Wade Walker, GM of non-profit Ashbury Images

One of the most fun parts of my job is that I have the opportunity to meet, interact and get inspired by fascinating Entrepreneurs. So I’ve decided to interview some of them as I believe that their story, challenges, and advice will inspire other entrepreneurs as well.

The next interview of this series is with Wade Walker, General Manager of Ashbury Images, a non-profit print shop based in San Francisco that produces custom printed and embroidered products (great custom promotional items), while empowering disconnected youth, with paid job skill training opportunities.

What is Ashbury Images and why did you start it?

Ashbury Images is a nonprofit social enterprise servicing disconnected youth between the ages of 16-24. We provide them job skills training in the screen-printing and promo industry. While going through the work program they are getting full educational, life, housing and case management support from our parent company New Door Ventures.

What keeps you up at night? And how do you try to tackle that challenge?

Continuing to grow the business so we can put more youth though. That definitely keeps me up at night. Currently, at Ashbury, we put 40+ youth through a year and looking to double over the next 2 years. We can only do that through customer growth.

What is the single most successful thing you are doing that is helping you grow your business?

Community outreach! We are a nonprofit so we try to get involved as much as possible with other nonprofit organizations. The other thing we have done is add fulfillment and kitting in-house. This allows our customers to get larger price breaks, while not needing to worry about storage.

Based on your own experience, what advice would you give other entrepreneurs and small business owners?

Get involved with other successful businesses in your area. See what they do to stay relevant and best practices. Networking events is also another great source of prospects.

What is your favorite online resource? (if you have any)

We use the four major ones for marketing and getting the word out about Ashbury. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin. They all serve as great resources online.

Make sure to keep Wade and Ashbury Images in mind next time you are considering ordering custom promotional material for your company or social club. You’ll get great products and do good in the process. Make also sure to follow Ashbury Images on Facebook, Instagram and twitter.

If you are an entrepreneur and would like to be part of this series, send me an email. I’d love to hear from you and your business. First The Trousers is a brand strategy an innovation boutique with a special suite of strategic services for entrepreneurs, start-ups, and small business owners.