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Print Three progressing well under Dayna Panay's watch

'For a lot of my business, knowing that things are happening in the store and that it’s staying local is key'

“Jobs of the Future” is a series focusing on career paths, local job opportunities, programs, and tales of success that highlight North Bay's diverse job market.   


The push to have consumers shop locally has been a big focus for area businesses and chambers of commerce over the last few years. Within this CBC article from the last holiday season (December 2022), the statistics show for every $100 you spend locally, $63 remains in the community — compared to $14 when you shop at a big box store. 

Dayna Panay, the owner of Print Three North Bay on McIntyre Street West is echoing that message and says it rings true across all industries.  

“I think it’s important when people are making the decisions on where to purchase their products to make sure that not only is the store operated locally, but that it is locally owned as well,” she says.  

“It can fool people sometimes because you’d think that if they have an on-street location, then this is where the money should be staying, but that’s not always the case. Not just in the print business, but in all businesses. If you Google a company name, you can figure out whether the owner is local or not. Some businesses have been sold, and amalgamated with other businesses with owners that aren’t local anymore.” 

Panay says knowing a store is local matters on both sides of the transaction.  

“For a lot of my business, knowing that things are happening in the store and that it’s staying local is key. I had someone come in just recently who said that her company had an internal meeting and realized they could get some of the work done cheaper online but they wanted to keep their money local, so they didn’t mind paying a little bit extra for the local service. I can’t compete with the big production houses,” she says.  

“We have a very personalized service that you won’t get at a big box store. We get a lot of people who come here after having something serviced at another location and say, “I had this done somewhere else, but can you make it look good?”’ 

Panay has been running Print Three for three years now and says she has upgraded almost every piece of equipment since taking over and they offer more services as well.  

“We’re doing promotional apparel in-house which has been exciting. We brought in special paper for the artists in the area, which allows us to take their paintings and photograph them and do a colour matching process and the prints come out looking stellar,” she says.  

“The artists themselves have told us that they can’t tell which one is their artwork and which one is the printed piece, so we make sure it’s top notch. There are so many artists in the area and this is a really good service to offer because we can then put their work on a variety of things, sometimes its gift cards, sometimes we do full size prints but they can keep their original and still resell it.” 

Panay says they also do decals in house for cars and windows and packaging is becoming a product that many businesses are purchasing. She says keeping your equipment up to date and staying relevant to what’s going on around you is important when running your own business.  

“Technology is changing every day which is why I had to upgrade all of the equipment because it was becoming obsolete. With those changes, we are now one of the few shirt places where you can get a T-shirt without a minimum order. If you go online to order a customized shirt it is usually a minimum of 12, but there was a need for these one-offs, a bridal shower, or weekend camping get together, this allows people to get the exact number of shirts they need without having to pay for extras,” says Panay adding they don’t just make changes to the shops equipment for the sake of making changes.  

“When it comes to diversifying what we can offer, I look at what my staff’s skills are. At the time I decided to go into sublimation (a specific process of printing that first involves printing onto a special sheet of paper, then transferring that image onto another material) not only where we getting a lot of inquiries and orders in that we had to outsource, which I wasn’t happy about, but we had staff who had experience and were fully qualified to do that,” she says. Bringing in the equipment for them to use was a benefit to us, and really a no-brainer. It might’ve been different if we had staff that were experienced in other areas, but that’s part of the decisions you make to compliment what you can offer to the clients.” 

Panay has two employees that work in the shop and she says it’s been amazing to find them.  

“I got very lucky actually. I know a lot of businesses are out there in need of good, qualified, people but through one of my networking groups there was a graphic artist who showed up looking for a job and I said, ‘guess what, I’ve got one for you’ and then she brought in a friend who is also a graphics designer,” says Panay.  

“The two of them basically came in and took over the shop and really did a great job of running things. One of them has moved on since, but I’ve been able to hire another employee who has really come along nicely and has developed her skills really well. It’s just the three of us, we’re not a big shop but we make sure we get the job done.” 

Panay says she takes pride in being able to provide a couple of jobs for people in the community.  

“I enjoy knowing that I’m contributing that way. I feel a great responsibility towards my staff to know that we are moving forward and progressing as a business and giving them job security.” 

Panay says connecting to the community is also a big focus for her. In October, she made a donation to the Nipissing Serenity Hospice where 20% from every business card sale during late August was given to the Nipissing Serenity Hospice. She’s also given talks at the business center on topics such as the elements that a business card must have.  

“I think it’s important for any business to get involved and do things that support the community and other growing business. Whether it’s for print or something unrelated, as North Bay grows as an entity it’s going to be key that these businesses grow with us,” she says adding she collaborates with two other print shops in town.  

“There are two other print shops that I work with in North Bay who provide services that I don’t, and vice-versa. When I took over Print Three, I reached out to these businesses and said, ‘If I send these jobs to you, I can give you a trade discount and if you send certain jobs to me, you could give me a trade discount’ and it has worked out very well,” says Panay. “Rather than getting stuff sent down south or somewhere outside of North Bay, our clientele is able to get their work done locally and it keeps jobs in North Bay, because we are working together.” 

After three years in business at Print Three, and over thirty years in the industry, Panay says being a business owner can still be scary at times, but the challenge is very rewarding and adds that’s where her marketing services can come in handy.  

“If there are any businesses out there that are looking at their marketing and feel lost, they can come to us for advice. Whether it’s through mailing, social media, or pamphlets in general. We are here for advice, I have over thirty years being in this industry so if they just want to come in and hear from me, I can do that as well.” 

If you have a story idea for “Jobs of the Future” send Matt an email at [email protected] 

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Matt Sookram

About the Author: Matt Sookram

Matthew Sookram is a Canadore College graduate. He has lived and worked in North Bay since 2009 covering different beats; everything from City Council to North Bay Battalion.
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