JP Custom Graphics of Tea and VanDerBrink Designs of Alvord, Iowa, decided to join forces to form Octane Ink of Tea January 1 of last year.
The competitors got talking to each other and decided it would be best for each of them to stop competing and work together. Jon Powell ran JP Custom Graphics and worked for Midcontinent for 10 years before that. Brett VanDerBrink started VanDerBrink Designs a year after he graduated from high school and ran it for six years.
Powell and VanDerBrink also partnered with Matt Juhl, who had interned at JP Custom Graphics, to start Octane Ink. In their business, they are doing basically the same work they were doing separately.
“We’re doing a lot of vehicle wraps. We do a lot of race wraps for sprint cars … but we also do screen printing on T-shirts, we do embroidery, we have promotional products,” Powell said.
VanDerBrink oversees the design room and print area. Juhl oversees the shop. Powell oversees the screen printing and embroidery portion. In addition to themselves, they also employ six other graphic designers and installers.
All three men enjoy racing. Juhl is in his sixth year of racing sprint cars. Powell and VanDerBrink enjoy watching. They wrap race cars and trailers for race teams from all over the United States like Wyoming, Texas, Oklahoma, Indiana and Florida. Recently, they had eight cars racing in Arizona that had been wrapped by Octane Ink.
In addition to doing their race car and trailer wraps, many times they will also do their race shirts, apparel, souvenirs and hero cards. Recently VanDerBrink and Juhl traveled to Oklahoma to install a whole race team including a trailer, semi, wings and all of their cars.
Octane Ink made its first appearance at PRI, the biggest racing trade show in the world, in Indianapolis, Ind. They had a good response there and plan to go back next year.
Besides catering to the racing world, Octane Ink services many commercial businesses in the area. They do a lot of vehicle wraps for companies, as well as their apparel needs.
“Even though we do a lot of race cars, for the most part our main business is commercial stuff for local businesses around here,” Powell said.
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