Stepping out of a basement into REO Town Marketplace, Tony and Kristen Wilson’s Another Life Tees Printing Co. appear to be the new source for bespoke graphic t-shirts and screen printing lessons in Lansing.
Multi-colored shirts of zebras with sunglasses, ducks with headphones and flamingos adorn the walls around the spider like a screen printing machine in their new digs behind Blue Onyx Thrift.
“Another life” refers to choosing to work for yourself, Kristen said.
The couple were trained by Detroit’s Ocelot Print Shop and founded ALT Printing Co. in 2015 from the basement. It focused on Etsy and taught others how to screen printing.
“Lansing doesn’t have a lot of printing resources, but t-shirts and clothing are things everyone loves,” said Kristen. “We learned to print with the intention of opening a print shop, and the workshops arose from the fact that we found a niche market in Lansing where no one offers it.”
Upcoming workshops include a Halloween candy skull t-shirt printed from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and a dog bandana printed from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on October 27.
It is personal to be part of the REO Town revival, she added.
“Tony and I are both from this neighborhood,” said Kristen. “We grew up near Moores Park and are interested in being part of the revitalization of REO Town and Lansing.”
After working hours in Lansing, more needs to be done to continue this trend, Kristen said.
“What we mostly want to achieve is to give the people in Lansing and the surrounding area something to do after 5 pm.”
People might think screen printing is as easy as running ink over a stencil, but it’s a lot harder, Kristen said.
“Any printer can tell you that people don’t understand that every color is a screen and a layer of printing. There is a significant cost to creating the screen and using the ink, as is additional work on the color palette. “
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. So much happens behind the scenes: what type of ink you use on the garment, the small details in preparing a screen are important. “
The couple are planning a permanent stationary location in REO Town sometime in 2019. “We intend to have a drink and print while we teach the entire printing process.”
“My business degree and his graphic design degree are a good fit for the job,” said Kristen. “There’s a lot more work now, but the way we are in our relationship is reflected in the way we are in our business: our strengths and weaknesses play off each other.”
More information is available at www.altprintingco.com
ALT Printing Co. 11am to 6pm
Wednesday through Saturday 1027 S. Washington Ave., Lansing (517) 388-3558 www.altprintingco.com