|© J. Adrian Wylie|
In late October, Underground Printing moved across the street and up the block to a bigger location next to Good Time Charley's on South University. How much bigger? Co-owner Ryan Gregg put it this way: "Our new sign is bigger than our old store," which measured a paltry 250 square feet. At 4,000 square feet, Gregg and business partner Rishi Narayan finally have the flagship store they have wanted for years.
Gregg and Narayan, both twenty-eight, founded their custom screen-printed and embroidered apparel company back in 2001, when they were both sophomores at the U-M. "We were very active in school, we belonged to a lot of groups, and we were always entrepreneurial," Gregg recalls. When the two friends realized that all the groups they belonged to needed custom T-shirts, they saw opportunity--especially after a tow truck operator who came to Narayan's aid after his car broke down mentioned that he used to print T-shirts and still had his equipment in a pole barn in Cadillac. Gregg says he thought about all those campus groups--"and I thought: I bet we could sell a lot of T-shirts!"
They bought the guy's equipment, moved it to Whitmore Lake, and started selling T-shirts to anyone who needed them, which turned out to be a lot of people.
Within months the partners had more business than they could handle and hired Underground Printing in Chelsea (which really was underground, in a basement) to make the shirts while they turned their attention entirely to sales. By the end of 2003, Gregg and Narayan's orders were such a big part of Underground Printing's business that it seemed only logical for them to buy the company.
They moved the printing side of the business to a 33,000-square-foot facility in Ann Arbor in 2004 and opened the small retail space on South U in 2005. Since then they've opened ten more stores in other college towns and expanded from T-shirts into all kinds of printed apparel and accessories,
What's happening in local stores and eateries, and restaurant reviews.>> Blogs