When longtime Oak Park resident Eric Priceman went to the downtown mainstay store Shirtworks recently, all he needed done was a small embroidery job.
“I ended up walking away with the business,” he said in a recent interview.
Priceman purchased Shirtworks, 127 N. Marion St., and has transformed the business into Personalization House.
He told Wednesday Journal that the new business will still carry T-shirts and offer embroidery and other services available at Shirtworks, but he’s expanding the business to include a wide variety of new services.
Priceman said that with the new equipment he’s bringing to the store, the business will have the technology to personalize just about any item. That includes knickknacks, glassware, apparel, artwork, picture frames – practically anything.
The purchase of the Oak Park shop follows in the wake of Priceman and his company opening of another similar store in New Rochelle, New York, at the beginning of the year.
Priceman, who owns a manufacturing business on the West Side of Chicago, came up with the concept for Personalization House a few years ago and said he plans to open other locations at some point in the future. He said the Marion Street shop opening up was unexpected.
“The Oak Park acquisition was not something we intended to do, but it fell in our lap and it was a great opportunity,” he said.
Priceman said he jumped on the opportunity for the downtown shop, calling it a “fantastic location,” because of the high foot traffic, street festivals and the demographics.
The new store is more than just some additional equipment and a different sign. Priceman, along with his partners Lauren Nemiroff and Alan Starks, have renovated the interior, adding new hardwood floors, a brick wall and a copper ceiling.
“The store will also have a DIY corner, where trained personnel will help customers to personalize products directly on our website,” he said in an email. “Once they have done that they can come back in two to three days to pick up the items or have them shipped directly to their homes.”
Employees will be artists from the community who are trained to help customers achieve their personalization projects, he said.
The shop also will hold monthly events call “Meet the Maker” to give employee artists a chance to showcase their own work.