EASTLAKE, Ohio — Holiday shopping is underway and retailers are preparing for strong online sales because of the pandemic. But did you know a lot of the garments you may be ordering online are likely made and shipped from right here at home in Northeast Ohio?
Stakes Manufacturing is a fast-growing company in Eastlake that's taking on an industry giant.
"Our main competitor in this industry, in this country, is Amazon," said Christopher Marinin, general manager of Stakes Manufacturing.
Marinin is used to big challenges.
"The pandemic has taken a toll on everybody," he said.
As general manager of Stakes Manufacturing, Marinin's digital printing company has rebounded from painful furloughs at the start of the pandemic to a 500% growth in staffing, he said.
"I've gone from 47 employees in April to now 280 plus in just six months’ time," said Marinin.
It is a direct effect of the pandemic, changing how Americans do most of their shopping.
Data shows online sales are currently up more than 40% year-to-year with no sign of slowing down.
"So, people are sitting at home they're ordering t-shirts or hoodies and those orders come directly to us," explained Marinin.
Stakes is a print-on-demand company. Their high-tech digital printing machines can pump out hundreds of custom and unique garments.
"We are so lucky to have these machines," said Marinin. "They come right from Israel and this is what is giving us a very strategic advantage for growth."
Stakes handles the inventory and shipping for e-commerce sites of professional sports teams, entertainment organizations, celebrities and more.
"You have seen our products that we print literally everywhere in the United States, you can't miss them," he said.
But Marinin is also proud of the inclusive workforce Stakes has created.
"You'll see all ages, all races, all genders and all identities here," he said. "This is a very open environment. We're LGBTQ-friendly. We're disability friendly and we employ people from all different types of communities, including the deaf community."
Hallie Perrin, director of client services, said she loves the spirit week and the focus on the well-being of employees and product.
"It is really cool to be a part of something in Northeast Ohio that impacts the world," said Perrin.
Stakes Manufacturing is hiring 80 to 100 people right now—plus an additional 50 seasonal employees. As a seasonal worker, if you work the entire duration of November through December, you'll earn a $500 bonus.
To apply, click here.