Written by Mark Jaeger
Wednesday, 08 June 2016 21:00
Nobody will confuse the cooler-near-the-lake climate of Port Washington with the balmy breezes of the West Coast, but at least local residents can now dress like they spend their days on the beach.
Big Fish shirt shop has opened on Franklin Street in downtown Port Washington, offering a colorful array of beachware.
The shop is part of a small chain of stores in Michigan and Wisconsin.
“We make a lot of original T-shirts and sweatshirts promoting the area, Lake Michigan and Port Washington, as well as some that are just humorous,” said owner Ray Baladez, who has been in the shirt-stenciling business for three years.
“I like to say we can print anything from A to Z and 1 to 3.”
Pre-printed shirts are available in virtually any size but the possibilities for creativity are endless.
“If someone wants a shirt made with a stencil we have in stock, it takes about 10 seconds,” Baladez said.
Blank T-shirts are available in white, colors and wild tie-dyed patterns.
One way customers like to personalize their shirt is by adding their first or last name.
“It can be a fun souvenir,” Baladez said.
Despite the cool spring the area has “enjoyed,” he said about half of his sales have been T-shirts.
The other half has been sweatshirts and long-sleeved shirts, often eagerly purchased by out-of-town visitors who weren’t expecting breezes off the lake.
Baladez said the shop has been warmly welcomed.
“The number of people who stopped in during Port’s street festival convinced me we would be OK here,” he said.
Baladez said he hopes the shop capitalizes on the city’s tourist season, adding that the store will have appeal during the cooler months when customers are looking for localized gifts.
The shop is at 226 N. Franklin St.
Image Information: RACKS OF COLORFUL clothing are available at Big Fish shirt shop in Port Washington. Owner Ray Baladez showed some of the localized apparel. Photo by Mark Jaeger