PROFILE       By Ed Lynch     Pacific Business News       Monday, March 27, 1989

Terry tries not to copy the competition.

For Jack Terry, owner of Kapiolani Printers and three related businesses,13 was a lucky number.

“Kapiolani Printers is my 13th business,” said Terry, who began his entrepreneurial days in the early 1950’s when he opened a ballroom dance studio in his native Ohio.

While studying law at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Terry owned and operated a 28-acre golf driving range, which he later sold “at a great profit.”

“My original intention was to be a CPA (certified public accountant) and a lawyer,” said Terry, “but business opportunities kept coming up.”

After law school, other business ventures included a ski shop, shopping center development and a restaurant.

In 1973, Terry and three friends bought a Boeing 707 jet and started a “travel club,” which ran direct flights between Cleveland and Honolulu for its members. While running this business, in 1975, Terry became half owner of Puna Printers in Mapunapuna (Hawaii).

The following year, the U.S. Civil Aeronautics Board closed the seven travel clubs that owned jets, like Terry’s business, because of their potential competitive threat to airlines.

“After they closed the airplane (his travel club business),I lost everything,” said Terry.

So he came to Hawaii, he said, and began working at Puna Printers.

About seven months later, Terry sold his half of Puna Printers, borrowed money from his mother in Cleveland, and in July 1977, with $16,000, two employees, and a 900-square-feet office on Kapiolani Blvd., started Kapiolani Printers.

Terry said he knew there were other printers in the area, but “it was my decision then to be different from all the quick printers in town. I felt if a customer walked in my doors, we should provide them with everything they want.”

Terry said that initially Kapiolani Printers was a small venture, and if it could not provide a service for a customer, he would “go out and get it done someplace else.” As a result, he said, “the business was profitable in the first six months,” though he admitted not taking a salary for the first five months.

“Anyone going into business should be able to live on their own for about six months,” Terry advised.

Terry said that in its first full year, 1978, Kapiolani Printers had gross sales of about $200,000. Ten years later, the business had gross sales of more than $700,000. It also now has seven employees and is located in 28,000 square feet at 542 Ward Ave.

Meanwhile, six years ago at an Internal Revenue Service auction, Terry bought the Stat House, which does graphic design and layout, typesetting and paste-up. With five full-time employees, that company has offices next door to Kapiolani Printers.

Then two years ago, Terry bought Amerind Press out of bankruptcy. That company does large or unique printing jobs for retail printers.

And last year, Terry became half owner of LaserTronics, which processes and prints customers’ computer data directly from the computer.

“This seems to be the future in the printing industry,” said Terry.

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