Still COVID-19 Strong!

Still COVID-19 Strong!

COVID-19 Safety First

We have many responsibilities to our customers, vendors, and community.  None of these is more serious than the health and safety of our crew.  We have taken serious and lasting measures to keep our people safe while still turning out high quality labels every day.  Safety first.  Always.

All these add up to a safe, healthy workplace for everyone. Kind of like our environmental commitment, which is just a series of progressive right decisions, our safety commitment is the new normal at Rose City Label.  Everyone gets it and everyone respects the importance of safety.

Details Matter

Masks in meetings

Staggered Shifts

Dividers in offices

Front Desk Screen

Virtually No Visitors

Masks are Still Cool Here!

Most of our people work far enough apart in an open warehouse environment that we don’t need masks at all times.  But – when we are in meetings or close quarters – we mask up.  Safety first for eveyone.  We need to be here to continue to protect ourselves and our business.  We need to be here to support our customers.

COVID-19 isn’t going away!

There isn’t any sign that we will be done with this for at least 6 more months.  We are in for the long haul. This is the new ‘abnormal’ and we have invested in systems and physical barriers to keep our people safe so we can keep producing for you.  This is not the time to get complacent or lazy.  We are vigilant to protect our business, our customers, and most of all – our important team members.

Safety First Always

Thank you to our amazing customers!

We remain very busy serving beer, wine, food and specialty companies each day.  Your business is critical to us as we push through this crisis together.  We aren’t backing down and we aren’t getting lazy.  We are moving forward with safety as our first priority.  Thank you for taking the ride with us.  Cheers!

Farewell to Jeff!  Thank You.

Farewell to Jeff! Thank You.

Thank you Jeff Dietz!  We are sad to see you go, but thankful for all the good work you did for us and our customers all these years.  The quality reputation we have as a business was built by people like Jeff who go the extra mile to get the job done day in and day out for over 25 years!

  • Jeff has been our McGyver – taking on challenging jobs
  • His mechanical skills helped us considerably
  • We hope to remain friends for many years!
Jeff Smile Goodbye

Socially Distanced Farewell Party for Jeff in our back field

Social Distance party outside

Cheers to Jeff and his family.  The heartbeat of our business has always been the people that take care of our customers each day.  If you want top quality labels printed by dedicated, long term people, please call us today.  We can help you decorate any product in a bag, box or bottle.

Black Is Beautiful – Thank You Weathered Souls!

Black Is Beautiful – Thank You Weathered Souls!

Black Is Beautiful Beer

Rose City Label is proud to be a part of the solution – using BEER as a force for GOOD!  With great leadership from a wonderful brewery in Texas, we were able to partner with the Oregon Brewers Guild to support this wonderful program.  We offered FREE labels to the first five OBG member brewers that wanted to brew this beer, but we got 10 fantatsic breweries signed up that same day so we decided to print FREE labels for all 10. What an amazing outpouring of support here in our own community – well done Oregon Brewers!

Thank You Weathered Souls!

Big thank you to Weathered Souls Brewing in San Antino, TX for getting this project moving so quickly.  Just a short time after the public outcry about police brutality toward people of color, the team at Weathered Souls had a dedicated website built to help all of us use beer as a force for good.  Check out Black is Beautiful – the hub for this project that has attracted over 1,000 breweries in all 50 states and 19 countries.  Well done!

Their website gave label artwork, recipe, and a description of the cause.  All they ask is that you donate the proceeds to any good cause that benefits justice for people of color.

Amazing Oregon Brewers that Stepped Up Big!

These 10 were the first to jump in for free labels, but several others have joined in later.  (** For anyone who still wants in on the program, we are offering the labels at a wholesale cost basis from here on out).

Thank You Sasquatch Brewing

This is the first amazing Black is Beautiful label I got to drink personally, and it was wonderful – the flavor, the color, the brewer, and the cause it supported!  Thank you Sasquatch.

Spring is Coming – We are Ready!

Spring is Coming – We are Ready!

Spring is Coming!

At Rose City Label we know Spring is coming.  We have been around since 1928.  Our people have seen wars, recessions, assassinations, and 9/11. And now, we have seen COVID-19.  All of these tragic events are followed by a rebound and a strong upside.  It’s never easy or fun, but we always get through.  Learning lessons from the past help us to keep perspective.  This post talks about our expectations for the future based on our surviving and thriving after the 2008 financial crisis.

Looking Toward the Future

Spring flowers are comingOnce we get back to some form of ‘new normal’ we will be ready to expand and serve even more people.  This time – the crisis lock down – won’t last forever.  It will end.  The way we come out of this to survive and thrive will depend on HOW we use this time.  Yes, the uncertainty makes it very difficult to be positive, but the time will pass. Spring follows winter, every year.  There is a natural order to things, and we are using our time wisely.

  • Cleaning and organizging our shop
  • Cross training and exposing areas for future training
  • Reaching out to current and new customers
  • Updating areas on the website for easier quotes
  • Watching our business closely to be ready for the future

Remainder of 2020 – we’ll see what comes

Many have said 2020 is a lost year for their business.  Survival is the watchword right now.  We can’t argue with that. This is a scary time, but Spring is coming.  Part of the new normal may be an appreciation for the business we do have – every customer is a gift to us.  Every day we are open and operating, we are thankful.  Going to work doesn’t seem as bad as it once did (although it was never really very bad!).  People need to be cautious but also optimistic.  We can’t sit on our hands and let competition pass us by, but we also can’t be reckless.  Protecting the downside has a new meaning now, since there is a whole new unexpected downside.  Steady, cautions, smart – but still moving forward and growing.  That is our plan for 2020.  Spring is coming.


Spring flowers Rose City LabelWe remain thankful for all our amazing, resilient customers.  This season of COVID-19 will not be soon forgotten.  We will redouble our efforts to be prepared to survive and thrive no matter what comes our way.  All of us will be better business leaders based on the learning and experience we gained from this pandemic.  Going through tough times is never fun, but it is how we learn valuable lessons for the future.  Hopefully you and your business have grown and learned through this process.  Our team is smarter and more connected.  We are thankful for having survived and we know that Spring is coming.

If part of your Post COVID-19 strategy includes a re branding or label makeover, please call us today.  We can help.

COVID-19 Update – April 9, 2020

COVID-19 Update – April 9, 2020

Rose City Label is committed to full communication and transparency during this crisis.  We have weathered storms, recessions, wars, and many other catastrophic events.  We will survive and thrive through this crisis together and come out better on the other side.  Read our thoughts on coming out of the crisis here.

State of the Union

We are working hard to keep our staff and customers safe.  So far everyone is cooperating and stepping up, but there is a level of stress and unease.  People are uncertain about the outcome of this pandemic and we are doing our best to support them, while still getting things done for our customers.

Limiting Visitors – No Will Call Pickups

Perhaps the biggest impact for our customers is that we are not allowing Will Call pick ups at our facility.  We are not doing any press checks, tours, or sales appointments.  Our outside sales team is now working via phone only and we hope to roll out some vitrual (Zoom) sales calls with clients in the future, depending on how long all this lasts.  We will be safe and continue to do our part until everything is fully back to normal and safe.

Measures we are Taking

Our team has been wonderful and understanding. Anyone that shared an office is out of that office.  Some have moved into open cubes, and in one case, we transformed our conference room into an office.  We aren’t having any visitors, so no need for a conference room!  Twice daily we have a production meeting to keep the schedule on track.  Now, instead of sitting around a conference table, we are all backed away from the table to create a huge social distance between us.  Nobody is close, so physical contact is very limited.  Also, one of our amazing team members used her down time to sew face masks for us.  She brought them in and gave them away.  Very kind and much appreciated.  Check out a sample here in this post!

Staggered Work Schedules

People are also adjusting their hours to make sure fewer people are in the building at one time.  Most people run machines that are big enough that they are social distancing by default.  They just don’t work that closely.  But, in cases where people do work closely, we have staggered with people working three 12 hour shifts each week.  Some work M-W, some W-F and some have come up with other job sharing rotations so we always have coverage, but limit the contact with co-workers. So far it is working well.

Testing, testing…

We are taking a very conservative stance on returning to work after any type of illness, cough, or flu-like symptoms.  A few people have done tele-medicine visits and none have been referred to a clinic for a full test.  Still, we feel good that everyone is protected.  Nobody comes back to work after a sick day without a doctor’s note clearing them.

Thank You – We will Survive and Thrive together!

 This is a tough challenge for everyone, including our customers, families and staff.  Sadly, several people will be personally affected and someone may even have a family member infected with this terrible disease.  It will also be a massive financial impact on several of our customers – especially food and beverage producers.  Financial struggles are ahead for all of us, but we will make it through this together!  THANK YOU for all of your ongoing support.  Rose City Label was founded in 1928 and we have been through many tough times since then – recession, depression, war, elections and impeachments.  We have seen stock market crashes and all forms of tragedy, but we have also seen people rise and thrive after all these events.  Together, we will get through this.

Things are GOOD – Note to My Future Self

Things are GOOD – Note to My Future Self

This is an exerpt and update from a post I wrote almost 8 years ago!  The last time we went through a major business challenge, I wrote this post when it was all done.  The lessons are still as relevant as they were then.  Here is an updated, 2020, COVID-19 version of the results we will see in 12 months (according to my crystal ball and best predictive skills).  Enjoy!

My reflection on the recovery after 2008-2010:

We are very fortunate here at Rose City Label that our business seems to be back on track.  We still have challenges, as we always will, but if our business could continue to prosper like it has the past 24 months, we would be very happy.  This improved business climate caused me to reflect and remember when, not too long ago, things weren’t very good.

Like many businesses, ours was caught flat footed when the bottom fell out in 2008.  We were not prepared for the dramatic slowdown, and we had to take some serious measures to correct things quickly.  We said goodbye to an employee that wasn’t performing, and we cut back hours in our production facility.  These were difficult, nerve racking times for all of us.  One of the things I remember most is that I never appreciated  when things were good!  I just assumed things would always be good.  Now I know this isn’t always the case.


This is what we will be thinking in Q1 2021 – you heard it here first:

1. Celebrate Success! We aren’t setting records or hitting a home run on every single order, but we have much to be thankful for.  I am trying to remind all the people in our company, and trying to remind myself, that things are good.  We all need to take time to recognize this and give ourselves a small pat on the back for hanging in there. This is true now more than ever!  COVID-19 showed us that basic, simple things can be taken at any moment – freedom, health, even life can be snatched from us very quickly.  We need to celebrate success on every level.  Celebrate!

2. Don’t Take the Future for Granted.  Now I know that things can turn sour – in a hurry.  I know that we can’t afford to get lazy, complacent, or arrogant.  We always need to push forward and keep getting better every day.  Tomorrow is promised to no one.  Continuous improvement and staying hungry are the only things that will help us stay strong. This is the flip side of #1 above.  NEVER assume that things will always be good. Even in this COVID-19 crisis, I considered NOT applying for the PPP loan because we think we will probably, (probalby?) get through the crisis without it. Still, how stupid is that?  How arrogant?  We aren’t sure if we will get the loan yet, but our application is in.

3. Protect the Downside.  If, God forbid, we do have another major dip in the economy or world events, or if we have a serious problem in our own company, we need to protect the downside.  As a leader I waited too long to make the hard decisions last time.  I assumed all would be good – I didn’t know how long the downturn would last, or how deep it would be.  Thankfully, we are a conservative, financially secure company, so we could withstand the storm, but I don’t want to get that close to the edge again.  More proactive management would have helped ease the pain, and I am going to keep that in mind for the future.  This is the biggest lesson learned – the business must survive.  Obviously family, health, and integrity have to be in tact, but shortly after that on the SHORT list is the survival of the business.  As this COVID-19 crisis unfolds, we will keep business survival as our guiding light for all decisions.

Summary and Action Steps: 

Hopefully these three ideas can help our customers as we move forward.  They are all important, but especially now, I am focusing on #1 – Celebrate Success!

These ideas hold up today as well as they did almost exactly 8 years ago.  The future is promised to nobody, we have to protect our business, and we have so many blessings to be thankful for.  We need to take more time now and in the future to love, laugh, breathe, and be thankful.  On that note, we continue to be thankful for all the good customers that have been reading this blog all these years.  We will get through this together.  Cheers!

Thanks to all of you for being a part of that success for Rose City Label.