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17-year-old business expands and relocates
By Hayli Zuccola
Not everyone believes in destiny, but for Rob Summerall his path to opening Teeko, a local T-shirt and graphics company, seemed pretty clear from the start. Since he was young, Summerall was fascinated by the concept of production - a field he learned about from watching the assembly lines featured on shows like “Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood.” When he got older and wondered what to do with his life, fate decided to help him out. A paper he was reading contained an ad for some screen printing equipment and the cost to purchase the machinery happened to be the exact amount of credit he had in his possession – talk about a coincidence. Now 17 years later, Teeko, a flourishing business Summerall started in his 20s, is ready for an expansion and a change of address.
Teeko, which stands for T-shirt Company but with a “K” to represent Summerall’s love of Kit-Kat bars, will be relocating to the old Honda location at 2018 SW Main Boulevard by mid-January of 2017.
The Teeko Family -Photo Submitted
“I think we always knew that we didn’t want to move until we were busting out of the seams, right, ‘till it was just too much,” Summerall said.
The search for a new location became more of a necessity rather than an overall goal after Teeko started designing shirts for flash sales on Zulily.com over a year ago. With limited space and 13 employees, Summerall needed a location that could hold more machines to meet the demand of online and local customers. Although Teeko will have a better chance to grow in the new location, the move is still bittersweet.
“I remember the day I walked into this building before we even brought in the equipment, guys have this way of like naming the truck after a lady or something like that. It has no name, she is Teeko, she is a building and she is a she, but I said ‘I hope we can really survive together, I hope we can make some money together and hope we can do this’ and it did,” he said.
Future home of Teeko -Photo: Submitted
Mary Summerall who married Rob in 2004 and came to work at Teeko full-time in 2012, said some of the features in the new location will include a showroom so customers can look and touch the products; the opportunity to sit with a graphic designer; more equipment for faster production; and a dressing room for people to try on uniforms.
Although Mary didn’t incorporate the business with Rob, as Mary put it, the two have helped make Teeko stronger together.
“[We’re] best friends, married, but when it comes to the business side I couldn’t ask for that better complement to what I do,” Rob said.
The move to a bigger location will allow Teeko to become even better at performing their overall goal of being fast, friendly and professional. It will also have an effect on the community by providing more jobs; revamping an empty piece of real-estate; and it will be in a better, more centrally located area for their current and future customers.