Trula Hickman – Sentinel Printers

Downtown: Why did you decide to start your business Downtown? How would you get here?

Trula: I decided to start this business downtown, because Sentinel Printers had been a long established business downtown since the 1850’s. And when the opportunity became available to purchase it, I jumped on board because I’ve been here for a long time. I’ve lived in Santa Cruz over 30 years and I love downtown. You’ll find me coming back downtown and when I’m not coming to work to whether it’s to go shopping or ¬†have a glass of wine at Abbott Square. This is like my home.

Downtown: How do you nurture community Downtown. 

Trula: I nurture community downtown by supporting other local businesses. Everybody needs printing, whether it’s a restaurant that needs menus or for printing art cards for Stripe or for Artisans. They know that they can rely on our service and our turnaround and we’re known for the high quality of our work. We’re essentially business-to-business downtown and we couldn’t be happier to be a part of the local community.

Downtown: What are the favorite things you do everyday in your business?

Trula: My favorite things to do are to speak directly with the customers, whether it’s over the phone or over the counter, so that I can have a good understanding of what their needs are and how I can make them feel comfortable with the process that might not be all that familiar to them. They know that they’re going to receive a product that’s exactly what they’re expecting or exceeds expectations.

Downtown: How do you think being a woman business owner changes how you do business?

Trula: I feel that being a woman changes how I do business in that I endeavor to take as much time as necessary to listen to what the client needs and how to best achieve that goal for them. So I would say as a woman, I’m inclined to listen and try to have a depth of understanding about what you’re wanting to achieve. Whether it’s your art prints, your wedding invitation or business cards.

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