Rising from a basement and into the REO Town Marketplace, Tony and Kristen Wilson’s Another Life Tees Printing Co. looks to be the new source for custom made graphic T-shirts and screen printing lessons in Lansing.
Multicolor shirts of zebras wearing sunglasses, ducks with headphones and flamingos adorn the walls around the spider like screen printing machine in their new digs behind Blue Onyx Thrift.
“Another Life” refers to the decision to work for themselves, Kristen said.
Trained by Detroit’s Ocelot Print Shop, the couple started ALT Printing Co. out of their basement in 2015 focusing on Etsy and teaching others to screen print.
“There isn't really a lot of resources for printing in Lansing, but T-shirts and apparel are things everyone loves,” Kristen said. “We learned to print with the intention of opening a printing shop, and the workshops evolved from the fact of finding a niche market in Lansing with no one offering them.”
Upcoming workshops include a Halloween candy skull T-shirt printing from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a dog bandana printing 6 to 8 p.m. on Oct. 27.
Becoming part of REO Town’s revival is personal, she added.
“Tony and I are both from this neighborhood,” Kristen said. “We grew up around Moores Park and are interested in becoming a part of REO Town and Lansing’s revitalization.”
There needs to be more to do after working hours in Lansing to continue this trend, Kristen said.
“What we in large part want to accomplish is to give people in Lansing and surrounding areas something to do after 5 p.m.”
People may think screen printing is as easy as running ink over a stencil, but it is much harder, Kristen said.
“Any printer can tell you people don't understand every color is a screen and a layer of printing. There is significant cost involved with creating the screen and using the ink, as well as extra work involved with the line up of colors.”
Recently, ALT Printing Co. experimented with split fountain printing, a method of mixing inks to create a rainbow effect.
“Every time we print, we learn something new. There is so much that happens behind the scenes: what type of ink you use for the garment, the small details in the prep work of a screen matter.”
The couple is eyeing a permanent REO Town brick and mortar location sometime in 2019. “Our intention is to do a sip and print while teaching the entire print process.”
“My business degree and his graphic design degree balance well in this job,” Kristen said. “There is a lot more work now, but the way we are in our relationship is mirrored by the way we are in our business: our strengths and weaknesses play off each other.”
For more information, visit www.altprintingco.com
ALT Printing Co. 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday through Saturday 1027 S. Washington Ave., Lansing (517) 388-3558 www.altprintingco.com