It all began in 1982 when Steve’s parents purchased the existing business from Ken's Quick Print. At the time Ken's Quick Print was located on the corner of Jenks and 11th street. At 15, Steve began his career at the print shop. His only other first job was busing tables in high school. Guess what? Sheila’s first job was busing tables in a restaurant, too! Steve graduated from Bay High School and then attended Washington Holmes Technical Center, where he furthered his skills in the printing business. One of the biggest influences in his life was his printing instructor at the Technical Center, “He never gave an answer, he helped you work through a problem by asking questions to get you to solve it by yourself”, Steve said.
Steve Ruff is the Owner, Operator and Production Manager of Creative Printing. With a long career in printing services he can step in and provide backup in all the work roles at the print shop including; working as a pressman, helping in bindery, estimating, material procurement, customer service, but when asked which is his favorite hat to wear … he replies with a smile, “my fishing hat”. Steve still loves to go back to the press room and help run the presses, but doesn't get to get back there much anymore.
The most exciting part about the printing business for Steve has been watching the evolution of new technology and how printing has changed through the years. When Steve began at the print shop most of the equipment was manual, today most all the equipment is computer based. Steve describes a typical day as, “Challenging. There is no typical day in printing!” due to so many different types of customers, projects and print jobs. Although both Steve and Sheila agree that one of their favorite parts of the day is … “Getting Creative!” on projects and seeing it all come together at the end of the day for their clients.
Steve and his wife Sheila met when Sheila began working at the print shop as a typesetter in 1994. She had limited design experience and taught herself what she needed to know to get the job done right, a quality we love about her! They married in 1999 and began running the business on their own. In 2004 they made the move from running the company to purchasing the company.
Sheila Ruff is the Owner and Office Manager of Creative Printing. She takes on many other roles as well including bookkeeping, problem solving and collaborating on design projects in the graphics department (which is what she enjoys most), customer service and back-up in the bindery department when needed. Sheila states, “There is no typical day here at Creative.” Her favorite part of any day is when some of their longtime customers come in “just for a hug”. Sheila says, “You get very attached!” which is understandable when you work as hard as they do on all the creative print projects. Right now, she is enjoying seeing all the Christmas Card projects go from a customer’s idea to hot off the press!
Steve and Sheila tell us that family is, “The most important thing in our life! When we think of family we think of grand-babies and puppies.” They have four grand babies all under the age of twelve and three dogs that are (quite frankly) spoiled rotten just like the grand-babies! They look forward each year to spending their vacation time with their kids and grand-kids. Steve and Sheila both agree that they are looking forward to the day they get to retire. As Steve puts it, “I am ready to buy a big backyard and a tractor!”
In the family Steve is “Pappa.” He is very laid back and easy going, which means that the grand-kids love to take their Pappa and puppies out for walks in the woods. Steve’s happiest memories are fishing at Cape San Blas with his family. Fishing is one of his favorite pastimes, so the next time you are in the print shop remember to tell him your favorite fishing story!
Do you have that one person in your life that keeps the family together? That is Sheila! Her happiest memories are “getting to see all of my grand-babies born.” When asked what she is most proud of you can see her eyes sparkle as she says, “My Boys!” her two sons have always been the center of her life. She likes to take care of her plants, but her favorite memories are spent enjoying her back porch as long as it is filled with her loves … the plants, the family and the grand-babies.