Growing a business often takes a lot of time.
But for Becky Benedict, a second-grade teacher at Sangamon Elementary School and mother to three children, growing a business making custom designed apparel has been a success that is last on her list.
“Between my family and kids at school, this is usually the third wheel,” Benedict said.
Growing up with parents who also ran a screen printing and embroidery business, Benedict began her own business, NC Printing, when she and her husband, Chad, moved from western Illinois to Chrisman.
“I started when I was pregnant with Noah,” she said. “He’s 18 now. I was an offshoot of my parents’ business. We moved right before the school year started, so I [printed shirts] that year and stayed home with him.”
“It was pretty small those first few years.”
But when the Benedicts moved to Mahomet, NC Printing “kind of exploded,” according to Becky.
She began by making camp shirts for Chad’s basketball programs.
“Once you do that with one coach, it lends itself to going into other programs,” she said. “Knowing how the sports world works helps a little bit.”
Benedict also credits NC Printing’s success to being part of the school system where she has access to teachers and parents, who may need T-shirts for church groups, daycares, businesses or events.
“Things are so interconnected in a small town,” she said.
For the first time in 18 years, Benedict started an NC Printing Facebook page in the summer of 2017 to get the word out about her projects and to help facilitate orders.
To handle the printing load, which sometimes reaches up to 500 shirts in an order, Benedict has hired a few helpers who can put in the labor hours when Becky cannot fit it into her schedule.
“I am thankful for the workers I have,” she said. “It wasn’t supposed to grow this much.”
Part of that larger load has been producing the orders for Friday night’s Mahomet-Seymour Basketball programs’ Coaches vs. Cancer games.
Benedict filled the order for pink T-shirts for students and community members to wear to the game. The shirts, which cost $10, will be available to purchase during lunch hour at MSHS Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. Leftover shirts will be available for purchase before the girls’ and boys’ games, which begin at 6 and 7:30 p.m., respectively.
Proceeds for the T-shirts go to the American Cancer Society.
Benedict said she enjoys the creative aspect of the business.
“ A lot of people don’t want to take the time to design their own stuff, so I get to do a bit of designing,” she said. “I like coming up with ideas.”
While NC Printing produces a lot of T-shirts, Benedict said it can also print on sweatshirts, uniforms, bags and some other apparel. Embroidery is usually referred to another local business, although at times, Benedict looks to her parents’ business for help.