South Deerfield resident takes ‘leap of faith’ with full-time printing business

SOUTH DEERFIELD — While Dead Eye Prints, a company that produces customized T-shirts, posters and patches out of Alex Noonan’s basement, may look modest from the outside, Noonan went through a lot to get here.

Noonan began her business in 2017, creating T-shirts from her Hadley kitchen. Screen printing was something she first learned at the New Hampshire Institute of Art. She fell in love with it.

Noonan was tired of her job as a technie and wanted to work full-time in her printing business. Noonan quit her full-time job in September to pursue her new venture, which she established out of her River Road, South Deerfield, home.

Part of Noonan’s career change involved saving up to buy an expensive piece of equipment called a direct-to-garment printer, or DTG.

“Buying this meant I could never turn down an order,” Noonan said, elaborating that her DTG can print infinite colors and on a variety of products including hats and shoes.

Noonan enjoys screen printing but it is time-consuming and can lead to errors. “Screen printing is time-consuming and frustrating,” she said.

Noonan was previously employed by other New England printing companies, most of which were managed by men, before opening Dead Eye Prints. She also felt that working for male bosses was not something she enjoyed, and decided to open her own business. She hopes to one day run a shop with employees where she may cultivate a less stressful work environment than the ones she’s experienced, and where she can offer classes to share her skills with others.

Western Massachusetts residents have embraced her “leap of faith,” Noonan said.

“There is excitement and appreciation to have a local artist doing this work,” she said. “When you order from large companies, you have no clue what the quality will be.”

She stated that her equipment was of exceptional quality and that each product she produces is meticulously made.

“I’m an artist,” she said. “I want stuff to look good.”

Noonan stated that people can approach her with their ideas and that she will work with them to design T-shirts. There are no minimum order requirements, unlike other printing companies.

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