Established and incorporated in 1986 C&B Cresting focuses its attention on the print manufacturing industry of textiles. C&B Cresting has been screen printing and embroidering in the Quinte area for nearly 40 years. The company has been recently bought by a young, community-driven entrepreneur, Brady Silvestri, who currently operates the company with a small team of individuals.
If you’re from the Quinte area, odds are pretty good you have worn a C & B Cresting printed garment and if not, its not hard to spot one. From supplying sports clothing to business uniforms and many other products across the area, we sat down with owner Brady to hear his take on the behind the scenes of this long time Quinte area local business.
How long have you been in the business and what encouraged you to work within the printing industry?
I have been a part of the company for just over two and a half years and have found it very rewarding ever since I started. Seeing people in our community wearing products that I personally created is something very cool to see and not everyone can say they provided products and services for all sorts of individuals and organizations like I have. What encouraged me to get involved in this industry wasn’t necessarily the printing industry itself, I came across this opportunity and saw room for improvements that would maximize the company’s production that would better serve C&B Cresting’s current and future customers.
What inspired you to start your business in the Quinte area?
The previous owners shared with me when I purchased the company that they started C & B in the Quinte area in the 80s because there were not many other companies like this here at the time. They felt Bellevillle was in need of a reliable company that sports organizations and companies could rely on that provides a great quality product for an affordable price. Over the years word got around that C&B Cresting was the go to place for screen printed products. C&B Cresting has provided products for all sorts of organizations, from the Canadian Olympic Team, to some of Canada’s greatest athletes such as Wayne Gretzky and Quebec’s Montreal Canadians to the local organizations such as the Belleville Bulls and the thousands of local businesses, small to large.
What is your favourite thing about running a business in the Quinte area?
My favourite aspect of running a business in the Quinte area is working with the great individuals, companies and organizations that this area has to offer! No matter if it is a repeat customer that has been coming to us for 20 years or a new company looking for new team apparel, I enjoy hearing everyone’s story and journey. This area is thriving and it’s great to be one of the local businesses that has been around in this area for nearly 40 years and for many years to come. I am excited to see what the Quinte area develops into over the next few years.
How has your business brought value to your community?
Over the last few months alone, I have been approached by as well as approached several organizations with donations in order to give back to the community. For example, Camp Molly, a unique experience for young females in our area that were provided the opportunity to see what it is like to enter the fire services industry, reached out to me to see if I would donate shirts for their graduation. With no hesitation, I was pleased with the opportunity and provided these shirts to the young females. Another way I have given back to the community is by sponsoring several sports teams which help lower registration fees as well as help with fee’s for field and ice rentals. Without team sponsors, local families will struggle to afford to enroll their children in local sports. I have also most recently provided some discounted apparel for the Pink Ball Golf Classic which is a large golf tournament fundraiser where all proceeds are donated to local charities as well as the Canadian Cancer Society. Every bit helps our community and I enjoy being a part of these events to help shape our community and turn it into a better place to live and grow.
What do you require to succeed in the print business?
To succeed in this industry you need to have great relationships with suppliers and be well prepared with supplies and stock. The disruption in the supply chain that we have experienced over the last few months and years due to the pandemic has impacted this industry drastically. An order can walk through the door at any time that may require a short turnaround time which not all companies are equipped with the ability to make.
How would you describe your business’s success so far since owning C & B Cresting?
My business success since purchasing C&B Cresting has been incredible. I just recently graduated from Toronto Metropolitan University, former Ryerson University, with a major in entrepreneurship. Over the years studying business in Toronto, I gained the domain knowledge as well as the relevant experience and resources that has allowed me to thrive and succeed in this new venture. Since my new title of ownership back in March I have been able to work with several new companies and organizations and have since broadened the array of suppliers in order to provide a larger range of products and services for C&B Cresting’s customers base.
Being a goods and services business, dealing with many orders on a daily basis, what do you think the secret to excellent service is?
The secret to excellent service is to find resources that allow you to stay organized and keep the workflow moving in an efficient and effective manner. Many companies, big and small, fail to have these resources in place which will cause disruptions and setbacks which ultimately costs the company money and can leave the customer unsure of what the outcome may be. I feel my company has some room for improvement in this aspect and I plan on working to eliminate any and all causes for disruption to allow for a transparent and at ease order flow from start to finish. As for customer service, I always go the extra mile for my customers, I want my customers to feel like they have received good quality customer service, alleviating any concerns they may have while their order is being processed.
How do you plan to grow your business in the future?
My plan for future growth starts with becoming more findable on the web. The company has operated without a website and social media for its entirety and it is time to incorporate 21st century tech. Some expert SEO and AD’s will help bring in new business. Another improvement that is essential for the company’s growth is to find a more suitable location that allows for expansion which will allow for the increase in print capacity as well as improve the workflow. I am looking to expand into other print solutions such as direct to garment to allow for an even larger range of print options as well as bring in some new equipment that will decrease the time it takes to screen print and embroider products, ultimately decreasing the turnaround time which will get the product to our thousands of customers quicker and more efficiently than ever before.
What advice would you give to someone who is just starting a business?
The best advice I could give someone who is looking to start a business in any industry would be that they must become an expert and build their domain knowledge within the industry. Entrepreneur’s fail because they are not knowledgeable and prepared, do the research and tests to make sure what you are building is something people want and desire, know who your customers are and sell to them. Some other advice for someone who is just starting a business in today’s world would be to not be afraid to ask for help and get a professional opinion. People who are afraid to ask for assistance when needed, will waste their valuable time on things that could very well be solved by asking someone who may have more experience than themselves. Time is money, spend it wisely.