Tron Swanson grew up in the Upsala and Pierz area of Central MN, and in 2013 he started Krillan. Located in Sartell, they offer screen printing, embroidery, heat press, and online storefronts. They partner with a number of local businesses in the area, with a reputation that precedes them.
“I always had an interest in starting a business, I was just looking for that market gap or idea. In 2013, I was working out in Redmond, WA. At the time, my brother was having issues with a local print shop in the Seattle area that was using water-based/discharge inks. His experience inspired me to get into the field and we began looking for companies in the central Minnesota area that offered water-based/discharge inks. The closest place we could find was in the Twin Cities, so, with that in mind, later that day I called my loving and supporting wife, Kimberly, and told her I was off onto a new adventure. I put in my notice, cashed in my retirement savings, personal savings, stocks, etc… and here I am. I’ve always thought that business owners had to make difficult decisions and I was looking forward to that challenge and wanted to be in that position.”
And thus, Krillan came to be. “There are a lot of reasons I chose to stay in the area but the primary ones are to be near friends and family and I enjoy being in central Minnesota to experience the 4 seasons throughout the year.”
Krillan is a whole lot more than an apparel print shop, that’s for sure, One step inside their business and you’ll hear the hum of machines, see impressive equipment executing creative work, and talented staff hard at work.“What makes us special is our people – especially the production – Blaine, Emmaly, Chandler, and Jon. Their passion for the industry, in combination with water-based and discharge inks, really separates us from similar companies. No other print shops in the area work with the various types of inks as we do. We do have a younger team but Blaine’s 30+ years of experience in screen printing, surrounded by all the youth who are so willing to learn, is a great mixing pot of ideas and experience. Simply put… we have a great team with knowledge and passion to work with water-based/discharge inks.”
Like many, their business isn’t immune to the need for employees. “Over the last few months, it has been challenging to find additional team members to join Krillan. We have been fortunate that our business partners understand as orders were delayed the last few months during our growing period here.”
If this is the first you’ve heard of Krillan – that’s OK. But we’re betting you’ve seen their work in our community… “We are lucky to have a lot of great local partnerships. We work with a lot of the local breweries, including Beaver Island, Bad Habit, and Pantown. Some other local organizations and businesses we work with are ServiceMaster, GREAT Theatre, Northway Academy, St. Cloud Rox, Sartell Schools, Craft Beer Tour, and more.” So that local swag you’re wearing? It was likely printed locally, too.
“Greater St. Cloud is doing a wonderful job encouraging and educating the community on the value of purchasing local. This is something that I, personally, never really understood the importance of until I became a small business owner myself. A lot of the businesses and local schools understand the value of establishing and maintaining strong and lasting connections.”
When St. Cloud Shines was first getting started, Krillan graciously helped with the printing of our promotional shirts and were great to work with. Thank you, Krillan and team!