Adam Tanaka


This article is a part of our encyclopedia, and is editable by you. Edit ➜


Adam Tanaka is an American entrepreneur. Adam started Life and Limb Printing in 2010 and is based in Nashville.[1]

Adam Tanaka, founder of Life and Limb PrintingAdam Tanaka, founder of Life and Limb Printing

Company

Life and Limb Printing

Instagram

@adamtanaka (414 followers)

Career

Early Career

No early career info added yet...

Life and Limb Printing

Adam started Life and Limb Printing in 2010. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Life and Limb Printing?

I was all over the place with what I wanted to do with my life - anywhere from a radio DJ, to creating zines, then going to college for biology, dropping out, all the while playing music and touring in bands since I was 14.

> From scrubbing those floors to working in their eCommerce department, I learned the inner workings of the production side of the business and knew I was ready to figure out how to launch my own company in merch.

The music I listened to in the 90’s played a major role in what I ended up doing as my career. I remember stuffing cash into an envelope and sending it to some of my favorite bands' addresses and within 2 to 4 weeks, I'd get a shirt in the mail. After opening the package, I would immediately feel the print and it was a mystery to me of how that print got on a shirt.

In the early 2000’s, I got a job here in Nashville with a merch company that did almost everything in house. I started out scrubbing the floors and cleaning the shop making $6.25/hr. It was a large enough company that they were busy year round and a small enough company that the owners were there most of the time. From scrubbing those floors to working in their eCommerce department, I learned the inner workings of the production side of the business and knew I was ready to figure out how to launch my own company in merch.

I was working part-time at an art store, trying to play music and in 2008 at the age of 26, started printing small one-off jobs here and there for myself and for friends. I put music on the back burner to try and work my way to manager of the art store so that I could make more money to save up and spend towards my new venture. Somehow still being over $300 overdrawn in my bank account with more bills coming in and not enough being made, I still started a business.

My first real customer was a Nashville brewery, who still prints with us today. I cold-called them making my company sound much bigger than it was. The name was a song from a favorite band of mine, Fugazi called Life and Limb. It was the first bit of text I saw when my customer asked me what my company name was and it just ended up sticking. I started printing on the floor of my apartment and curing shirts on a cookie sheet in the oven. Below is the first shirt I printed for Yazoo Brewery and a cassette tape insert of the Fugazi record The Argument that has the track Life and Limb.

how-i-went-from-janitor-to-running-a-1m-screen-printing-business

how-i-went-from-janitor-to-running-a-1m-screen-printing-business

Even multiple-color jobs, I had to wipe down each screen every single time to align with the print and used a heat gun so the inks wouldn’t stick to the screen. This was brutal and I don’t know what I was thinking. Eventually, I moved into a 600 square foot garage, then shared the back of a building with another company, and a few years later landed our current space. All I knew was that I wanted to give my customers the best product ever, and something they could wear around and be proud of.

About 6 years into the business, I hired my first employee and now have a solid team of 8 people.

Source [1]

References

Contributors

Contributors to this article: