By Christine Graf
Sheetlabels, a company that prints pressure sensitive custom labels, has relocated from Pruyns Island Drive in Glens Falls to 24 Native Drive in Queensbury.
The 30,000-square-foot building it now occupies was formerly Native Textiles. The company’s new location has provided them with an additional 10,000 square feet of space.
“The new location is beneficial for UPS and FedEx pickups. We can get product out later in the day, and this allows us to ship more orders each day and service customers faster,” Sheetlabels owner Adam Gray said. “We have also redesigned our production floor plan dramatically. That’s allowed us to produce product much more efficiently and pass on some of that cost savings to our customers. We’re able to increase our inventory on-hand which has improved our buying power for raw materials.”
According to Gray, the company is leasing the Queensbury building. He said they have considered purchasing property on several occasions.
“It came down to choosing whether to invest our capital in real estate or into equipment,” he said. “We try to keep our dollars focused there (equipment). That’s what benefits our customers.”
Gray was just 20 when he started Sheetlabels in 2006. He funded his startup with a $112,500 loan from Glens Falls National Bank.
He started selling labels and other print products when he was 15 years old. At the age of 16, he received his first business loan. The $8,000 loan came from his grandmother. By the time he was a senior at Lake George High School, he had annual sales of over $100,000, he said.
“My parents were commercial printers, and I was familiar with the industry,” he said. “For as long as I can remember, I wanted to be an entrepreneur and a business owner. I started as a print broker in high school. I was buying and reselling various printed products from different manufacturers as a broker and not as a manufacturer.”
After securing the loan from Glens Falls National Bank, Gray moved his new company into a 6,000-square-foot facility on Bay Road in Queensbury. A portion of the loan was used to purchase equipment that enabled Sheetlabels to produce its own labels.
“Most of the money I borrowed, I invested in software development,” he said. “Our website is really the primary core part of our business. It powers our e-commerce online ordering.”
The website features online design software that allows customers to create their own custom-designed labels. Many customers use designs that were professionally created by their own graphic designers. Others choose to have their labels designed by Sheetlabels’ in-house designers.
Gray said 90 percent of the company’s 85,000 customers are located outside of New York state. Many customers are in the food and beverage industries.
“A lot are small mom-and-pops or start-up businesses,” said Gray. “They find us online, and we typically produce and ship their order within a day or two.”
He said the quality of their products and the speed at which orders are produced sets them apart from competitors. All Sheetlabels products must undergo a 12-point quality inspection process.
Sheetlabels is growing at an annual rate of 20 percent, according to Gray. They employ 40 full-time employees, and their workforce is expected to grow.
“I can’t put a number on it, but we are definitely adding jobs regularly. Our long-term plan is that we hope to double or triple the company’s size,” he said. “We are looking to invest in new equipment in order to keep our state-of-the-art approach. We have a lot of state-of-the-art digital printing equipment that we have acquired over the years.”
Although Gray does not disclose sales data, he said “We hoped to be a $10 million company, and that was a couple of years ago. What I can say is that we’re around there, and we are absolutely going to be continuing our growth. The sky’s the limit. I’m very passionate about growing this thing. I couldn’t have done it without the loyal people we have working here. We have a very dedicated team.”
Gray, a Lake George native, said he is proud to be a local business owner. Although there would be benefits to moving his company out of state, he has no plans to do so.
“It’s a good feeling to be able to invest in this community and stay here.”
By Christine Graf