You might not know the name Boundary Waters – yet – but you sure know their work. The custom designs from the Hartnell Avenue screenprinting shop adorn shirts and sweatshirts worn throughout the North State.
From championship shirts for the annual Harlan Carter Invitational Basketball Tournament to shirts for softball leagues and even garments with special meaning, Michael Karns and crew at Boundary Waters have likely outfitted most of Shasta County.
Begun in 2011, Boundary Waters survived the economic downturn of past years and the COVID pandemic, in part Karns jokes, because “failure is not an option.”
“Boundary Waters was started because of a need for quality printing, reasonable pricing and creative solutions for embroidery and screen prints,” says Karns, who graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a bachelor’s degree in graphic design and illustration.
But the secret behind Boundary Waters’ success is really in its personal care, attention to detail, competitive pricing and friendly staff. “We are family owned and operated and my inspiration is having the ability to work with my wife and children,” Karns says. “All of us, including the three friendly dog greeters, have similar ideas and that’s what makes our business strong.”
He adds a positive and fun work environment also helps.
Their art and design department is award-winning, they’re committed to community service and volunteer work, but the customer service is what truly sets them apart – you can see their work at www.boundarywatersink.com. “At Boundary Waters, we make ‘your’ project ‘our’ project,” Karns said.
Whether it’s Mike or manager Trevor Karns, the folks at Boundary Waters take the time – Monday through Friday – to meet with each customer to go over design, cloth and have samples on hand along with sample catalogs.
“An example of our customer service is memorial shirts, which can be very difficult for the customer,” Michael Karns says. “After consulting with our artist, we try to create an image that helps in the healing/loss of the missing loved one.”
And just as Boundary Waters survived the Great Recession, it’s poised to come out of COVID stronger and more capable to clothe the North State.
“We have grown over the years with community support,” Karns says. “COVID-19 tested our resilience, but we received grant money from the Chamber of Commerce and are now running at full capacity. Shasta Strong, baby!”
Boundary Waters Screenprinting
907 Hartnell Ave, Redding