Ten years ago, Krebs noticed how disorganized the school spirit wear system was — people didn’t always get their product, it was in the wrong size and the items were not very attractive. She figured there had to be a better system for spirit wear and wanted to try it out, so she started All Things Athletic — a school spirit wear company that provides spirit wear for around 40 schools and other organizations.
Although she spent hours watching experts make spirit wear in a warehouse, logos were printed on crooked, colors were put on the wrong way and entire orders would be messed up.
She doesn’t make the product now, but there is still a lot for Krebs to do. One of the biggest jobs is deciding what kind of spirit wear to produce. It takes talking to students at East and in college to decide what design they will do next. They try to model all of their designs off of the trends and what the students want.
“[From observing in the warehouse I learned,] that it’s very hard work, it involves some very fragrant chemicals and is very long and tedious work,” Krebs said. “There’s no air conditioning in the summer.”
Krebs has an appreciation for the employees and realizes how hard the work they do is. She tries to make the process easier with automated machines that place of the ink on the shirt for the workers. For some designs though, you can’t use the machine and have to do it by hand — squeegeeing ink up and down the surface of a screen to make the image stick.
“Yesterday, I put 85 names on the back of the swim team sweatshirts — anytime there is a name on the back of [our product] it was done by hand,” Krebs said. “It’s a labor of love, a lot of people think screen printing is easy, and it’s not, it’s an art that takes years to perfect.”