Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury – Reuters

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SALISBURY — After launching Browns Athletic Apparel in Miami a decade ago, Tranise Brown opened the company’s second outlet in Salisbury in February.

The company, located at 1907 W. Innes St., Ste. 601, specializes in printing T-shirts, banners, business cards and embroidery.

“We’re a one-stop-shop printing company,” Brown said.

Brown’s business was born out of necessity, when she couldn’t find a job due to her criminal record.

While living and attending high school in Miami, Brown became pregnant when she was 16. She decided to drop out of high school to attend the Miami Job Corps program, where she completed her education while working to become a certified nurse educator. Brown worked in the medical field for several years before being charged with employee theft.

Once she was a convicted felon, Brown said finding gainful employment was nearly impossible. Tired of hearing the “no” from employers, she decides to go into business.

“I knew I had to work for myself,” Brown said. “Anyway, I didn’t want to work for anyone else.

Brown decided to start a business she knew well: screen printing. At age 13, Brown got her first job at D&N Sports, a screen printing shop in Miami. Years later, Brown took what she learned from her time there and applied it to her own business.

Brown said she started developing Browns Athletic Apparel from a small office and quickly succeeded in designing and printing youth athletic uniforms. Eventually, Brown said she began outsourcing the shirt-making process to a small factory in Pakistan.

Over time, Brown said, her business began to expand its customer base outside of South Florida. Browns Athletics Apparel now ships printed shirts, uniforms and other merchandise to multiple states nationwide, including New York, Ohio and Nebraska. The company, she said, even has a few customers in Canada in the Bahamas.

“It’s a great feeling in general to see people carrying my stuff from out of town,” Brown said. “Strangers mean a lot because I wonder how they found me and they continue to support Browns Athletic Apparel.”

Brown decided to open a second location in Salisbury because many of his family members live in the area. His brother, Phillip, operates a satellite business Browns Athletic Apparel largely from his home. As a result, the business already had several customers in the area when it opened earlier this year.

The Salisbury boutique is staffed by Brown, his brother, who serves as sales manager, and two members of the production team. Between the Salisbury and Miami locations and the factory in Pakistan, Brown said she oversees a team of more than 20 employees.

“It takes a team to run a print shop,” Brown said.

Brown now splits her time between locations in Salisbury and Miami, flying from Concord-Padgett Regional Airport almost weekly. Although Brown only recently opened a second location in Salisbury, she said she doesn’t want to stop there.

“I want to be like Dick’s Sporting Goods, but Browns Athletic Apparel,” Brown said. “I want to be on my own and offer everything we do now, but I want it in stores where you walk in the door and have your sporting goods section, you have football, you have football, you have basketball -ball, like this.”

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