WICHITA — Jeff and Susie Longwell have started a new division of their Ad Astra Print Resources, but it wasn’t without a lot of discussion first.
That’s because the new division is creating construction documents – what used to be known as blueprints – for engineers, architects and construction companies.
Those are the same business people who often appear before Jeff Longwell on the Wichita City Council.
“We just want to be very clear what the position is,” Jeff Longwell says.
He says they currently don’t do work with the city and plan the same policy with the new division.
“We won’t bid on any city work – period.”
He adds, “All my customers require me to be competitive. That’s just the nature of the printing business.”
Still, the Longwells are concerned about appearances.
“The reality is we’re in the printing business,” Jeff Longwell says. “It’s nothing new.”
In fact, he’s been in the business since 1984 and owned Ad Astra for a few years.
“Here’s the thing, I guess, that people need to understand,” Longwell says. “We are a part-time council that gets paid part-time wages.”
He says it was difficult when he used to work for another printing company while on the council.
“It really was getting to the point where it wasn’t fair to either one of us.”
Working for himself makes sense, Longwell says.
“The beauty of this is it gives me flexibility,” he says.
Susie Longwell will run the new Ad Astra division.
The Longwells are having an open house to kick off the new division on July 17.
“At the end of the day,” Jeff Longwell says, “we still have to make a living.”