“At one point or another, we’ve printed for almost every business in Concord”
Working in a city like Concord I sometimes feel like we are all occupying a single small-town block. No matter how many things grow, or change, or update, I still expect to see a familiar face on my morning walk, or answer “do you know this person or that person” within 2 degrees of Kevin Bacon. It takes a lot for a city to be a community, and sometimes it’s a couple common things that manage to keep a us in a tight weave, even if we don’t realize it.
My video production company recently went through a temporary re-brand, we wanted to come up with a more hand-crafted look to run with for a few months. I thought the new logo/title design would be perfect for client and employee tee shirts with spring hopefully right around the corner. I worked with our graphic design partner, Bruiser Graphics, on the new logo and to place an order for 20 shirts.
A couple weeks later I called to see what the status was on printing, Sam at Bruiser said he had to call the printer and he’d get right back to me. It turns out that my shirts were being printed by a company that I’d never heard of before, Teddy’s Tees. This local company was only a few blocks away from my office, but as luck would have it - they were about to start our shirt run that day.
I thought how cool would it be to film our shirts being printed? A couple phonecalls later, I was walking in the door of Teddy’s, a red building and windowed storefront that shares a parking lot with a few other businesses. I really didn’t know what to expect, but they knew I was coming, immediately I was greeted in the “store” section of their building and ushered into the printing room in the back to meet Ron, who was one of the owners after buying the 36 year old company less than a year ago.
What struck me about Ron when I first met him was a question he asked me about my shirts; He did one ink pass on my shirt and looked at me, he said “Is one pass ok? Usually I do more, but with the distressed look I think it gives it a better feel.” Two things popped into my head pretty quickly. One; I have no idea, I’ve never screen printed in my life. Two; this guy cares about his end product and how it looks, but is totally willing to work to his client’s preferences.
I ended up staying for way longer than I intended to. Intruding on not just Ron’s work, filming every single one of the 20 shirts that he printed for me, I also ended up filming his team at work, watching the embroidery needle shoot up and down, watching them assemble an order. I was mesmerized.
Something about the mix of craft and care really struck a chord with me, and it was so clear to the person behind the camera that when I was wrapping up just filming the space I decided that I wanted to get Ron’s take on it too. I set up a space in the corner of the shop for an interview, and started peppering him with questions. How did he get started? How did he feel working with his hands? We went deeper into some conversations that I was just fascinated by anyway. But one thing he said stuck with me. “I’m not just screen printing… I am a screenprinter” and you can tell. He’s been putting his all into this line of work for over 15 years, proudly running a business that’s been around for over 30.
I didn’t know Ron in person going into that day, even though our we work a stone's throw away from each other. But in looking at the range of names of the businesses that Teddy’s Tees has worked with in Concord, I know his work. One common thread that’s been in the community for over 30 years, providing a quality product that we’re all familiar with, that we see on our way to grab a coffee, or at the gym, or at a concert. For me, Concord just got a bit more familiar.
Note: We paid for our clothing full price through a third party, we have no direct affiliation with Teddy’s Tees, and received no monetary or trade compensation for creating the blog post or video.