Five women changing the face of large-format printing.
“My advice to a woman just getting into this business would be to find a mentor and try to learn as much as you can from your mentor,” she says. “And, here's my fashion advice for a woman in the industry, because I did have 10 years experience in that industry first: Wear great shoes! Men can't do that, and it will set you apart.”
Taking risks: Iconography
After the birth of her youngest child, Sarah Naccarato was ready to trade in her frequent-flier miles for something a little closer to home. During her career in the executive-search industry, she was used to racking up more than 300,000 miles of annual travel, while juggling a growing family at home, in California. She and her husband researched a variety of business and franchise opportunities before settling on wide-format digital printing and, in early 2008, Iconography Studios (iconographystudios.net) was born in Los Alamitos, California.
“My husband is an artist by background and had previously researched a lot of the equipment that is used in our industry as he was having prints made of his artwork,” she explains. “He’s also really into technology, so the more we looked into it, the more it made sense for both of us. We set up the business so I would do the primary sales and marketing, and all the administrative stuff to get it going, and he would take over the production and everything on the back-end as far as manufacturing the products and getting them out the door.”
From its earliest days, Iconography focused heavily on vehicle wraps, a sector that was still relatively untapped on the West Coast at the time.
“It’s continued to grow since then, and we’ve at least doubled the business every year since we started,” notes Naccarato. “The economy was tanking while we were trying to grow a new business, and some people thought we were just nuts. But it’s not like it was tanking by 50 percent, there was still a lot of business out there to be had, so we just took a chance and went for it.”
Such a bold move is par for the course for Naccarato. She credits her grandmother for instilling in her a strong work ethic and for “pounding into [my] head, ‘Girls can do anything boys can do.’”