Inside an unassuming service center in Westchase District on Westoffice Drive sits Accent Screen Printing, Inc., a woman-owned business that has quietly been decorating garments with screen printing and embroidery since 1994. Owner Paula Sidler estimates that in 2017 alone, her crew of 12 employees adorned about one million garments with logos, names, numbers and designs.
From P.E. to printing
A former health and physical education teacher, Sidler said she would take her children to sports activities and would order t-shirts for them. When one vendor decided to get out of the t-shirt printing business, Sidler and her friends purchased his small machine. They moved it into Sidler’s garage and began a side business. “From there, it grew to the point where I had to decide which job I wanted to work full-time,” she said. “This one gave me the flexibility to spend more time with my kids.”
Leveraging her contacts in education, Sidler has worked with many schools and sports leagues. “I never wanted a walk-in storefront where people just want to buy two or three shirts today,” she said. “I want customers who want several hundred shirts delivered next week. That said, we’ll work with anyone who wants a logo on just about anything. We have a network of vendors who can print on various promotional items we don’t carry in house.”
Sidler has multiple machines that can screen print full-color images on t-shirts, jerseys and other fabrics. “It’s a labor-intensive process because you have to apply one ink color at a time, so it can be tricky lining up the colors just right,” she said. A much cleaner process, Sidler said, is embroidery, which can be performed by her 33 computerized embroidery machines. “We can combine colors much easier with just about any color of thread that you want,” she said.
Family and friends
Sidler employs an in-house graphic designer who creates original designs as well as marketing, team sales and product specialists. Many of Sidler’s employees have been with her for 15 years or more. “We have a husband and wife doing the screen printing and sisters who handle the embroidery work, so it really is a family business,” Sidler said. “We even had cribs and playrooms in the office and hired a nanny when our employees had small children. We’ve raised babies and puppies here.”
The warm and friendly atmosphere of the business is heightened by the presence of Ruby, Sidler’s dog who often can be found chasing a tennis ball in between machines. It’s been quite a journey from a two-car garage to a 3,000 square-foot production facility and Sidler said she feels most rewarded by her extended family of long-term employees. “We’re like the song ‘Hotel California,’” she said. “Once you check in, people don’t ever leave.”
Accent Screen Printing, Inc.
10400 Westoffice Drive, Suite 110