Markus Hartel

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Markus Hartel is an American entrepreneur. Markus started Raghaus in 2015 and is based in Newburgh, NY.[1]

Markus Hartel,  of RaghausMarkus Hartel, of Raghaus




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Early Career

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Markus started Raghaus in 2015. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: [1]

Q: How did you get started on Raghaus?

The printing and creative industry have been my home for my entire professional life, for 32 years by now. I apprenticed to become a typesetter in 1987 and I owned a commercial printing business in the mid-90ies in Germany, where I was born and spent the first 30 years of my life. The operation went bust in 2001 for various reasons and I set sail for New York City, where I made a living in the creative/digital realm and where I also made myself a name as a street photographer.

After a decade or so, I grew tired of the hostile environment and I wanted to move to a small town and do something with printing again. But, I wanted to go back full circle and work with my hands and letterpress printing naturally sprung to mind. I bought a hand-cranked 1905 proof press at a studio in Brooklyn and moved to the City of Newburgh in the Hudson Valley, an hour north of New York City.

Miraculously, I found a pair of mid-century German Heidelberg letterpress machines for sale by their original owner in Newburgh, and I knew I had struck pure gold. I built my studio around these machines in an old warehouse and by now the place is pretty much a summation of my entire creative life.

One of my first letterpress print projects was FUCK beverage coasters that I left at local bars. People found these hilarious and I started selling the coasters locally and I also started an Etsy store – one holiday season these coasters went viral on BuzzFeed and I sold a bunch of them online. “Well, I’ll be damned if I can’t make a living doing this”, or so I thought. I added products to my line and also rented a little storefront, next to going to fairs and events as a vendor.

In the meantime a lot of people noticed the quality of my work and started hiring me for various graphic design and letterpress projects, hence my business being two-fold at this point in time.

All in, I probably spent around 100k in equipment, inventory and supplies – and every dime I made went back into the studio. I can honestly say that after three years, things started to run smoothly enough that I was able to get a good night’s sleep without too many worries about my well-being, or the future of my fledgling business.


Source [1]



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