Roger Smith opened his storefront for Ink ‘N Thread Works in November, but still isn’t entirely moved in.
Smith has his embroidering machine operating at 8226 Warren Sharon Road, Masury, just west of the Sharon line, but other equipment is back home in Hubbard.
“I’m embroidering here, screen printing at home, just to get through Christmas,” he said Dec. 17. “Once I get through Christmas, then I’ll bring the rest of the equipment in and go forward full scale.”
Smith makes and sells shirts, hoodies, hats and promotional products.
“Pretty much anything that you could want printed, we can provide, from promotional products, being anything to promote your business, company, organization, to letterhead, business cards, promotional fliers, banners, stickers, vehicle wraps, signs, we do the whole nine yards, to custom screen printing, embroidery, hats, jackets, pretty much everything.”
Smith has been in business for 28 years, with 22 years of that operating in Struthers and, for a short time, with a second store in Boardman. He shuttered the store and worked out of his home for the last couple of years.
When he decided to ramp up his operation, he fell into the storefront he now occupies, drawn by its traffic flow and proximity to Sharon.
He has an established customer base from around the United States, Ireland, England and even Saudi Arabia. “A lot of customers find it’s easier to deal with someone that’s out of town, for some reason,” he said.
Smith also has wholesale customers. “I do things for different little mom-and-pop shops that want to open up and offer stuff, but they don’t do it themselves, or can’t afford the equipment, so they’ll farm things out,” he said.
promoHaving the storefront allows him to get back into retail sales., which will focus on Brookfield, Sharon and Mathews schools.
“Without having that traffic flow and the opportunity of people walking through the door and doing retail sales, it’s just too hit and miss,” Smith said. “It’s too much of a struggle.”
Smith, who has displayed shirts outside his store to catch the eyes of passing motorists, said he is happy with the foot traffic he has attracted so far.
“So far, it’s been received well,” he said. “I’m starting to get some traffic flow.”