By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Many have noticed the old C&A Tool building at the intersection of U.S. 33 and S.R. 205 has taken on a new look recently.
A ribbon-cutting ceremony for 46 Graphics was held this month, as the company moved its in-home operation to downtown Churubusco.
The company offers a variety of products, including screen printing for T-shirts and clothing, embroidery, signage, vinyl lettering and wraps for vehicles, and photo canvases.
The company began in 2009 and has gradually picked up momentum in the past eight years.
“We started out really slow,” said Bret Keister, owner. “We’ve had a couple of stable clients.”
Keister said he and his wife, Nikki, hadn’t advertised their business until they made a website and social media accounts.
“It’s all been word of mouth,” Keister said.
The business started out as a sign shop. When a business in Fort Wayne asked the Keisters to get back into the screen printing business, he decided to make an investment into his side job.
Keister’s mother, Debra Miller, used to do screen printing from her home when Keister was in high school. It was that experience that led to his expertise in the business.
“I had her old screen printer still,” Keister said. “We were at the point that we either needed to tell the customer ‘no’ or invest in the business.”
The Keisters decided to invest, and now, they have revitalized an unused building in downtown Churubusco.
The building was one of many buildings in Churubusco owned by C&A Tool. What is now 46 Graphics’ storefront, was formerly C&A Tool’s breakroom.
The Keisters put a little work into preparing the storefront, but besides that, they said the building was sound.
“The whole building is in really good shape,” Keister said. “We revamped the front, but the rest of the building is pretty much like it was.”
Except for the upstairs, that is.
The second floor of the building used to be two apartments before C&A Tool removed the apartments and turned them into office space. Now, the Keisters want to put it back to apartments — which have a perfect view of downtown Churubusco.
So far, the Keisters have ripped up the old office carpet and are redoing the flooring, but the apartment remodel is a work in progress.
Most of the work 46 Graphics does is custom, however, customers can purchase a variety of T-shirts and other screen printed items from the store during business hours. There’s many Churubusco-related shirts, including several with “The Beast of ’Busco.”
“Everyone loves T-shirts,” Keister said.
The business hopes to take on new projects, such as Churubusco athletics teams and clubs.
“I would love to be the go-to place for everyone,” Keister said. “But we don’t try to pressure people into anything. We hope people migrate to us by word of mouth.”
Keister said he decided to use numbers as the name of his business because it would be easy for people to remember and spell. He’d originally sought out “33 Graphics” due to the proximity to U.S. 33, but he said that name had already been taken.
“I had numbers that I thought would look cool for logos, and 46 was the first one I came across,” Keister said. “I like to say, we have four kids and that makes six in our family, but 46 doesn’t really have a special meaning.”
The business is open Wednesday from 5:30-8 p.m., Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. — or by appointment.
Call 417-2131 for more information. The business is located at 101 S. Main St., Churubusco.