Local businesses making an imprint nationally

By: Jenny You Email
By: Jenny You Email

EAU CLAIRE, Wis. (WEAU) – A local apparel arts and screen printing company are working together to put a piece of Wisconsin on the national map.

Breath of Life Apparel (BOLA), based out of Chippewa Falls, gets its merchandise printed at Ambient Inks in Eau Claire.

Co-founder and creative director of BOLA Travis Raymond said their brand is about a lifestyle.

He and CEO/co-founder Shayne Brown came up with the idea after growing up in Chippewa Falls together.

“We wanted to do something on our own because we had interest in art, design and sports. So we were able to start making t-shirts,” said Raymond.

Raymond said the brand BOLA is about representing the arts, nature and the beauty in Wisconsin and the Midwest.

“We want people to realize Wisconsin isn't just farms and cows. We’re also outdoors, hiking, boating, skiing, snowboarding, camping, all of those things are a big part of our life and that’s what we're trying to show the rest of the nation and hopefully the rest of the world,” said Brown.

And with a new logo being released, the company said it is stepping into a new era.

“Just kind of represents something more iconic, moving forward, taking bigger steps,” said Raymond.

Sales have been made all the way from Wisconsin to Colorado to Vermont, California, North Dakota and Minnesota and a new spring and summer line is coming out, including a new screen printed poster, embroidered hat and screen printed t-shirt – with the help of Ambient Inks.

The BOLA team met Ambient Inks out of UW-Stout.

23-year-old Aaron Brice is the co-owner and co-founder of Ambient Inks. He said the idea of a screen printing business was dreamt up while living in the dorm rooms at UW-Stout.

“We wanted to be able to print t-shirts on our own and as a hobby so we searched around for equipment. We started printing out of our house in Menomonie and it got quite a bit busier,” said Brice. “About a year and a half ago, we decided to move to Eau Claire and expand.”

Together, BOLA and Ambient Inks are putting what’s made in Eau Claire on people from all walks of life and all parts of the country.

“Seeing the shirts we printed in public is really cool too, really fulfilling,” said Brice.

Ambient Inks also does all of the screen printing for the merchandise of hometown Grammy winner Bon Iver.

And just like BOLA, the screen printing biz is making it big too and providing more options for printing merchandise.

“We have clients from Minnesota, Georgia, California, Colorado. We're starting to get more national with it,” said Brice.

From Bon Iver to companies like BOLA, a part of hometown now is crossing borders and making a mark across the country.

BOLA said it’s also making growth across the border with trees.

For every order BOLA gets, a tree gets planted in the Atlantic Rain Forest in Brazil.

Visit BOLA at their website
and Ambient Inks by clicking here.

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