t know what that connection or network will open up to.“
“It’s your and our design. You can bring your ideas to us, or your business logos, we also have other graphic designers that we can outsource to, but we do a lot of the designing ourselves,” said Hittle. “The most fulfilling part is helping people bring their designs and ideas to fruition. They come in with an idea and are unsure of how to put it together, so we help them with designing it, and help them get it put on consumables and apparels.”