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

Published at 3:34:23 PM, 10/6/2022

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

Noonan was tired of her job as a technie and wanted to work full-time in her printing business. She quit her job in tech and decided to start her own business, based from her South Deerfield home.

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, however the process is time-consuming and leaves a lot of room for error.

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

She also worked before Noonan started Dead Eye Prints for other printing businesses in New England. Many of them were run by men. She felt the need to own her own business because she was tired of working under male bosses. 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 said that her equipment is of high quality and that she puts a lot effort into every product she makes.

“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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