Chances are good that you’ve seen the work of Poor Morgan at your favorite local spot – or sported it yourself. Savoy Bookshop and Cafe in Westerly, Nico Scout in South Kingstown, and Yellow Kittens Tavern on Block Island are among their long roster of customers. For over a decade, the Stonington-based biz has been offering graphic design and screen printing services on a wide range of fabrics, from T-shirts and tea towels to sweatpants and totes (essentially any flat fabric surface free of seams).
Morgan King and Bekah Kepple founded Poor Morgan in 2012, excited to see how King’s art and screen printing background and Kepple’s non-profit experience would blend to bring their shared vision of entrepreneurship to life. As Kepple puts it, “all the ingredients were there. The timing, knowledge of the local market, merging of our skills and a heavy dose of good fortune propelled us to take the leap.”
Previously located in the Stonington’s Velvet Mill, King and Kepple moved the shop to their home last year, which grants them greater flexibility and more time to share the trade with their son. They are true partners, Kepple says, who make sure to compliment each other continuously and find opportunities for growth. Another key asset to their team is employee and artist, Elvira E. Ormaechea. “There is not a day she doesn’t show up with positivity and humor and love for our cat Sushi,” Kepple says.
Friendship, family, and community are pillars to the Poor Morgan business. Having grown up in the Stonington area, they’ve known some of the organizations they work with today since childhood, while others are establishments they frequently patron. Being so close to the border, the Poor Morgan team is happy to have clients located throughout Rhode Island as well. As Kepple puts it, “This region is so rich with creatives it’s a real pleasure to support one another, regardless of where your zip code finds you.”
With a heart for community and an artist’s eye, it’s no wonder Poor Morgan has retained many of its early customers and continues to form lasting relationships, even through hard times.
“In this climate of pandemic stress, we are even more grateful for the ability to work together, for our clients’ loyalty and for the decision we made long ago to stay small but mighty. We have been able to weather some tough times and we are acutely aware that not every business was able to do that over the last couple years. So a huge thank you to our community, families, and friends,” Kepple says.
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