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Meet Cheryl Jackson-Preston of The T-shirt Factory in Oceanside

Today we’d like to introduce you to Cheryl Jackson-Preston.

Cheryl, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
This is my second time as a business owner, having owned and operated two child care and infant centers in Imperial Beach for over 10 years. Quite by accident, I ventured into the apparel printing business with my husband, Dave Preston, who had established himself in the printing business as a production manager at a well-known printing company in Del Mar. He is also a musician and happened to be friends with the musician/owner of The T-shirt Factory in Oceanside.

That was David Veith, who is a member of Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe and has close connections with Lenny Kravitz, and other touring musicians, and was suddenly on the road most of the time and unable to devote as much time to The T-shirt Factory as was necessary. So that’s when we stepped in when David Veith offered to sell the shop to us. It’s been at the same location, 214 Wisconsin Ave, Oceanside, CA 92054 since 1984, and was already serving the community, with municipal accounts such as the Oceanside Police Dept., City of Carlsbad, many schools and local businesses, contractors, event organizers, and just about everyone that needed printed or embroidered garments.

We’ve owned and operated The T-shirt Factory for nearly 10 years now and it’s really grown from what it was at the time we took it over. We’ve updated to the most modern, state of the art, commercial screen printing presses, as well as bringing commercial embroidery in-house. With Dave’s connection to the music scene in San Diego, we do a lot of printing for bands, and just about everyone ends up here at some time or another.

We also do custom, signed and numbered, limited edition screen printed posters for bands, including artists such as Willie Nelson, B.B. King (we printed show posters for a couple of his shows at the Belly Up prior to his passing), and collaborate with Scrojo (the show poster king of San Diego), who does all of the show posters for the Belly Up. Never a dull moment at the T-shirt Factory, and we always have a good time, doing what we love printing stuff.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
As with any business, there is always struggle, and one of the hardest obstacles has been hiring and maintaining a talented and hardworking staff, which I’m happy to say we certainly have at The T-shirt Factory. These guys are always excited and happy to dig into the next project, and truly love what they do.

The T-shirt Factory – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
With Dave’s connection to the music scene in San Diego, we do a lot of printing for bands, and just about everyone ends up here at some time or another. We also do custom, signed and numbered, limited edition screen printed posters for bands, including artists such as Willie Nelson, B.B. King (we printed show posters for a couple of his shows at the Belly Up prior to his passing), and collaborate with Scrojo (the show poster king of San Diego), who does all of the show posters for the Belly Up. Never a dull moment at the T-shirt Factory, and we always have a good time, doing what we love printing stuff.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
Purchasing our new printing presses and embroidery machines. When we bought the shop it still was using some older equipment, and it was a struggle to keep up with our workload and to stay competitive. We’ve jumped over that hurdle and are definitely up to speed with any of the competition.

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