Maurice Nurse is the founder and owner of Creative Printing Plus (CPP), a printing business in Iowa City. Creative Printing Plus provides design and custom work on mediums such as faux wood blinds, apparel, and canvasses. They recently launched their own clothing line, Black Sheep. CPP also outsources business cards, and prides themselves in making affordable designs.

Maurice is from New Jersey, and moved to Iowa in 2010. Originally a chef by trade, Maurice was given an opportunity to move to Iowa and work alongside the executive chef at Riverside Casino. Following his time with Riverside, Maurice worked at the Marriott and had a few other cooking jobs before eventually becoming the executive chef at ACT.

Although he is passionate about cooking, Maurice decided it was time to pursue another creative outlet: printing and design. One night, the idea to start a printing business came to him in a dream. The following morning, he began outlining a plan to make his dream become a reality. Before coming to IVRS, Maurice had already begun establishing his business. However, he was seeking some financial and technological assistance that would really allow his business to take off.

Maurice started working with IVRS when he entered the Iowa Self Employment (ISE) program at the end of 2020. The ISE program provides technical and financial assistance to help qualified individuals with disabilities achieve self-sufficiency and work at their optimum level by starting, expanding, or purchasing a business.

Working alongside Iowa City rehabilitation counselor, Salama Mufaume, and business development specialist, Kochell Weber-Ricklefs, Maurice was able to attain the space, equipment, and technology necessary to run his business.

However, similar to most business owners, Maurice’s journey to get to where he is today was far from easy. Maurice opened his first Creative Printing Plus location two months after the pandemic started, and applied for the Pass Plan Program through Social Security Services to help cover his rent. Because his location opened after the pandemic started, his original application was denied. The referral of IVRS allowed Maurice to apply again, and this time his application was accepted.

On top of these challenges, Maurice has Guillain-Barre Syndrome and arthritis. This affects Maurice’s mobility, so he uses a powered wheelchair. The IVRS team helped Maurice build a table that can accommodate extra space by switching from a horizontal to a vertical position when it is not being used for printing purposes. Maurice calls this table the “Murphy Table”, as it can be used as an adjustable utility table for places that do not have a lot of space, similar to the bed.

Despite the obstacles he faced along the way, Maurice has gained an abundance of knowledge and success through working with the IVRS.

“IVRS has helped me in more ways than one. The encouragement I received from Kochell and Salama, it really helped me. IVRS helped connect me to a lot of different resources. Sometimes the resources didn’t work, but I was shown how to network and never give up. When one thing doesn’t work, you keep looking down other avenues. They have been a huge help,” explained Maurice.

Reflecting on her time with Maurice, Salama said, “I think I am most proud of Maurice’s ability to work with us as a team to keep moving forward through all the setbacks. He was able to work through these setbacks while simultaneously learning about resources available to him. Now, he is in a position where he can get more traffic and continue to do his great work.”

In addition to the printing services he provides through CPP, Maurice prioritizes giving back to the community. Maurice mentors around thirty men through Faith and Hope Ministries. He believes in helping others, and is often described as a magnet for others looking for change.

“You never know what a person is going through. Don’t look at someone and judge them for something they have done. You don’t know what brought them to that. I’ve been there, and I will never turn my back on those people. If I can help just one person every day, I have done my job successfully,” said Maurice.

Maurice is a highly dedicated man, both to his business and to the broader community. The IVRS team is incredibly proud of Maurice and his tremendous commitment to his career. A heartfelt thank you goes out to Salama and Kochell for their invaluable support to Maurice throughout his journey!

Maurice’s Creative Printing Plus business is located at 353 East College St. in downtown Iowa City.

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