Print-on-Demand Shop in Detroit Expands State-of-the-Art Facility with Support from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation
MyLocker Founder and Owner Robert Hake has been in the printing business for more than 20 years. Since its launch in 2004, MyLocker has experienced tremendous growth, but the company’s beginnings are humble.
Before taking up shop in its current 250,000-square-foot building in Detroit, MyLocker sprouted its roots in Robert’s home garage. The company started as a traditional screen-printing business, working with parents of schools and organizations to print and deliver T-shirts. Robert quickly discovered that parents were running into inventory issues—ordering not enough or too many of one size. His team put their heads together to create an online application that takes the inventory out of the hands of parents and instead provides them with a virtual storefront, allowing individuals to customize and print their own shirts without having to order in bulk.
Fast forward under this print on-demand model, and MyLocker has experienced consistent exponential growth. After outgrowing Robert’s basement, MyLocker moved operations to a building in Roseville. After a few years there, the company moved to a new building in Warren, before moving again to a different building in the same city. In 2014, MyLocker made the move to Detroit, where it’s currently housed.
After several years of operation in Detroit, MyLocker quickly outgrew that building and came to a fork in the road: move locations again, which would be difficult with large production equipment, or expand the current location. MyLocker went with the second option, and they did so with help from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation’s (MEDC) Capital Access team.
Building expansions are an overhaul, and doing so certainly isn’t cheap, so MyLocker turned to the MEDC for funding. With support and guidance from the MEDC, as well as Invest Detroit, MyLocker doubled its building size to bring the total square footage up to 250,000 square feet.
“MyLocker wouldn’t be what it is today without the support of the MEDC and Invest Detroit,” said Robert. “They’ve been critical in assisting us with the rapid growth we’ve experienced. The people we’ve encountered as a result of staying in Detroit and doing business have really helped fuel our business.”
Today, with over 20 years in the business, MyLocker considers itself to be the print personalization expert. Its state-of-the-art production facility provides customers with the highest quality materials at the lowest cost. In-stock items are customized within 24 hours, often leaving the facility on the same day. MyLocker’s catalog extends beyond apparel to include custom cell phone cases, laptop covers, blankets, coffee mugs and more.
Utilizing funding made available through the MEDC’s Capital Access team, MyLocker was able to expand its facility and continue operations in Detroit. Every day, the MEDC is helping companies like MyLocker expand and grow their businesses. To learn more about the programs and services available, please visit michiganbusiness.org/access-capital.