DELMAR — Rob Sawyer started his screen-printing business nine years ago in a rented basement apartment in Albany with a home-built press and light box and several other pieces of equipment that he put together himself.
Over the years, Sawyer’s Screen Printing & Embroidery has grown, upgrading equipment along the way, but it remains, at its roots, a family-run shop that prides itself on fair pricing and quality work.
“We’re friendly, and we get things done on time,” Sawyer said. “I don’t want to gouge anyone.”
In 2014, Sawyer, who owns the business with his wife, Erin, set up shop in Delmar, using the extra space to add an embroidery machine to the growing endeavor. He said the recent move from Watervliet to Bethlehem was a good fit — his family had already lived in Bethlehem for four years and were active in the community and schools.
Before opening his screen-printing business, Sawyer tended bar for 18 years but found the hours weren’t very conducive to family life. As he thought about other ways to make a living, he turned to something that has always inspired him.
“Growing up, I was always interested in art,” said Sawyer, who eventually learned the tricks of the trade from his father-in-law, who owns a screen-printing business in Texas.
Sawyer’s Screen Printing does custom printing and embroidery on apparel of all types. They’ve done jobs big and small (the minimum order is 12 shirts) for businesses, schools and sporting events, as well as family reunions and bridal events. They have printed “spirit” apparel for local schools and athletic wear for races like the Delmar Dash and the Delmar Duathlon, but shirts aren’t their only specialty. They can also print or embroider hats, aprons and banners, and most jobs take 10 days or less.
“We have quick turnarounds and will meet the date you need your order in hand,” said Sawyer.
Sawyer said another great thing about his screen-printing business is that the jobs are done on site, with he or his wife taking the orders and doing the work.
“We do everything in house,” Sawyer said, adding that they even have an in-house graphic artist who can assist customers in coming up with a unique design for their apparel.
He said they also don’t charge setup or screen fees, which means “you’re saving money in the long run.”
Sawyer, a member of the Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce, said the local business community has been very supportive of his move to Delmar. The location, just off Delaware Avenue near the Four Corners, is accessible to his customer base, and Sawyer said he has seen an uptick in foot traffic since he’s been there.
“We’ve had more local people just stopping in,” he said.
Sawyer’s Screen Printing is located at 10 Hallwood Road, Delmar. For information on products and services, visit www.sawyershirt.com, email [email protected] or call 272-0586.