50 years ago, on 7th June 1971, Ara was founded by Stan Van Houtven and Lena De Swert. In those days the company was called Screen Printing Van Houtven.
Location: a studio in the back yard
Machine park: 1 self-made, manually operated printing table.
These were the days of the stickers, each self-respecting big or small company had their own sticker as a business gift and the cars were full of them. Stan and Lena were inventive entrepreneurs and the company grew fast.
Late ‘70 the core business were plastisol based transfers, and begin ‘80 this shifted to sublimation sheets. During the next decades Ara kept growing. The location in the back yard was exchanged for an old joinery, and then for a new building in 1993.
Founder Stan Van Houtven passed away in 1997.
After 50 years we look back at a long history, in which the graphic world was transformed drastically: we went from red cutting film and adhesive letters to graphic computers, from orders by mail, to fax, and now online.
We survived several global crises, and we often had to reinvent ourselves, being driven and flexible entrepreneurs.
During all this time, textile prints by transfers were always in our DNA, also when we orientated our production to water-based textile transfers in 2005.
Nowadays Ara nv is still a family business, that strives for sustainable relationships with our clients and our employees.
We also attach great importance to health and environment: Ara is a pioneer in printing with water-based inks (from 1987); we work with up to date, energy-efficient installations, and for over 10 years we get 20% of our energy from the solar panels on the roof.
We thank all our customers for the fine cooperation, and we hope to add many more years to it!