Moving into the book business with Prisma Print
When Katie Rasmussen showed up for a cup of coffee with friends, she never dreamed she’d be offered a business.
But that’s exactly what happened, and next month Katie and husband Ant will take over Prisma Print from John and Maree Penney.
When she was invited for coffee, Katie originally suspected the Penneys were going to offer her a job. But when they offered her the business, she was ‘‘flabbergasted’’.
‘‘They showed me around and it was awesome. It was designed for me. It’s the equipment I’m used to, the software I use and and it’s the work I really like doing.’’
The mother-of-four says sitting alone in an office and taking the time to design and put together a book someone has spent so much time writing is one of her favourite things to do.
From July 17, she will be doing exactly that in her new office at 14 Alana Pl in Witherlea, Blenheim.
Katie’s career in the printing business started about 20 years ago when she ‘‘dropped out of school’’ to attend what is now the Marlborough Community College. There, her tutor, the owner of a printing company, offered her work which she did until her first child, who is now 18.
Then, Custom Copy offered her a job, where she has stayed for 17 years. Katie says her current job mainly involves doing commercial flyers and stationery which she enjoys, but designing books is her true passion.
That passion is shared by John and Maree, who initially set out to focus on short-run books, but have always handled a full range of print tasks.
‘‘The best part of the job is always the pleasure of watching an author see their book for the first time,’’ John says. ‘‘It is an emotional time for most authors who have usually spent between two and seven years writing their book. We work very closely with our authors from first contact through to helping them sell their books.’’
John says they are creative thinkers and ‘‘often look at what we do as a craft rather than a print job’’. Their decision to sell was based on several reasons including John’s Parkinson’s Disease and a desire to relocate temporarily to Toowoomba, near Brisbane, to be closer to Maree’s extended family.
‘‘We are both near retirement age and lack the enthusiasm we had 16 years ago. We firmly believe Katie and Ant are better suited to run Prisma Print from here on. They have the skills, the dedication and the energy to continue its success.’’
However, John says retire- ment isn’t happening just yet.
‘‘I have a computer and technology museum to turn into something tangible and a couple of small business ideas that might see the light of day after a decent break.’’
Katie Rasmussen has a passion for book design and publishing.