Approaching 30 years since The Jensen's opened up the original shop, Flying Colors appears to operate under the radar while being a force in the community. They produce custom apparel (shirts, jackets, hats, etc) and other multimedia aspects for businesses, schools and organizations. "So much of the custom apparel is created for the schools, their sports and organizations. Every year to few years, you get a new organizer, coach, or lead and a whole new group of kids", owner, Bevon Davis, comments about the vibrant landscape of the apparel industry. "Jace (Jensen) and I had always planned to focus on North Franklin County and fill in the calendar with jobs out of the area. There is more than enough in the community to keep us busy".
When Bevon and wife, Amy, assumed custody of the business, they brought many customers into the fold. Amazon's work-from-home customer service department needed a system to allow their 2000+/- employees in that group to purchase custom apparel with 'credits' they were given for Christmas. Bevon designed a token system that would streamline ordering and accounting as well as make the fulfillment fairly easy to manage. "He always seems surprised when something works, whether he's nailed the artwork on the first attempt or some elaborate system he's just deployed", Amy remarks about her husband's seemingly 'aloof' performances.
Bevon admittedly wouldn't want to operate the business without Amy, "she runs production - and loves it. She's become an ink chemist and strives for perfection at every step of the process". The apparel industry is a triumvirate of skill sets: Art, Quality of Product, and Relationships. While developing his 10,000+ shirt design portfolio, Bevon observed and worked for half a dozen screenprinting shops over the past decade. He remembers, "I used to do Connell related jobs while working for Atomic Screenprinting, then work on a couple of other local jobs for Flying Colors in the same week".
A deep portfolio and passion for printing has encouraged further expansion with in-house embroidery, a local themed online store (shop.connellwa.com), and more community outreach.
"People have asked why we do not advertise more - we simply haven't needed to but as I said, it's always a new group of people with the core customer base so it takes ongoing relationship building to keep the jobs rolling in", said Bevon. "Watch for apparel from Connell Football, CBJLS, Fall Festival and GridKids throughout the summer; all available online. The next large job we have is the See 3 Slam, 3-on-3 basketball tournament in Richland - about 1500 shirts across all the divisions and staff".
Flying Colors expects a soft launch of the entire ConnellWA.com website in June. Since buying the domain back in 2002, Amy reveals it has been the real "project" that Bevon has been looking forward to, "he wants to promote the community as something more than a snow globe village that never changes". They found a great partnership with Lauren Smith in bringing the site together as well as extending the apparel sales reach to her contacts. Bevon adds, "the site has been much more fun to work on in a group setting for company, criticism and new ideas. Lauren has pushed many elements into being that had long been dormant".
Under the hood, the website presence Flying Colors is developing is ready for whatever the community can throw at it though Bevon is quick to remind that there isn't much to show yet. Balancing ambitions he modestly closes with, "there is something special in this community and there always has been. We enjoy the apparel business and simply want to make clothing that people want to wear".
For custom apparel or comments about the website, contact Bevon 509-591-4405 (call or text), Lauren 509-989-9788 (call or text). Visit the online store at shop.ConnellWA.com or the main page ConnellWA.com