Walk-in customers have already increased in their first month at 209 N. Tennessee St. and with almost twice the floor space, there's plenty of room to grow.
"It is a much better location for visibility and parking," said owner Gloria Ingram. "We fixed it up and put a roof on it and built out the inside and made it really nice."
Formerly at the corner of Tennessee and Nelson streets, GI Designs opened in 2004 offering custom print jobs specializing in screen printing, embroidery, engraving and trophies.
The new location, just south of the business's previous home, added 1,000 sq. ft. in operational space, but the strategic acquisition is more than just a new address. By taking advantage of a down economy and purchasing the building out of foreclosure, GI Designs now owns their building and was able to save a sizeable amount over their monthly lease.
Opening their new doors on Jan. 2, GI Designs has plans for the future that include new machinery to fill out the additional space. An automatic press will speed up their screen printing capabilities and enable employees to get more done in less time.
The business began out of Ingram's home when she was making T-shirts for her son. By word of mouth the business grew, soon necessitating a brick-and-mortar shop.
"We started doing his shirts instead of ordering them out," Ingram said. "Next thing you know, one person told another person ... and it got too big."
Today, GI Designs has found success leading to further growth over the past eight years. For Ingram, it's not necessarily what they do but how they do it that keeps customers coming back.
"A lot of businesses can do most of the things we do, but it's our personal customer service that sets up apart," Ingram said.
Echoing those sentiments is Jennifer Wiggins Matthews, business development manager for Century Bank of Georgia and loyal GI Designs customer.
"It doesn't matter what the quantity is or when I need it, they'll make sure I'm taken care of. There are many times I've come and said, 'Can I have this yesterday?' And they make it happen. And that's the great thing, is that I know I can call on them whether I have all the time in the world or if I'm on a real tight schedule." Matthews said.
Finding value in personal attention, Matthews said, pointing out what she feels sets GI Designs apart in creating promotional products, specifically in embroidery.
"The big deal for me is that I can come in and pick my threads and if I want to look at a sew-out and I want to make changes, that's done in-house," Matthews said. "There are very few places where you can walk in the back and they'll let you pick out your threads because they do all their embroidery in-house."
Ingram also stays busy owning and operating a second business, Ingram Wrecker Service in Woodstock. Keeping up with both enterprises is tough, Ingram admits and has lead to many late nights and working holidays -- but for her, the deadline set for customer orders means everything.
Keeping it all running smoothly are Ingram's trusted employees, two of which have been with GI Designs since they opened and a third joined the team just a year later.
"They all know what they're doing, they're good at what they do and I could trust it all with them every day," Ingram said.
GI Designs is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 770-382-3343.