Anne Markham Bailey grew up in the label business. Today, after careers both inside and beyond the industry, she has taken advantage of opportunities in short run digital printing technology and has opened her own business, Markham Bailey LLC, based in Birmingham, AL, USA. Her press is a CX1200 Digital Label Press from Primera Technologies, an 8.5” rollfed, toner based color printing machine.
Bailey is part owner of Southern Label, also in Birmingham, a flexo printing company founded 40 years ago and still run by her father, Walter Bailey.
“I have a view that’s different from being just a label and tape company,” Anne Bailey says. “I help smaller companies find their brand voice, doing four color digital labels. I saw the opportunity to take some of the business that flexo never wants, so I decided to go out and do something different.”
Southern Label opened right after DuPont developed Tyvek, and still does a significant amount of work with that substrate, in addition to pressure sensitive label production. The company employs 35 people and is active in several niche markets, including office products. All printing is done on flexographic presses, Bailey adds, and is mostly high volume narrow and wide labels and tapes.
“Because of the cost, small companies haven’t been able to take advantage of four color process to the extent they want to,” says Bailey. “That’s who I’m focusing on, as well as large companies who require small specialty applications. I have a good mix of customers.”
Markham Bailey LLC has its own location in the Innovation Depot, a business incubator that was named one of the top 20 incubators in the nation by Forbes magazine. Among her fellow tenants are many software developers and biotech firms which have come to her for labels. “They have very specific packaging requirements,” she says. “It’s a lot of fun working with them.”
The digital label company has been active for about six months, and its website offers online quotes and ordering. A range of paper and film substrates are available, and Bailey says that her 100 percent post consumer waste facestock has proven exceptionally popular among her customers.