Why You Do What You Do: When Customers Become Like Family

In October of 2018, Margaret Baker received what she thought was just another order at Printed Faith, a faith-based screen printing and embroidery company in Charleston, S.C. “I had a lady call me because she wanted to order some shirts with a Superman logo and her son’s name on it,” Margaret says. “We printed and sent them off. I don’t remember her volunteering any information about it, except that it was to raise money for her son.”

Not just another order

Months later, Margaret heard from the boy’s father, Rich Patino, who wanted to print more shirts for a fundraiser. She remembered working with Rich’s wife, Noami, and learned the couple was raising money for their 8-year-old son, Elijah, who was undergoing a bone marrow transplant due to a rare autoimmune disorder. “I got completely involved,” says Margaret, who still keeps in touch with the family today.

While this wasn’t a typical order for Printed Faith, whose mission is “to spread the word of God, one shirt at a time,” it’s not uncommon for the company to have a hand in important moments in people’s lives, from mission trips to fundraisers. “I play a small part in a lot of things I do for my customers,” Margaret says. “When we print baptism tees, I know our shirts are going to be worn by someone who decided to follow Christ, and that’s huge to me.” 

So when Rich asked Margaret if she had the capability to print a single kid’s hat with Elijah’s new Warrior logo on the front, she was determined to find a way to make it happen. “I told him sewing one hat wasn’t cost effective because of digitizing fees, but that I’d see what I could do,” she says. With help from the production team, Margaret secured a hat for Elijah and sent it to the Patinos—along with a get well card. “A few days later, I got a call from Rich, who said ‘I’m here with someone who wants to speak with you,’” Margaret says. “Elijah got on the phone and said, ‘Thank you, Miss Margaret, for my hat.’ It was the sweetest thing.”

“Why you do what you do every day”

That’s the crux of Printed Faith’s mission, and one they share with SanMar: “Everything we do is personal,” Margaret says. “Everyone has a story. In a way, that’s why I’ve been here so long. We enjoy doing what we do for our customers—that’s what it’s all about.”

Seeing her customers happy and healthy, says Margaret, is what fuels her to go to work every day. When the Patino family sent a thank-you card with a photo of Elijah inside, Margaret proudly hung it on the bulletin board in the company’s production area with a note for the entire staff to see: “This is why you do what you do every day.”