Montgomery Business Journal

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Christina Mims CCM Graphics

Designing Memories

Everything is New for CCM Graphic Design & Printing

April 2016
By David Zaslawsky   
Photography by Robert Fouts

Although her business is more than three years old, there is a lot of newness including name, website, location, employees and products.

The new name of Christina C. Mims’ company is CCM Graphic Design & Printing. It was a recent change and has prompted a new website as well. Mims, who has an office at the Montgomery Area Chamber of Commerce Business Resource Center, moved in March to a larger space at the facility. It was about 1.5 times larger than her previous office.

Meanwhile, the company has grown from just her – the owner – to an assistant and full-time graphic designer. Mims also uses two to three independent contractors and if necessary has two more on call.

The larger office will also accommodate a full copy and printing center for businesses at the Business Resource Center. “I want to get the downtown area as well,” she said. She will offer drop-off and overnight services. She actually hopes to move out of the Business Resource Center by the end of the year into a downtown office.

If that’s not enough, Mims invested between $90,000 and $100,000 on a machine that will enable Mims to print books that would be at least 10 pages for an additional keepsake for funerals or any occasion or event. She will be designing and printing a 150-page book to help Mount Zion A.M.E. Zion Church celebrate its 150th anniversary this year. She earlier designed and printed a 12-page booklet for the church to recognize its role in the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

From the start, Mims’ funeral programs/booklets are what she calls her “flagship products.” She still remembers the date of her first obituary program: Jan. 24, 2013.

She meets with the families and asks about the deceased. “I want to know their story,” she said. “I capture their stories through pictures and text. It becomes a memorial – a keepsake they hold
onto forever.”

One client slept with the funeral program of her late husband. Mims will now have the equipment to “create a memorial book with a hard cover.”

She has had some high-profile clients – designing and printing the funeral program for longtime WSFA 12 News employee Arlam Carr Jr., who is the son of civil rights icon Johnnie Carr. He died in 2013.

Mims designed and printed the funeral booklet for former Montgomery County Board of Education President Beverly Ross, who died last year. She printed 500 booklets.

Those funeral programs/booklets represented about 90 percent of her company’s revenue in 2013 and 2014, but with the growth of programs for churches for fundraisers, banquets and receptions; weddings, invitations, thank-you cards and brochures – the funeral-related products account for about 75 percent of her revenue. She even designed course catalogs for Wallace Community College.

Funeral programs range from four pages to 16 pages. The typical funeral program she designs is an eight-page booklet that is 8.5 inches by 11 inches. That costs $6.50 a booklet and she has printed up to 1,000 booklets for a funeral. A 24-inch by 36-inch laminated photo costs $22.

In her line of work, many orders are short-notice – very short-notice. Sometimes the programs/booklets are needed the next day. Mims said she recently received a call from the Alabama Heritage Funeral Home for 700 booklets – the next day. “I designed it the same day and printed it,” Mims said.

Nearly all the area’s funeral homes will tell their clients about Mims’ funeral programs, which are part of a client’s overall funeral bill. The client tells the funeral home what they want. “If they want my quality programs they call me,” Mims said.

CCM Graphic Designs & Printing is not the only game in town, but Mims said her competitors “are not providing the type of service I give – the graphic work and everything I put in it. They can’t compete with that.”

employees:
3

Years in business:
3-plus

Products:
Funeral booklets/programs; souvenir programs, invitations,
hard-bound books

Location:
Montgomery
Area Chamber
of Commerce Business
Resource Center

Website:
CCMGRAPHICDESIGN.COM

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