It’s definitely a family business!
In a historic building on the east end of Lee Street in downtown Greenville, the six owners of the East Texas Print Shop opened their operation in 2016. They do screen printing on shirts and other items of apparel. They create machine embroidery work on hats and a myriad of other items. In addition, they offer a logo design service and run a retail establishment.
Jeff Phillips and Melinda Phillips co-own the shop with their son and daughter-in-law, Jacob and Emmaline Phillips, and also with their daughter and son-in-law, Morgan and Micah Cano.
In addition to toddlers Evelyn Phillips and Jackson Cano, who came on board several years back, two new additions have recently joined the family business. After arriving six days apart four months ago, Baby Judah Phillips and Baby Jade Cano are the newest associates in the Phillips/Cano partnership.
While Emmaline and Morgan work at the business, all of their kids are there. The moms note that there is plenty of room for Jackson and Evelyn to play.
“We have a full set-up in the back for them—their toys and everything including a Pack ‘n Play,” Morgan said during a recent interview. “This is our daily job, and we have our four babies that come up here with us.”
For generations of Greenville folks, 2218 Lee Street was the home of Henley Hardware.
“We bought the building, and we kept the original ceilings, floors and brick walls,” Morgan said. “Then my dad Jeff and my brother Jacob, with help from other friends and family, renovated the entire building and made it the East Texas Print Shop.”
“We tried to keep as many original things as we could,” Emmaline said. “The ceiling was rusted so Jeff power-washed all of it, and when it dried, he spray painted it.”
In the large area behind the storefront, an enormous screen print machine dominates the space.
“On the screen print machine, we can do up to six colors on your design,” Morgan said. “If you don’t have a logo for your business, we can design it for you, or you can send us your logo, and we can print it for you. We can fill any kind of custom orders.”
Nowadays, just about every occasion calls for an identifying bit of apparel. The ubiquitous T- shirt is worn by teams, first responders, performers, reunion attendees, and bachelorettes to name a few. Almost everyone has the need to don a generic or personalized tee or hat at some time.
“You can buy shirts from our apparel store, or you can buy shirts that are custom ordered,” Morgan said. “It might just be one or two shirts for an event or for the weekend. We also do large orders for companies, churches and schools.
“We have done screen printing on masks, bags, construction vests and all kinds of things.” East Texas Print Shop also specializes in embroidery.
“We have a six-head embroidery machine that is automatic,” Morgan said. “It’s used for hats,
but we have done some unusual things with embroidery. We also have a smaller machine for patches, which we sew on by hand.
“We’ve done embroidery on guitar straps and on headrests for car seats,” Emmaline said. “Embroidery is not just for hats and shirts.”
The retail shop’s focus on inventory has changed since East Texas Print Shop opened.
“For the first couple of years, we had what was called a ladies’ boutique,” Morgan said. “Then we transitioned into more of a unisex apparel store for both men and women. We’ve gotten away from the boutique items, and now we have the shirts and the hats that we print, embroider and design ourselves.”
The East Texas Print Shop owners play a strong role within the community. As members of the Greenville Chamber of Commerce, they endorse other businesses. Also, they are supporters of the school teams, the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Texas, the Raffa Clinic and the Hunt County Children’s Advocacy Center.
Recently, the Boys and Girls Club of Northeast Texas enjoyed popsicles from the “Popsicle Patrol,” aka the East Texas Print Shop crew. Also, the Print Shop partnered with the Boys and Girls Club for a fun drawing competition for the kids. The winner of the competition will have his or her design printed on a shirt and will also get to come to the shop to watch the screen printing process.