Can you tell me more about Downtown Screen Printers?
|Downtown Screen Printers is a two-man business I run with my co-owner / partner, Aliks Hernandez. When I first moved into a studio space at Local Color back in December 2016, I knew I was interested in starting to screen print apparel, so I applied for and received grant funding that I used to pay for a used screen press, belt dryer, & supplies. But I soon found myself overwhelmed by frequent repairs & expensive upkeep of the “vintage” machines. After a few slow months trying to figure out how I was going to get things rolling, a new artist, Aliks, joined Local Color; he had more hands-on & technical understanding of the printing process than I did, whereas I had the graphic design skills to be able turn this into a real business, offering printing services to clients. Shortly after we realized we could meld together our separate but related talents, we printed our first client jobs together as Downtown Screen Printers out of our space at the back of Local Color’s original 1st street building. In the years since then, we’ve been continuing to learn, we’ve connected with a diverse set of clients and partners across San Jose, built our brand while working on our own art at the same time, and even run screen printing workshops / events for the public. We moved studios, too, from our old digs in the former Ross building to our new Local Color Keystone spot on W. San Carlos St. We work crazy hours and frequently find ourselves in the midst of chaos – it’s the natural way of makers & creatives! – but we truly love what we do and have endless appreciation for the community that continues to support our work in so many ways. We’d also love to have you follow along with our business, personal work, & printing work on Instagram: @downtownscreenprinters / @jimmypaints / @aliksmahn|
What is Local Color?
Local Color (formerly known as the Exhibition District) is a San Jose-based, woman-owned & operated 501(c)(3) nonprofit that employs and provides affordable studio / work space for San Jose artists, allowing them to execute a variety of projects from interior mural commissions, signage, public space activation, live painting, and art classes. Local Color currently runs multiple studio and gathering spaces across San Jose, and their Keystone location on W. San Carlos St. is where my personal art studio, office, and the Downtown Screen Printers shop are all located. I’ve been an artist-in-residence with Local Color since it started, in December 2016, and continue to feel supported and inspired by the creative community it fosters. You can find out more about Local Color on their website / social media pages:
|I purchased an item from you – how and when will it ship?||First of all—thank you a million times over for your purchase, which directly supports me as an artist & small business owner! I’m in my earliest stages of running this webstore, so I anticipate a steep learning curve regarding efficiently packing & shipping things out. Please be patient and allow up to 5 business days to pull, prep, and process your order before it ships. For now, I’m shipping things by USPS priority flat rate mail, and shipping windows range from about 2-3 days depending on where you are in America. This means that you should receive your order within about a week of purchasing. From your order page, you can also opt to receive order notifications sent to you via email/text or using the Arrive app.|
|I see an item I like, but it’s out of stock / unavailable in the size/color I want. Do you have other stuff besides what’s on the website?||Currently, everything I’ve got stocked as far as apparel is posted on the website. You may have noticed that a couple of my items seem to have a super random assortment of sizes/colors/styles—these are closeout items I’m trying to get into the hands of awesome people before new designs start getting made and put on the site, so swoop ‘em up while you can! If there’s a particular design / style / color combo you’re looking for based on the existing work you see, use the CONTACT JIMMY! button at the bottom of the home page (or email firstname.lastname@example.org) and let me know what you’re looking for, and we can try and figure something out.|
|Do you do custom printing or design work for other people?||Absolutely—that’s my “day job” (though really, it’s an all-the-time job). If you’re an artist, regular person, or business looking for a printed item with your custom design on it, hit me up. My printing business, Downtown Screen Printers, regularly runs custom print jobs on cool stuff for you and your business / family / sorority or fraternity / team / company event / fundraiser / school / etc. We do everything printing related: from providing printing consultation and quotes, working with you to develop logos/artwork/graphics (I’m a trained graphic designer!), selecting & buying items to print on through our wholesale channels, turning your own art into high-quality digital art for print, or partnering with you on projects that engage the San Jose community. We run lots of straightforward printing jobs all the time, but also never shy away when new, weird, creative, or different projects challenge us with unique parameters – so please reach out if you’re interested in working on a printing project together!|
|Do you accept returns/exchanges on items?||At this time, I am not accepting returns. But, pending stock / availability, I may be able to offer exchanges on certain apparel items (particularly if you’re local and we can avoid added shipping costs). Please check in right away via email or using the contact link if you order apparel that doesn’t fit & we can try to figure something out. I do not offer returns or exchanges for non-apparel items like stickers & prints. Additionally, note that all “closeout” / sale items are final sale—no returns or exchanges since quantities and styles are limited.|
|I’m a San Jose local–can I buy & come pick up items I want from you, to skip paying the shipping cost?||I’m all in support of limiting the added paper/plastic/energy waste of shipping locally, but unfortunately at this time (due to COVID-19 shelter-in-place and social distancing guidelines), I am not able to offer in-person pickup in San Jose. But local pickup is definitely a service that I am planning & hoping to be able to start offering in the near future.|
|Don’t you paint, too? Can I buy fine art / canvas paintings from you?||Yes! As my name, Jimmy Paints, suggests, it’s s foundational medium of creation for me. I have many plans for getting my painted work up on this site soon, so make sure to add your name to the mailing list and ensure you’re following me on Instagram. Until I have a dedicated “paintings” section of this site up and running, any updates / offerings I have will be posted to my Instagram page and stories. The other form of painting, aside from working on canvas, that I love is creating murals. If you’re an organization, public leader, homeowner, or business owner looking for an indoor or outdoor mural – big or small! – please shoot me an email or use the CONTACT JIMMY! button at the bottom of the home page. In the near future, I plan to add a section to this website with photos and info about my past work, including murals I’ve done around the globe. But if you’re in/around San Jose you can catch a glimpse of some of what I’ve done out in the “wild” at Taplands, Clandestine Brewing Company, 100-block in the SoFA District, and on the art boxes @ Coleman & Taylor & King Rd. near McKee.|
|Are you doing anything specific to be environmentally conscious as a business?||This is an area of focus for my business as I establish myself and grow; I’m inspired by nature and feel deeply connected to this planet, so I definitely see it as a responsibility of mine as a business owner – and especially as someone in the apparel industry, which has a notoriously destructive impact on this planet in many ways – to do whatever I can to make conscious decisions when it comes to the items I print on & the packaging I use to deliver things to you. You’ll see in the descriptions for all my items that the majority of the designs I offer are printed on apparel that’s manufactured ethically using eco-conscious fabrics. My goal is to shift to offering ONLY items that this is true for in the future. I also actively seek out USA- made apparel and will continue to lean towards offering only USA-made items as I add new stock and products. As far as packaging, I’ve got some existing flat rate USPS packaging I’ll be using up for initial orders from my site starting in April, but have ordered some compostable mailers that I’ll be using to package my shipments to you very soon (once they arrive!). As noted above, I also hope to add local pick-up as an option for items in the future, to avoid the added waste of shipping, once shelter-in-place and social distancing restrictions allow for it. It’s hard to do everything right in support of the planet when running a business, and the world of conscious apparel production is changing (for the better, in many ways!) rapidly. I know that I have a lot to learn in this regard, so if you are a small business owner or consumer who has figured out eco-conscious, environmentally responsible ways to do things related to this industry, I’d love to learn or get tips from you—please reach out!|
|Do you sell/ship outside the United States?||Officially, not yet! But if you’re international and love something on my site, let me know and we can try to see what it would cost to get it to you.|