ImagesMagUK_June_2024 32 images JUNE2024 Six years ago, the current home of Printigo was a derelict, vandalised old KwikSave supermarket with rain pouring in and trees growing up through the roof. “The agent showing us round thought I was absolutely mental to be interested in it,” says founder and director Brian Withey. “I thought it was amazing.” After being rebuilt to Brian’s own bespoke designs, Printigo’s premises – covering 5,000sqft of the 8,000sqft building – now house a bustling print shop with an 11-strong workforce engaged in garment printing and embroidery. The company dates back 15 years, but has always been in Stirchley, south of Birmingham city centre, close to Bournville and the Cadbury’s factory. It was originally set up in an 800sqft shop down the road, developed out of a side hustle that Brian started while running a nearby live music venue, The Roadhouse. He spotted the potential of garment decoration after buying uniforms for his staff and, with vinyl printer/cutters and two single-head embroidery machines, he and his team Brian Withey shares how Birmingham garment decorator Printigo set up home in a once derelict supermarket and has never looked back began providing workwear and fun T-shirts, such as stag and hen party tops. “I didn’t know anything about garment decoration, so I brought in people who did and learned the trade,” Brian adds. The value of a showroom No longer involved in The Roadhouse, Brian grew the business to such a point where it needed new, larger premises. The old KwikSave proved perfect for creating print and embroidery rooms and a display area around a central open-plan office. The high-street building also came with a 30-space car park, making it a destination for people who want more than just ordering online. Printigo’s head of customer service, Mitra Nami, who has been with the business from the start, says that having a showroom has been vital. “People love to touch and feel what they are buying. Customers still like to talk to a real person who’ll guide them through the whole process from beginning to end, rather than buying online all the time. Often people will come in with an idea and don’t realise that what our guys can print is far beyond what they could imagine.” The showroom offers a comprehensive cross-section of suppliers and brands, with the newest addition being Tee Jays, which taps into the current demand for more premium garments. “It’s more of an exclusive brand for more discerning customers that want to spend a little bit more money and want the best quality,” Mitra explains. “It’s like wine: once you’ve tried one of the best red wines, it’s hard to go back to the supermarket stuff.” Sustainable premium options such as Stanley/Stella are growing in popularity, Brian points out. “If customers can afford it, they want to do their bit. As a workwear-based shop, I didn’t expect many people would go for it because of the price point, but they do.” Printigo actively seeks out garments with sustainable credentials alongside recycling and using paper Go-getters [L-R] Managing director Matt Evans and founder Brian Withey Mitra Sami with the new Tee Jays display