Terry Matthews launched Terry’s Tees in his garage in 1991. The business grew exponentially over the years and eventually relocated to 1359 E. 4th Street. This past summer, his daughter-in-law Whitney partnered with Alex Hamilton to take over the family business.
Alex married Whitney’s childhood best friend, Ann-Michael Hamilton, and together with Whitney’s husband, Tyler, they are restoring the business to its pre-pandemic condition.
“The four of us bought the business from them, and while Alex and I are running it, we often lean on our spouses when we need extra help – which has been a lot lately,” Whitney said. “They started to scale back after Covid, but Alex and I are back up to running their production when they had an entire staff of nine. We are running with three people and looking to add more soon.”
Terry’s Tees specializes in screenprinting and embroidery, offering t-shirts for businesses, churches, schools, local events, and more. They also sell custom promotional items such as pens, bags, and, most recently, cups.
Whitney said Terry opened the business out of a desire to work for himself.
“This was interesting to him, a challenge, and something new,” she said. “He taught himself everything about screen printing, from the graphic design to the printing process. He grew this into the operation it is today.”
She said they were motivated for different reasons. Alex purchased O’Bryan’s Bar and Grill two years ago but wanted something with more daytime hours.
“I was a teacher and school counselor for 10 years. I was looking for something that would give me time and energy for my two kiddos,” she said. “This seemed like a good opportunity for the four of us to go in together and make it something of our own.
The four have called Owensboro home since birth and consider it a great place to raise their family. Whitney said providing a service to the community has always been their dream.
“It’s so cool to walk around town and see shirts we have made over time,” Whitney said. “We just appreciate all the customers that have stayed loyal through the transition and all the new customers that have come on board. One of the biggest questions we get is, what are you changing about the business, and right now its nothing. Terry built a brand over the years and the customers have an expectation when it comes to their product.”
She said the only change folks will notice is new faces around the shop.
“We are so grateful for the opportunity to serve the community and look forward to continuing the tradition that is Terry’s Tees,” Whitney said.
The Chamber Member of the Week program is a Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce membership benefit. Founded in 1913, the Greater Owensboro Chamber of Commerce has worked to provide valuable benefits and services to member businesses and individuals for over a century.
Today, with a membership base of nearly 1,000, the Chamber is a guiding force in community and business development initiatives, serving as the center of business advocacy for the Greater Owensboro region.
To learn more about becoming the Chamber Member of the Week or inquire about Chamber membership, contact Shelly Nichols, Chamber Vice President, at 270-926-1860 or [email protected].