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Executive Q&A: Oklahoma City screen printer started business as a hobby

Gold Star Graphics entrepreneur Pam Guffey specializes in T-shirt screen printing, embroidery and novelty gifts.
by Paula Burkes Published: March 24, 2013

Q: Can you share a little bit about the growth of your business?

A: The first few years, Stan also reffed high school and college games, and his earnings from that sideline work is what paid the bills. It was just the two of us for the first five years, and then only three or four of us until we opened our embroidery room in '99. We added novelty items — like mugs, mouse pads and ink pens — in 2003, but screen printing still represents 70 percent of our business. Today, we average 13 to 16 employees, have thousands of customers, and most of our referrals come word-of-mouth. Annual revenues are $1.6 million.

Q: What have been the toughest times in your business?

A: Surviving two tornadoes. The 1999 tornado peeled the roof off our building and the 2003 tornado caved in our entire roof. In the latter, it was 10 days before we were back in production.

Q: What do you like most about your work?

A: The variety. Because we offer custom work, every job is different in color and style. Last year, we printed Thunder shirts for the playoffs and have printed shirts for OU's national championship football years. The current economy does concern me. But, though we may have to cut back, we work in an industry where there's always a need for the products we have.

by Paula Burkes
A 1981 journalism graduate of Oklahoma State University, Paula Burkes has more than 30 years experience writing and editing award-winning material for newspapers and healthcare, educational and telecommunications institutions in Tulsa, Oklahoma...
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Position: President, Gold Star Graphics

Birth date: March 27, 1953

Family: husband Stan (they met in high school at U.S. Grant); sons Lance, 38, and Kyle, 36

Education: Some college at Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton

Philanthropy: Executive board, P.E.O. Sisterhood, whose emblem coincidentally is a gold star.

For fun: The Thunder (she holds season tickets) and golf — a 15 handicap, she plays at least once a week at Belmar Golf Club in Norman, and she and Stan are bound for Ireland in August to play.


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