March '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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8 0 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 1 9 SHOP TOUR I n the screen-printing industry, practitioners all find their own way into the craft: some by accident, and some through the sheer nature of their background. For Torrey Valyou, co- owner and co-founder of New Duds, apparel decoration wasn't necessarily his first interest, but his college path at the University of Vermont set him in the general direction. "It was my senior year, and I had done all different sorts of print making," Valyou explains. Techniques like lithograph, woodblock, and etching were already familiar to him and during his senior year, Valyou enrolled in a screen-printing class. The craft piqued his interest, particularly as an illustrator. "Being able to turn my illustrations into multiples, being able to sell them for a lower price point, and seeing that process come to life was really intriguing to me." Valyou also met his wife, Tessa Valyou at college, an art and sociology major, and the two began combining their talents. Initially working with screen-printed paper goods, the Valyous began to explore the world of decorated apparel. After working at a few contract printers and learning the ropes, the Valyous decided it was time to try a new avenue. "I had gained about two and a half years of experience by then, and every night I would go home and research more," says Torrey. With their combined background in graphics and art, coupled with the experience of working for a contract printer, the couple decided to strike out on their own. Beginning with a home business, the duo began to build a name for their business while working second jobs. With the Maker Movement on the rise, the Valyous found new outlets for their products on channels like Etsy. Valyou says he was eventually able to quit his primary job and focus on his own printing business, and they moved into their first warehouse with a manual press and a small dryer. Initially, the idea was to create and sell their own designs, but the Valyous very quickly saw the challenges of starting a profitable T-shirt business. "Within the first two years it really transitioned from (printing) our own stuff to printing for other people," he adds. From there, New Duds began to see more profitable years as they balanced printing their own products and taking on customer's jobs. The duo worked diligently for about five years to build the business up. After a series of moves and staff expansions, 2019 now sees New Duds in its newest building which opened in January. The new headquarters is the fourth move for the business and staying local has had its merits. "The 'Made in Vermont' tagline has always been a pretty popular thing, especially in New England," Valyou explains. Looking ahead, New Duds sees continued popularity in its branded goods, as well as outside channels. Valyou points to the craft beer industry in Vermont as a growing network for New Duds. The company began a fulfillment beta program with one of its bigger brewery cus - tomers about a year and a half ago and hopes to expand on that model for other breweries in need of branded gear. The company is also applying their artistic knack to flat stock for fine art prints and con- cert posters. When asked why he loves being in the business, Valyou references the culture and back- ground of the entire staff. "Everyone who works here is an artist or has an art background," says Valyou. "I think that we really enjoy the process of it all, and it's not just coming into work every day and pulling a squeegee. (We've) all been doing the best that we can at it. And that's why I fell in love with it as well." For more information, visit . PW 8 0 P R I N T W E A R M A R C H 2 0 1 9 Printwear Shop Snapshot : New Duds AT A GLANCE LOCATION: Colchester, Vermont OWNERS: Torrey and Tessa Valyou SQUARE FOOTAGE: 8,000 sq. ft. PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT: • One 6-color/8-station M&R Gauntlet RS screen-printing press • One 10-color/12-station M&R Sportsman EX screen-printing press • One 6-color/4-station M&R Chameleon screen-printing press • Two M&R Tacana flash-cure units • One systematic automation cylindrical press • One M&R Saturn flatbed graphics press • One M&R Starlight UV LED exposure unit Below: The company re- cently moved into a new warehouse in Colchester, Vermont. Since its humble beginnings as a home- based business, New Duds has changed locations four times as it has grown. (Im- ages courtesy New Duds)

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