MANKATO, MINN

A little over 30 years ago, Brian Stark met a man who knew how to print designs onto shirts.

As an artist, he was naturally intrigued by the idea and began creating designs for the man to print onto his shirts.

Today, Stark and his staff are doing the whole process, from design to printing, for B. Stark and Company.

"When we started out we actually drew a lot of things by hand and then took a camera shot of that as that was the procedure," explained B. Stark & Co. Owner Brian Stark.  "That's a rarity now as most everything is actually drawn right on the computer.  It's a computerized process much more from beginning to end."

That computerized process has been sped up exponentially through the years as not everything has to be hand drawn these days.

They can be however.

Stark says a lot of people bring in a rough sketch of what they want to see on their customized shirt.

Then Stark & Co. gives feedback, maybe adjusts the sketch a little bit, gets the final approval from the customer and then begin creating the clothing.

"After that we use that art.  We make screens or we make files to tell the embroidering machines what to do," said Stark.  "That goes to a process where we make the screens, put the screens on the press, we ink them up, and we print them.  Many things are still printed by hand."

Stark says a lot of the business they receive comes from organizations, businesses, events (such as a 5k) and family reunions.

They are able to embroider, screen print and iron or sew on designs into clothing.

Because he's been in business for the better part of three decades, he's had to adapt to compete with competitors on the internet.

"The online world finds a way to compete with you no matter what you're doing so I think what we have to offer is we are actually in the community," said Stark.  " A lot of the work we do is very community based.  We are supporting non–profits and people who are trying to do something as a group and bring the community together."

--KEYC News 12