Graphic design shop opens new German Street location
Some people can’t escape their past . . . and that’s not always a bad thing.
Rachel Pierce, owner of Just Sayin’ Graphics and Printed Flair, studied environmental science at Shepherd University to avoid the “struggle of being a starving artist,” but after graduating in 2016, she realized job satisfaction was more important than job security.
“I learned a lot in environmental studies, but it wasn’t my path, at least for now,” Pierce said in her business’s new location at 124 West German St. Pierce moved her seven-month-old business into the location in March, a decision she said was necessary.
“I want to be available for the tourists, and also for the community businesses who are trying to get themselves seen and known,” Pierce said.
She put all of her savings into opening the shop, which offers custom printing and design services. Prices vary, but Pierce keeps them as low as possible for the customers’ convenience. She can print designs onto almost anything people want, including mugs, shirts, bumper stickers, magnets, tote bags, bookmarks, cup cozies and license plates.
“There are so many people who say they have a lot of ideas, but they haven’t had the opportunity to actualize them. And that’s why I’m here,” Pierce said. She said it usually takes 7 to 10 business days to complete an order, unless requested otherwise.
But it took much longer than that for Pierce to get where she is today.
Pierce originally worked as a self-taught graphic designer in trophy shops in San Antonio, Texas, and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. While on a cross-country road trip from Louisiana, Pierce’s mother got into an accident while hiking the Appalachian Trail near Front Royal, Virginia. After driving to Front Royal to see how her mother was doing, Pierce said her mother ended up meeting someone from Shenandoah Junction, who invited her to stay and heal in their home.
“The hospitality in this area’s incredible. I came here to visit for a week and never left,” Pierce said. “Shepherdstown’s a vortex of people from all over who come here and end up staying – you don’t know why, but it’s a great place.”
After Pierce’s mother healed, she chose to remain in the area, and Pierce ended up doing the same and getting a job at The Press Room, where she continues to work. Since moving to Shepherdstown, Pierce not only graduated from Shepherd University, but also met her husband in town during a New Year’s Eve party.
Pierce’s concern for the environment is why she ultimately decided to study environmental science. And although she’s not sure how that will play out in the future, right now she has incorporated some aspects of environmental awareness into Just Sayin’, using reclaimed wood and recycled furniture to outfit the shop and creating items with earth-friendly themes.
“Everything has come full-circle. I’m still kind of playing with the layout, but so far everything’s come together the way I wanted,” Pierce said. “Having a vision, and knowing I could make that vision come true, is what made it possible.”