By Caitlin Switzer
MONTROSE—It was a job offer that first brought Ken Holyfield to Montrose—but the job was being offered to his wife, Jill. So after contemplating a composite startup, spending a year with a college friend designing and attempting to sell web sites in the early days of the Internet, and teaching computer classes part time at the Delta-Montrose Vo-Tec, Holyfield had a realization.
“I came to the conclusion that I needed a job,” he said. “So I got involved in the sign industry.” Holyfield launched his company, Megapixel Digital Imaging (now located at 104 South First St.), as a home-based business in August of 2002.
“I added onto my house,” he recalled, “a 560- square-foot room, to house one wide-format printer, a couple of computers and a laminator. My wife was working full-time, so that way I could be at home with our kids.”
Today, the business that Holyfield operated by himself for the first two years em- ploys four full-time and two part-time employees, and works with two independ- ent contractors on a regular basis.
The growing company has a dual focus today; in addition to its original business of wide-format printing and custom dis- play creation, a niche that serves artists and photographers seeking to display their own work to best advantage, Megapixel Digital Imaging launched its “Go Big Ban- ners” service several years ago.
“We’re still re-developing the concept, and expect to roll it out by the end of the year,” Holyfield said. “But it has already allowed us open our services to a national clientele, and has been key in allowing us to really grow in a down economy.”
Go Big Banners is a web site that allows customers to design and order their own banners online, using proprietary online design tools and software developed by the Megapixel team.
“We’re largely targeting the banner market as it relates to the sports industry,” he said. “Little League, softball, or football teams, and small businesses who want a web resource to generate banners at a low- er cost.”
The company’s original focus has also done well, evolving into myriad options including custom hardware, giclée, digital sign drivers, the popular wall and vehicle wraps, as well as trade show displays and floor graphics. The team today includes Holyfield’s first hire, Brett Pfister, as well as Jeff Phillips and Leslie Hoops. Holy- field’s wife handles accounts receivable and payable, while his brother helps devel- op software, and the company works with a designer in Australia as well.
“We are contemplating adding another production person,” Holyfield said, “and we have already outgrown this building. I think it’s fair to say we are the largest wide-format printer on the Western Slope. There is still plenty of opportunity in the photo and fine art side of our business, but our big focus for growth will be GoBigBanners.com—there is huge opportunity there, and we have only just scratched the surface.
“We are having our best year ever,” he said. “We highly value our team, and we try to provide our employees with the best pay we possibly can. This is no one-man band—it is our team who makes us suc- cessful, and who have allowed us to get where we are.”
Megapixel also appreciates its customers, he said. “My very first paid client was Jim El- der,” Holyfield said. “We really value our clientele; we try to find out what their ex- pectations are up front, and meet them. We spend hands-on time with our clients, go through their concerns, and figure out how to best produce a product that meets their needs.”
Find Megapixel Digital Imaging online at www.megapixeldi.com, or call 970-252- 1789. To design your own banner for an event or business, visit www.gobigbanners.com.