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CHAMPAIGN – A successful 20 year old printing company in Champaign has taken over one of its competitors.
Dixon Graphics, a commercial printing company, bought Weiskamp Screen Printing and took over all Weiskamp employees and the building at 312 S. Neil St.
“We started screen printing two years ago to offer our customers another option,” says Lance Dixon, owner of Dixon Graphics, which mainly produces printed paper products such as brochures, business cards and newsletters.
“The acquisition of Weiskamp enables us to become a major screen printing and embroidery manufacturing facility,” said Dixon of the primarily apparel-related business.
Ed Weiskamp, 62, who started his company in 1986, said he never intended to stay with it that long.
“I think it’s a good game. I think the employees are in good hands and he will deal very well with the customers, ”Weiskamp said of Dixon. “We run business in a similar way so the transition is easy. It’s a good thing. “
Weiskamp said the pandemic was a blow to his business, which he had previously raised about the sale.
“I was asked and turned down by another screen printer in town,” he said. “After a while it got more attractive because I was going to retire in a few years anyway. Why grapple with COVID over everything and then retire? It makes it easier to say yes. “
Weiskamp has many interests that concern him beyond the projects his wife has set up for him. That includes spending time with your kids, both locally and in Chicago; Target shooting; Learn French; and boxes.
“It’s usually a tough day,” he said of life without going to the store.
Dixon said adding 11 employees to Weiskamps brings his workforce to 22. He hopes to add about three more customer service reps.
“As a union printer, our employees are paid above the industry standard for central Illinois,” said Dixon. “Our screen printing employees at Dixon Graphics (105 W. John St., C) have moved to Neil Street, providing the screen printer with an immediate increase in productivity.”
Weiskamp’s customers are unlikely to notice much of a change in business practices, said Dixon, who commutes between facilities on most days.
One thing that won’t change is the dedication of part of the picture windows that face South Neil Street to public art.
“Half of the windows are just advertising,” said Dixon of the part where Weiskamp used to display colorful T-shirts and sometimes had breakfast with his children or guests on Sundays while waving to drivers passing by. “The other half is a project called Light Box. We coordinate with 40 North (Champaign County Arts Council). We will continue that.
“We donate space to an artist every quarter and give them money so that they have a budget to create something interesting. That changes four times a year so we hope to continue, ”said Dixon.