Archive for Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Printer likes being his own boss

November 30, 2005

Harold Poe has done a little bit of everything for someone who's lived in the area his whole life.

Right after high school, the owner of Caraway Printing, 204 N. Main St., worked as a cabinetmaker for a Leavenworth cabinet shop. Later, he sold insurance, studied to sell real estate and studied electronics as well.

"I'm self-taught," Poe said.

The answer to one of the most common questions from people when they first meet him is "yes" - he is distantly related to Edgar Allan Poe.

Harold Poe said that while the advent of desktop publishing has brought changes for the company he's owned since 1993 - he estimates that about half of the orders he gets are for documents that already have been designed - business hasn't suffered as a result.

The kinds of work that home publishing would divert from Poe's business are one- or two-edition printings that were never a big part of his business anyway, he said. Most of Caraway business is corporate calendars and newsletters for local companies, Poe said.

But, he said, "We print just about anything."

Poe said he liked being his own boss. The main advantage of self-employment is also its disadvantage: while he gets more free time throughout the day, he doesn't get as many days off in a year's time as he did when he worked for Hallmark as a manger for 25 years.

"A week is about the most (at one time) I've taken off since I've had this place," Poe said.

Harold Poe

Harold Poe

Name: Harold Poe

Address: 202 E. Olive St.

Occupation: Owner, Caraway Printing Co.

Family: Wife, Connie; daughters, Deborah and Melissa

How long have you lived in Lansing and what brought you here? I've lived in the Leavenworth-Lansing area my whole life, and bought a house here in 1981.

What do you like most about Lansing? That it's a small town. It's easy to get to work. It's close to Kansas City and the airport. You can take advantage of the city but not have to live in it.

What do you do for fun? Golf at Leavenworth Country Club and Oaks Country Club.

What would surprise people about you? Maybe that I never went to college. I was a manager at Hallmark and I've taken a lot of training that helps me run my business. I pretty much maintain my own equipment.

What's the best advice you ever received? "To be as truthful and fair to everyone as possible."

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