SOAPOINT! founder Mike Hornbeck overcomes the obstacles of starting his own business.
The need to create and the presence of opportunity led to the rocky beginnings of a dream that started with two college friends. They didn’t know that their dream would manifest in a bigger form than they ever imagined. The two friends met at Fort Hays State University where their obsession with art and design brought them closer together.
They began to explore large format street art in the small college town. The pair started signing their masterpieces as “soap” and “point”. One thing led to another and Studio Soapoint was born. The boys focused on design and painting murals at local bars. They enjoyed juggling their startup and finishing up school. As typical rookies, the ideas of contracts and pre-disclosed pricing hadn’t cross their minds. Regardless, seeds were planted for a dream that expanded past the borders of Kansas.
With a bicycle, a bag of clothes and their new graphic design degrees in hand, the fearless friends left for a new adventure in Colorado.
The two friends were faced with entering the real world in 2005. With a bicycle, a bag of clothes and their new graphic design degrees in hand, the fearless friends left for a new adventure in Colorado. Thirsty to work in design, one of the friends landed a job sweeping floors at a large format print & sign shop. He fell in love with everything at the shop. Making things, transforming prints to displays, stickers, signs, vehicle wraps– All things sign and design. After gaining several years of experience in the industry, the friends decided to resurrect Soapoint Graphics in December 2007. Production began as they worked out of a tiny studio apartment in Downtown Denver.
It wasn’t always sunshine and roses for Soapoint, there were many road blocks and learning curves at the beginning. After a one-year failed partnership with a local events company, they were determined to push on. They focused on their roots of customer service, quality and personality. A heavier demand for vehicle wraps led to the completion of 3M testing in St. Paul, Minnesota and the delivery of the title of 3M Preferred Installer. In 2010 the company began to dedicate more attention to graphic design and marketing.
Fast-forward to 2015, Soapoint is home to 13 employees and the company grossed over 1 million in sales last year. The company is poised for dramatic growth in the creative industry as well as the print & sign industry. The teams meld together to deliver a positive streamlined workflow that simplifies client retail management and meets all environmental and graphic design conception and production. The Soapoint family continues to cling to it’s roots of customer service, quality and personality, creating a genuine, one of a kind experience.
That’s good sh!t.