All Star Shirts ready to meet Red Oak’s needs

All Star Shirts & More is settling in at its new location at 412 E. Reed St. in Red Oak.

The family-owned business, operated by Dave and Pat Lanford and their son, Willie Hellman, specializes in screen printing and embroidery on clothing. Pat Lanford said Willie grew up in Bellevue, Neb., and they operated a shop there before she and her husband moved just outside of Red Oak in 2004.

Pat, who has more than 50 years of experience in graphic design, said they started focusing heavily on shirt designs when they opened up their original shop in Bellevue in 2009.

“We can do custom artwork and pre-existing, and while we do some individual work our main clientele is business-to-business. We also do graphic design and embroidery for medical and long-term care facilities,” Pat explained.

Willie Hellman said there have been some changes to the work they do since he operated the Bellevue shop in 2009.

“Polyester is a lot bigger now than it was in 2009. There’s new equipment coming out all of the time, and we go to the trade shows and check all that stuff to find new equipment that makes things easier, faster, and better, and is of a higher quality. Also, everything has gotten more eco-safe. All of the inks and stuff like that is a lot more eco-safe now,” said Hellman.

As for the move to Red Oak, Dave Lanford said he had wanted everyone to move to the Red Oak area for a long while, and consolidate the work they were doing locally with the operations in Bellevue, though it took some convincing.

“Willie was very reluctant to move here, but COVID-19 really prompted us to consolidate everything down, lower our costs so that we could move into town, and better serve the community. We held off on the move when my wife and I first moved here, because there was another embroidery business and we didn’t want to try to open up a shop and compete against someone already here. I was in the Air Force, and it was a lot easier to move to Bellevue at the time. We had a lot of connections in the darts community, and expanded into the healthcare industry, and we’re still doing that here,” Dave commented.

Dave added it’s been beneficial to consolidate their costs, and he’s always liked the Red Oak community.

“The Montgomery County Courthouse was one of the main attractions to moving here, and I felt like you can make a difference in a small town that you can’t make in a metropolitan area,” Dave explained.

Hellman added that another factor in the consolidation was the fact that a majority of the business would be done online.

“Once we found out that 90 percent of our business would be online, or over the phone, and not person-to-person, it made the decision a lot easier. We can provide better quality items, and lower our costs,” Hellman said.

Since the move and the consolidation, Pat said she and the rest of the family have been very pleased with the results.

“The move to Red Oak has proven to be a very good choice. It’s also very rewarding; graphic design has always been a fulfilling vocation. We have also had a very positive response from the interaction we’ve had with people in the Red Oak community thus far,” said Pat.

All Star Shirts & More is currently open by appointment only. To contact them for graphic design or embroidery needs, call 623-0017.

The Red Oak Express

2012 Commerce Drive
P.O. Box 377
Red Oak, IA 51566
Phone: 712-623-2566 Fax: 712-623-2568

Comment Here