Illustrated Children’s Ministry encourages customers to add some color to their faith resources.
Machines used for architectural prints are given an inventive new purpose at Cushing.
Illustrated Children’s Ministry provides illustrated faith resources for churches and families across the country (and around the world). Owner and Illustrator Adam Walker Cleaveland started out by creating digital illustrations for people to use in church services.
One day, a friend suggested he “blow up” the drawings (increase the size) and see if anyone was interested in purchasing them. The rest is history. Although Illustrated Children’s Ministry does much more than create large coloring posters, including occasional custom orders, that is what they are best known for.
The new business venture coincides with a recent trend: adult coloring. Churches purchase posters to bring people of all ages together to color and have conversations.
“We did a curriculum last spring called an Illustrated Earth, which included 12 posters about this same size, and illustrated different bible stories,” Walker Cleaveland said. “And then we did the Christmas set, which were giant posters that come together to form one big image.”
Before starting Illustrated Children’s Ministry, Walker Cleaveland spent fifteen years in youth ministry. His background is beneficial in this new business endeavor because he knows what is available for religious institutions in the publishing world.
Illustrated Children’s Ministry originally printed coloring posters at an office supply chain. When Walker Cleaveland saw how cost-effective and customer-focused Cushing was, he knew it was time for a change.
“Pinterest is filled with people who do all these things with engineering prints [at this office supply store], and that’s kind of all I knew,” he said. “I had run into some issues, and was talking with two other parents at my son’s school. They recommended Cushing and we made the switch.”
In this last round of prints, Cushing produced 1,000 sets of posters, collated them, stuffed them in tubes, taped the tubes, and delivered them. For the same price at his previous vendor, Walker Cleaveland received just under half the amount of print sets Cushing produced –
Walker Cleaveland says social media is partly to thank for the company’s success. Clients come from Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but it’s Facebook where they see the most traffic, referrals, and colorful end results!
Since Illustrated Children’s Ministry operates out of Walker Cleaveland’s garage, turn time was one of the biggest challenges for such a large run of posters. Cushing printed in batches of 250 sets over a three-week period.
“It was a little crazy, but it all ended up working out. We started out with a date in mind to have everything shipped, and by that date UPS was coming to pick up the last set of boxes. It was great,” said Walker Cleaveland.
This story had a happy ending, but with a few small bumps along the way. Clients noticed coated paper used to print the last set was difficult to color. Sales Representative Erik Reczek did some research and found a better-suited paper.