Centex Local creates shirts to raise funds for local stylists, tattoo artists
By BRITTANY FHOLER
Although several businesses have begun the process of opening back up thanks to Gov. Greg Abbott’s recent Executive Order GA-18, there are still those such as hair stylists, nail technicians and tattoo artists who are unable to go back to work.
Brandon McGinnis, owner of Harker Heights based t-shirt business Logos In Threads, created a solution for these businesses that also helped out his own business, with the creation of Centex Local. Through Centex Local, small businesses pair with McGinnis to sell t-shirts with their business’ design and receive a portion of the proceeds.
Logos in Threads has been in business for about 30 years and has been under the ownership of McGinnis for the last five years.
“It’s been very hard, and I think our shop is similar to most other t-shirt shops whereas a lot of our business revolves around events, and a lot of those events have been cancelled, so I think everybody’s hurting quite a bit from that,” McGinnis said about how his business has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition to his business producing masks to sell, McGinnis said he brainstormed with some friends and came up with Centex Local as a way to help the community and help his team stay busy.
The website went live on April 10 and since then has helped several businesses make a couple hundred dollars apiece, McGinnis said. By April 14, Centex Local had been able to give $680 back to the businesses that partnered with them. By April 16, that amount had risen to $840.
Nearly 20 businesses have already partnered with Centex Local, including two Copperas Cove businesses: Refresh Salon and Spa and Adam B Tattoos.
Refresh Salon and Spa co-owner Ashley Lyons came across Centex Local and pitched the idea to the salon. Lyons and Salon Manager/Nail Technician Beth Galick worked on the shirt’s design together, which features a nail polish bottle, a hair dryer and a woman’s face wearing a face mask and a spa towel on her head.
The salon’s proceeds from the sales will be pooled together and paid to cover the cost of each stylist/technician’s booth rent or cost to rent their space at the salon. The goal is to raise enough to cover everyone’s booth rent or at least enough to help cover the building’s rent and utilities.
“Basically the opportunity for this is that of course [ salon owners] Sharon [Tabor] and Ashley [Lyons] don’t have to pay all of the bills out of their pockets while we’re closed because you know, obviously businesses are run for profit,” Galick said. “A lot of booth rental salons don’t really make a lot of profit. The salon owner doesn’t unless they’re an actual stylist. In this case, it’s kind of like giving us a place to work, and the booth rent pays all the utilities, the rent for the building and so on. Unfortunately, the rent for the building and the utilities still have to be paid even though we’re not working, and it’s a huge financial burden to expect the owners to do that on their own, so instead of us continuing to pay our full booth rent, this is a huge opportunity for us not to have to that because we’re not working or making money either.”
Refresh has been closed since March 20.
Adam Beaumont, a tattoo artist at Forever Tattoos, also partnered with McGinnis through Centex Local to have shirts made for his customers to purchase.
Tattoo shops were shut down by executive order from Gov. Abbott on April 3, cutting off Beaumont’s way of making money, he said.
“I was fortunate enough to have enough savings stashed away to kind of keep things buffered for the time being,” Beaumont said. “So, with [McGinnis], it was him trying to keep people working, keep families fed and stuff like that, at the same time, put a little extra money in my pocket while keeping his business going.”
As of of Tuesday, Centex Local had sold 20 shirts with Beaumont’s Adam B Tattoos design.
“It’s a little money that goes towards his business; a little money that helps me support my family,” Beaumont said. “One hand washes the other, but at the same time we help each other as small businesses.”
Gov. Greg Abbott’s Executive Order GA-18 ended the state’s Stay at Home order on Thursday and set in motion a plan for Texas to slowly reopen businesses, beginning with retail, restaurants and movie theaters, today. Those businesses can only let in 25 percent of their maximum capacity and must follow certain guidelines. Businesses that aren’t opening up today include nail salons, hair salons/barber shops and tattoo shops, but Abbott’s order said that these businesses could reopen likely by mid-May.
“As far as being a tattoo artist, we’re trained in cross-contamination,” Beaumont said. “We know how to keep ourselves safe, keep our clients safe, keep the shop safe, and on top of that, we have the medical grade disinfectants to be able to clean our shops and our stations to make sure that our clients stay safe, so I’m not a big fan of it but at the same time I really don’t have a choice in the matter.”
Shirts to help support Refresh and Adam B Tattoos can be found at www.centexlocal.com.
Local businesses can take part by contacting Centex Local through its website or by reaching out to Logos in Thread. Businesses will send a one-color t-shirt design and McGinnis will then upload a mock-up shirt onto the website. Logos in Thread will be doing all of the printing, fulfillment, shipping, packaging, etc. The shirts sell for $22, with $10 of each sale going back to the small business.
“We do business with a lot of these local businesses. We’re customers of a lot of these businesses,” McGinnis said. “I have a lot of friends in business around here, so it was just an idea to kind of help each out and also to help some of the new businesses that we’ve never met, you know, kind of get on their feet. Sometimes it’s just, they may not have money for inventory or to place a big shirt order, and this might be a good opportunity for them to kind of get their brand out there and to make a few bucks during a hard time.”
Small businesses interested in partnering with Centex Local can email their design to email@example.com.
For more information, there is also the Centex Local Facebook page.