Small Business Monday- spotlight on Yellowhammer Creative

business, Birmingham AL
business, Birmingham AL
Brandon Watkins and Brett Forsyth, owners of Yellowhammer Creative. Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now

Didn’t get what you wanted for Christmas? Not cool enough? Not local enough? Well, take yourself over to the Pizitz, pronto, for amazing Birmingham swag that will propel you into the New Year with pride! Brett Forsyth tells us all about it in this week’s edition of Small Business Monday.

Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Who we are – 
Brandon grew up in Glen Iris and I grew up in Edgewood so we’ve been here our whole lives.   We share a love of concert posters that lead us to experiment with screen-printing. We met through mutual friends while attending different art schools. Brandon went to the Art Institute in Atlanta and I graduated from UAB. Through our collaboration with design and printing, Yellowhammer Creative was formed in 2009.
Brandon and I are the owners. We operate the print studio in Avondale and employ a handful of full time employees there.  At The Pizitz we have a great retail staff led by retail manager Allison Bowles. We’re a small but very productive company because we have a great team.  We started Yellowhammer Creative as a project in 2009 mainly creating band posters and merch. Our retail arm as most people know it today started in 2013. We opened the Yellowhammer Print Shop at The Pizitz Food Hall in February 2017.
Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
What we do –
The Yellowhammer Print Shop, at The Pizitz Food Hall, 1821 2nd Avenue North Suite 108, offers all of our hand printed goods along with other great local products. In addition to our retail shop you can find select items in some other local retailers such as the Vulcan Gift Shop and Alabama Goods. We also ship nationwide via yellowhammer.org.  Yellowhammer Creative Offices are in Avondale. We specialize in hand printed goods like t-shirts, posters, art prints, tote bags, etc. But we also offer 13+ other local makers inside our 550 square foot space at The Pizitz. 
Yellowhammer Creative is special in a number of ways. We offer a unique way of printing that is high quality and earth friendly. We’re also pretty unique because we’ve cut out as much of the supply chain as possible. We design, print, wholesale, and operate retail. 
Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
What we’re happy about- 
We still really enjoy getting to design and print posters more than anything. t-shirts are great but at the end of the day the design possibilities are limited. Printing on paper allows for more experimentation. We also really enjoy being able to offer a platform for other makers and artists to get in front of an audience. The Yellowhammer Print Shop at The Pizitz Food Hall has been a great vehicle for that. We also have had some great success managing and operating some local artist/makers fairs; most notably, the Market at The Pizitz and the Cahabazaar. 
Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
We’ve always been proud to be from Birmingham and enjoyed sharing that civic pride with our neighbors. It’s allowed us to forge some great relationships. The city has changed and grown so much since we started selling our “It’s Nice” shirts and posters years ago. It’s been so crazy to see it explode. I just hope we keep on this progressive path as a community.
Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Contributing to Vitality-
I think we contribute a unique small business to the ecosystem. We have always tried to be good neighbors and supportive of other local businesses. There are some great people in this town and we love seeing everyone succeed. We also employ some really great artists and creative folks. Almost everyone at YHC has a successful side hustle from product lines, art, teaching, ceramics, music, woodworking and more.  We want people to know that we’re just a group of folks that want to provide a great product and quality services. We don’t take ourselves too seriously and we, no joke, enjoy the hell out of what we do. 
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Stressors and Rewards – 
It can be stressful to start and operate your own business. At the end of the day though we’ve surrounded ourselves with a great team and trust that together we’ll do a great job. The fact that I get to do what a truly enjoy for a living though wins over the stress every time. It’s been very rewarding to see our company grow and evolve. We’ve been very lucky to get some great opportunities and create some cool stuff along the way. The best part is we still have so many things we want to do.
Birmingham AL
Photo via Kristina O’Quinn for Bham Now
Hopes for Birmingham’s future – 
Birmingham has been doing great in many areas but as a small business owner the drum we’ve been beating for years is for more retail Downtown. Some strides have been made on the edges of the city center in Crestwood and Woodlawn but there’s just not many of us operating retail shops in the heart of Birmingham. You don’t need much more than one hand to count the retail shops in the city center. It’s well overdue that developers bring actual shopable retail to Southside/Midtown/Downtown. I would love to see a large retail market established near Railroad Park. The Powell Avenue Steam Plant could be a game changing project if it was to house a finely curated group of local and national brands. It’s time to quit conceding quality shopping over the mountain. We’re really proud to be selling retail on 2nd Avenue North. There’s a lot of history here. Local empires were born here along this corridor and we’d love to see it come back to life. 
More Bham Now coverage of Pizitz businesses – https://bhamnow.com/2017/03/30/bham-now-pizitz-food-hall-takeover/