SIX NATIONS – Monica Tammy Staats is the face behind MTS Native Services (MTS) and is a great example of what it means to use the resources around you to make a life for yourself.
MTS is a design, printing and finishing company that provides more than just the services listed. Staats said that her team does their best to walk a client through the entire process and will go over and above what’s needed.
Staats, owner and manager of MTS lives on Six Nations now, unmarried, with her two children, but she grew up all over Canada.
“I was born in Toronto, I’ve lived in Hamilton, Vancouver, Ottawa and Calgary,” she said “Everywhere I’ve lived I learned things that helped me get to where I am now.”
Early on Staats had several different jobs in and around the Grand Toronto Area. She worked in finance, communications, data organizations and other similar fields, but she knew that she really wanted to be her own boss and that the work she was doing then wasn’t helping her get there.
“I get bored easily, I’m a very driven person and I really thrive in a fast-paced environment,” she said.
MTS has been in business since 2004 and started out as a document management service company, with little to no design component. It was a sector of her business where she would use the things she learned in all her other fields of work to create digital databases for business that were looking to decrease their paper trails and get more organized.
Staats found that there was a large market for this kind of work, but at the same time also found that clients were interested in design as well. Slowly Staats began to ease her way into that area, she took some courses on Adobe Creative Suite — a computer program that teaches you how to edit photos, re-work photos and files and how to create anything that you can imagine being printed.
“Becoming familiar with the Adobe products really helped me get noticed,” she said. “We don’t advertise very much, mostly all the work we do here comes by word of mouth and networking.”
One big challenge Staats faced was overall funding in the beginning.
“The way it worked was that we had to purchase our equipment and printers up front,” she said. “That means that we couldn’t lease.” Leasing equipment for a small, new business is ideal because costs of brand-new printers can go upwards of $10,000.
Staats worked through this problem by committing to herself that every time the business made a great deal or sale, she would purchase a new machine.
Another trial she had to overcome was her transition from document management to full-on design and printing. It didn’t take Staats long to realize she needed to hire some staff. In 2014 she hired full-time designer Jill Jamieson.
“We’re always busy doing something,” she said. “Even in our down time, which doesn’t happen often, we find ways to advance the business.”
Staats finds inspiration in herself, her team and her daughter Breanna. She said that Breanna wants to take over management of MTS someday.
MTS is a business that is doing very well in the community and is always looking for ways to give back. Staats has a partnership with Community Living in Ohsweken where they design and print most of the art, brochures, posters and flyers Community Living needs, at no charge.
“It’s an organization I absolutely love to help,” said Staats. “The work that Community Living does for the reserve is inspiring and if MTS can help them out we want to.”