RENO, NV - There was a big celebration in Reno on Monday. An online custom design t-shirt company opened its doors and is hoping to help put people to work.
It's hard not to feel the energy inside the new offices of CustomInk. There are balloons and lots of bright colors. But it's the promise of 100 new jobs that has local leaders cheering.
"Welcome to Nevada," said Bob Larkin, Washoe County Commission Chairman. "Thank you for bringing these vital jobs to this worn out community."
This was the grand opening celebration at CustomInk. It's an online t-shirt design company that lets customers do the designing.
"People use our site to create their own designs, get help from custom inkers and hopefully end up with great shirts," said Marc Katz, the Co-founder and President of CustomInk.
Katz ended up choosing Reno when he wanted to expand out of Virginia. He was looking for a place out west to handle his growing business and distribute on this side of the country. Also, since a lot of the jobs he was looking to hire for would be phone and email-based, being in the Pacific Time Zone was key.
"We were very into that because it will allow us to extend our customer service hours," said Katz.
But the most important reason he says he chose this spot?
"The people," said Katz. "Renoites are just great. We love the team that we've fielded so far and we're looking forward to more."
Washoe County Commission Chair Bob Larkin said that, after losing more than 6,000 jobs in the last five years, this is a community that needs more than just work. It needs hope - that he believes this company has designs on bringing.
"We are revitalizing ourselves," Larkin told Katz during the grand opening celebration. "This is just a spark. I feel the energy in here that you're bringing back to the area. This is the beginning of a renewal.
Nevada's Governor said he was thrilled that such an established company would choose to expand in Northern Nevada.
"This is a company that started at 1,400 square feet and has grown to a $100 million company that distributes around the world," said Gov. Brian Sandoval at the celebration. "So we're very pleased that they choose here."
CustomInk's Reno location is a 25,000 square foot space on Capital Court in East Reno. The company plans to hire about 100 workers over the first year. Many of those jobs will be customer service-based, but Katz says he is looking to hire some production jobs in the summer.