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Beginner's handbook

Why Did We Start Printful?

By Reading Time: 3 minutes


You’ve found us, Printful, so it’s safe to assume that you’re ready to launch an ecommerce store, if you haven’t already. Or maybe you just want to print something nice for yourself. Either way, we’re glad you’re here.

The Printful you see today didn’t happen overnight – we’ve traveled a long road to get to where we are today. And we want to share our story and get introduced, so you know who we are and what we’re all about. We weren’t always print fulfilment specialists. In fact how we got here is highly untraditional. Read on, it’s a long read, but a good one.

It all started in a small country named Latvia (northern Europe…hardly anyone has ever heard of it). Our founders started the first social network to be introduced to the Latvian people, called Draugiem. It was a hit. Even today, with the big blue competitor (that’s Facebook, for those of you who didn’t guess), a lot of Latvians still use Draugiem on a daily basis, becoming the last social network to still be the most used in their country, in all of Europe.

The social network was so successful, that it spawned off other mini projects to support the social network, like a text messaging service, which eventually became companies of their own. These companies kept popping up…we took that text messaging knowledge and used it to create text message payments for vending machines, took our knowledge of social networks to create a platform for managing and scheduling posts, took our gadget-loving team mates to create cool office gadgets.

Where all the magic happens

Where all the magic happens

But as anyone might know, in a country of about 2 million inhabitants (yes, that’s all of Latvia), you can’t get very far in business. That’s why we shifted our focus to the global market. We created sites like DeskTime, and later and Startup Vitamins, both of which are sites filled with inspiring quotes. These were met with resounding success. We had to cater to the public desire, and started to offer these quotes on products like posters and t-shirts.

The biggest challenge was finding someone to make these for us. We didn’t have the money to invest in big printing machines for a business that might not succeed. We quickly came to the conclusion that there was no business that could offer all of the products we wanted, in the quantities we wanted (often only one t-shirt with one design), for a price that we liked, in the quality of service that we demand for all of our projects.

After a while of using different services, that just didn’t cut it, we invested in a printer. Then we started creating all of our posters ourselves, handmade, with love. Imagine this, our CEO, a fairly famous muchacho in Latvia, running around in his home in California, doing the dirty work of printing and sending the posters we sold. Talk about horizontal company hierarchy…

So we realized we’ve got some traction, people like what we do, and most importantly, liked the quality of our stuff. Like every company in the Draugiem Group, we grow out of our own need for it. And if we need it, chances other people need them too. Not to mention all of the requests we were getting to print out people’s stuff on our super high quality posters.

And so we decided to build the easiest to use, most small-business friendly printing and sending service.

That meant having an incredible design, giving our users everything they would need to set up their ecommerce store (from design templates to easy ecommerce integrations, to lots of product options), having the most technologically advanced service. So here we are!

We’re growing fast and the road ahead of us is long – there are so many more things we want to implement (like even more product options). We want to become the ultimate dropshipping service, and we’re well on our way to getting there.

So THANK YOU for finding us, stay a while, and get to know us. I swear, we’re a cool bunch 🙂

Content Marketer at Printful


  1. Cashewsan

    Having read your story I am intrigued: Do you truly output the quality you claim? We have decided (my partner and I) to give it a test. As you describe in your aforementioned story, we too have been looking for someone who can do it all, or most of it anyway. Sounds like a dream, one we share with you apparently. Will let you know if our dream of working with someone like Printful pays out or not. Here’s to hoping and praying! Good luck!

    1. Julia Gifford Post author

      Hey Cashewsan, thanks for giving us a try! Though we think our quality is top-notch, of course, you should try it out for yourself! Make sure you take advantage of the “sample” prices. You’ll get the same stuff, but at the price of production (can be found under the “submit orders” section).

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