Funny story: we weren’t even trying to start a business. A few years ago, I was shopping for a baby gift for a friend who is a huge Kansas City Royals fan. I was less than impressed with the options available and was venting to my brother about my lack of success in finding something acceptable. We had both spent some time back in our college days working at a local screen printing shop and agreed that things would be so much easier if we could create and produce our own designs. A few drinks and craigslist searches later, we purchased a 30-year-old, 4-color manual printing press which would find a new home in my basement.
Here is where I will gloss over the part that wasn’t so smooth – that we had NO idea what we were getting into and if we had, we would NEVER have done it. Thankfully, through some extensive googling and fantastic advice from one of our screen printing supply vendors (we love you Devin!), we were able to figure it all out.
Initially, we were just creating Kansas City-themed tees for ourselves and our friends. One day, my husband suggested I list some of the items on Etsy to see if we could recoup some of the investment we had made in the printing equipment. We selected the name RubiaRojo because, translated from Spanish, it means “blonde” “red”. My brother is a ginger, I’m a blonde, and it was the only thing we could come up with that had an available website URL that wasn’t either already taken or going to cost us thousands of dollars.
Turns out the timing was perfect because a few weeks later, the Kansas City Royals won their way into the postseason for the first time in 30 years. When this happened, anything that had ANYTHING to do with Kansas City was selling like hotcakes and we couldn’t print items fast enough to fill our online orders.
Once the Royals-mania calmed down (insert sad face here), we realized we had a pretty viable little side-business. We figured out some of our designs were pretty good and others…well…we don’t print those designs anymore for a reason. In any case, we are continuing to expand our offerings and are excited to see where The ‘Jo is headed next.