Cottage industry expands printing into new location
by Matt Shinall
Jan 16, 2012 | 1906 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Mike Alexander adjusts a shirt on the automated screen printing machine that can produce 1,000 shirts an hour.
SKIP BUTLER/The Daily Tribune News
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With a passion for art, creativity and customer service, Mike Alexander and Janice Gravley expanded their screen printing business out of their home and into much more.

Now in a retail location after 11 years operating out of the house, Image Screen Printing and Window Tinting does a lot more than just T-shirts.

"We're a very diversified shop that's basically based around the image and that's what it's about, business image through marketing," Alexander said. "It's all about the image for the customer and the image for us. Some of the services that we offer are screen printing, heat transfers, embroidery, graphics, vinyl graphics, digital graphics and we do window tinting and spray-in bed liners."

The couple started printing T-shirts for the promotion of a separate business venture in the early '90s, at one time making 200 shirts a week just as gifts for clients. Eventually, the production grew legs and expanded into its own, in-home business.

"I just decided one day that we needed to grow -- we needed to grow bigger and better and I needed to quit traveling 1,000 miles a week," Alexander said. "We did this out of the house as a home-based business for almost 11 years and decided that we could open up a retail location here in Cartersville and offer our services to a lot of people and give existing customers a place to come."

Before opening the brick-and-mortar location at 737 Joe Frank Harris Parkway in Cartersville, Alexander and Gravley were producing custom products for more than 750 accounts. In a depressed economy, Image took advantage of available space and have made the most of the opportunity.

"In a downturn economy, that's when you do take advantage of things like this and how you present yourself, and provide customer service, and the quality of work that you offer to people -- and being diversified is certainly the best route to take in today's economy. Being able to offer many services under one roof tends to be a bigger draw and you can draw off the other services," Alexander said.

Through Alexander's artistic ability, Image produces custom graphics to meet the needs of customers. A service Gravley enjoys providing, is creating an image or product to the specifications of a customer even when they can't verbalize it.

"It's exciting when they walk in the door and they don't know what they're wanting. They have an idea, but they don't know -- then when you can produce something and show it to them, that's the exciting part because they get what they wanted but didn't know that's what it was," Gravley said.

Image has equipment to produce about 1,000 shirts each hour, but with no minimum order will accept all job orders. Their other areas of service include Llumar Window Film and spray-on bed liners. Their window tinting comes with a lifetime warranty and the bed liner can be applied to much more than just trucks.

Image Screen Printing and Window Tint is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday by appointment. For more information, call 770-386-0025 or look for them on Facebook.