The Recorder – South Deerfield resident takes ‘leap of faith’ with full-time printing business

Published 10/6/2022 at 3:34.23 PM

Modified at 3:30:07 pm on 10/6/2022

SOUTH DEERFIELD — While Dead Eye Prints, a company that produces customized T-shirts, posters and patches out of Alex Noonan’s basement, may look modest from the outside, Noonan went through a lot to get here.

Noonan started her company in 2017, making T-shirts out of her apartment’s kitchen in Hadley. Screen printing was something that Noonan first discovered while she was in college at New Hampshire Institute of Art.

Noonan was tired of her job as a technie and wanted to work full-time in her printing business. In September, Noonan decided to quit her full-time job and start her own company, which she based in South Deerfield.

Part of Noonan’s career change involved saving up to buy an expensive piece of equipment called a direct-to-garment printer, or DTG.

“Buying this meant I could never turn down an order,” Noonan said, elaborating that her DTG can print infinite colors and on a variety of products including hats and shoes.

Noonan said she loves screen printing but it takes a lot time and can be error-prone.

“Screen printing is time-consuming and frustrating,” she said.

Also, Noonan worked in New England for several printing companies before she opened Dead Eye Prints. Most of these were run by men. She also felt that working for male bosses was not something she enjoyed, and decided to open her own business. She hopes to one day run a shop with employees where she may cultivate a less stressful work environment than the ones she’s experienced, and where she can offer classes to share her skills with others.

Western Massachusetts residents have embraced her “leap of faith,” Noonan said.

“There is excitement and appreciation to have a local artist doing this work,” she said. “When you order from large companies, you have no clue what the quality will be.”

She stated that her equipment was of exceptional quality and that each product she produces is meticulously made.

“I’m an artist,” she said. “I want stuff to look good.”

Noonan says her work is distinctive because people can come and share their ideas with her. She will also work with customers in collaboration to design T-shirts. There are no minimum orders, unlike some printing companies.

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Bella Levavi can be reached at 413-930-4579 or [email protected].

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