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

Published 10/12/2022 at 2:39.58 pm

Modified: 10/12/2022, 2:39.48 PM

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 she first learned at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She fell in love with it.

Noonan, tired of her tech job and wishing to be a full-time printer, decided to take a leap of faith and work on her business. She decided to quit her full-time job and start her own company, River Road, in South Deerfield, in September.

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 stated that she loves screen printing but that the process is time-consuming and can lead to errors.

“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 stated that her work is unique because anyone can approach her with ideas and she will work collaboratively with customers to create designs for T-shirts. There are no minimum orders, unlike other printing companies.

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

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