Project Description

SoCal VBOC Success Story: Piedmont Print & Frame

John Bethell is an excellent example of a Veteran entrepreneur who has designed, planned, and implemented his company through bootstrapping, developing relationships and self-discipline. This is the Piedmont Print & Frame success story!

John attended Boots to Business at Naval Base San Diego in January 2020. He served as a Chaplain stationed at Marine Corp Camp Pendleton, San Diego, CA.

John transitioned out of the military in January 2021 and utilized his last year of service to launch a letterpress printing business in Laconia, New Hampshire. Letterpress printing is a technique of relief printing using a printing press, a process by which many copies are produced by repeated direct impression of an inked, raised surface against sheets or a continuous roll of paper.

While focusing his efforts on launching and finding an ideal location for his business, John was approached by a local merchant who was interested in selling his frame shop in Laconia. John purchased the print shop and worked very closely with our consultant(s) at the SoCal VBOC and with several network providers EDC (Economic Development Center), SBDC (Small Business Development Center), Chambers of Commerce, SBA (Small Business Administration)) located on both the West Coast and the East Coast.

At Piedmont Print & Frame, John’s main products include business cards, invitations and stationery in addition to art framing, canvas stretching and frame repair.

John’s vision of launching a company that hires, trains and works with Veterans is admirable. The shop is an approved partner with the SkillBridge program — an apprenticeship program for Veterans that will be funded in part by the VA.

In addition, he is very focused on connecting with his local community and actively participating in economic development efforts in collaboration with the Main Street Program, Chamber, and EDC.

Areas of Assistance

LLC Formation
Business Plan
Logo Creation
Financial Planning
Business Valuation
Purchase Negotiation
Bookkeeping System Implementation
Accessing Capital

Economic Impact

New Business Start
Jobs Created
Access to Capital
Business Plan Completion
Purchased a Business


50 Canal Street
Laconia, New Hampshire 03246

John Christian Bethell, Founder of Piedmont Frame and Print in New Hampshire

There is no chance I’d be doing what I’m doing now without the help of Keli and the SoCal VBOC team. They were encouraging but also pragmatic, getting me hyped to step out into the entrepreneurial world while still being aware of the many possible pitfalls that could lay ahead. When I moved back home to New Hampshire, they made sure I had a solid handoff with my new local SBA, led by Rita Toth of the University of New Hampshire. Keli, Maria and the rest of the SoCal VBOC still check in on me, getting updates and lending advice. I’m in a pretty constant state of gratitude because of their work.

Piedmont Print & Frame – By John and Warren, a pair of Navy veterans who love honing a craft and plying a trade.

Window front of Piedmont Print and Frame, a success story of the SoCal VBOC
John using the letterpress to make custom invitations at Piedmont Frame and Print, a success story of the SoCal VBOC
Interior of Piedmont Print and Frame, featuring custom frame options and more.

Are you looking to start or grow your Veteran-owned business?

Let’s Get Started!