The female-owned screen printing company is all about care and customization
When it comes to wearing your heart on your sleeve, many people choose to do so in the form of clothing and accessories. From T-shirts, sweatshirts and hats to glasses, bags and even drinking cups, anything can be personalized these days. The hard part is not breaking the bank by avoiding a third party outlet. Enter LocalInk516, the screen-printing and embroidery company that makes quality, affordable and customizable apparel and accessories.
“We started this business on a whim. My wife, Michelle, always wanted to do this because she was an athlete growing up and was always interested in it,” said Kerri Davis, co-founder and co-owner of LocalInk516. “When I got pregnant, we figured this was the best time to do this since I was home. I don’t know what I was thinking with twins, but we did it.”
Davis and her wife started LocalInk516 in 2014 in their apartment in Long Beach. When the business demanded more space, the two decided to print out of a facility on Long Island and also out of Queens. With the desire for a physical home-base storefront, they opened up a local shop in Bellmore for people who wanted to see their products firsthand or pick up an order.
“We’ve made a good name for ourselves and we’re happy with how we’re growing, just the two of us,” said Davis, proud of her women-owned and women-run company.
As for the name of the business, it was quite simple and literal. Both Davis and Michelle have a lot of tattoos, so they knew that “ink” had to be a part of it, as well as the fact that they ink press everything. They are also local and from the 516 area, thus LocalInk516 was born.
The company has made a name for themselves in the school sports industry, working with schools across Long Island and Queens, making sports paraphernalia for every team, even at the collegiate level. LocalInk516 is also affiliated with three camps as the sole outfitter for Rolling River Day Camp in East Rockaway, Shibley Day Camp in Roslyn and Camp Pontiac in the Berkshires. In getting to this point, Davis said that she and Michelle have been getting involved in a lot of fundraising, which helped grow the business in a major way last year.
“Our family friend’s brother-in-law, who was a 13-year veteran of the FDNY, died serving in the U.S. Air Force. We wanted to do something nice for his wife and their two girls so we made a shirt in memory of him and it just took over,” said Davis, adding that LocalInk516 was able to gift the family with an amazing donation, which gave 100 percent of the proceeds to the Christopher Raguso Foundation. “We’re proud of the things we get to do and because we’re a small company, we pick and choose what we want to do.”
If that’s not enough to shop local, Davis and Michelle stress the fact that they are 100 percent customizable for every single client. With a small team of amazing artists, LocalInk516 ensures that designs are not only intricate and on trend, but exactly as the customer envisioned from start to finish.
“Customers send us a screenshot of what they want on an item and our artists will create it. Then, we send a virtual proof for the customer to approve or make changes. When it’s good to go, we put the order through. The whole process from inception to delivery takes about two to three weeks,” said Davis. “We’re spread in a lot of different directions. We do wine glasses, tote bags, basketballs, clothing, hats and a lot of wedding items.”
Open 12 months and with an online niche market for shopping, anyone can go to the website and create their own design and shop wholesalers like Nike and Under Armor. All of LocalInk516’s materials are sourced locally with the exception of some Los Angeles clothing markets.
“We never try and replicate something; we just try to recreate an idea. We really pride ourselves on customer service,” said Davis, making note of the younger generation that wants instant gratification. “I’m always answering the phone or email at all hours of the day or night because we like to keep our clients up to date with each phase of the process.”
For more on LocalInk516, visit www.localink516.com, follow on social media @localink516 or stop by the storefront at 2820 Merrick Rd., Bellmore, Suite B.