Printers move business to home base

Steve and Gail Norman, owners of Norman Printing, are moving the business to their home at 10 N. Holiday Lane.

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Local News

April 11, 2024 - 2:14 PM

Steve and Gail Norman, owners of Normans Printing, plan to move from their longtime headquarters at 214 N. Jefferson but will still provide services at their home at 10 N. Holiday Ln. Photo by Susan Lynn / Iola Register

Though things may look in disarray, Steve and Gail Norman, owners of Normans Printing, want people to know they are “downsizing,” and not going out of business. 

The Normans have until the first of May to vacate their longtime headquarters at 214 N. Jefferson.  They’ve sold the 79-year-old metal building to the Resource Center for Independent Living.  

As for their printing business, it will be moved to their home at 10 N. Holiday Ln.  

Steve’s “man cave” and Gail’s art haven in their converted garage will be sacrificed for the change. 

Looking around the shop, Steve points out a few necessities.  

“We’ll take the copy machine and the large format printer,” he said. The latter is handy for when contractors need floor plans printed.  

With the move, their services will largely remain the same, centering on printing and designing menus, brochures, business cards and the like.  

“Anything printed on paper,” Gail said. 

In 2006, the Normans sold their business to Ravin Printing of Chanute.  

“It was nice not worrying about paying bills and them paying the rent on this building,” Gail said of the arrangement.  

That partnership ended in 2018. After six months of “retirement,” the couple started up their business again. 

“We put everything we had into reopening the business. Then Covid hit,” she said.  

As every merchant can attest, recovering from the downswing remains a challenge. 

Working from a home office will be easier, the couple

ple said. Since 2022, Steve has had health setbacks, including lung cancer.  

“But it’s gone now,” Steve said, thanks to a routine of 18 radiation treatments.  

At age 77, Steve has cut back his hours at the print shop. 

“I don’t have as much energy anymore.” 

Gail said she looks at the change “as kind of a blessing. I won’t need to worry about Steve when I’m at work and he’s at home.” 

At age 72, Gail said she gets antsy at the idea of retirement. 

“I’m a workaholic.” 

Steve took over Norman Printing Co., from his father, Dean Norman. Its original store was on South Jackson in the lower level of the massive Baptist Temple building where the Iola code enforcement office is today. 

Steve moved the business to Jefferson Avenue in 1973. 

Gail’s daughter, Jaime Henderson, also works with the Normans. 

The mayhem of moving is what comes with having to sort through 50 years’ worth of office equipment in so little time. 

“I’ve quit going through stuff because it’s a waste of time. The job is too big,” Gail said. “I’ll sort through things later.” 

It seems every drawer holds mementos that lead them down meandering paths. 

“I start thinking about what this or that means. It gets overwhelming,” she said. “One day it’ll all make sense.” 

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