Two guys from a tire shop walk into a screenprinting business ...
Jeremy Dollarhide and Jared Michaelson had met working at Peerless Tires in Gering, staying in touch even though they went on to different jobs. The two decided they wanted to come together to open a business, and chose to go into the screenprinting industry, opening Logoz in Gering nearly 10 years ago. Dollarhide, who has an art degree and worked as a designer at Scottsbluff Screenprinting after the tire shop, would be the artistic side of the business and Michaelson would handle the business aspect and learn how to print Dollarhide’s designs.
“It started out just the two of us for almost two years,” Dollarhide said. Over time, the business has grown. Once everyone returns from layoffs due to the coronavirus pandemic, there will be six people working full time at the shop.
Choosing a location in Gering was a natural fit for Michaelson and Dollarhide. The business has sponsored a number of events and youth sports teams as a way of giving back to the community and also getting their own brand out.
“We knew we wanted to support Gering,” Michaelson said. “We like Gering, and we didn’t want to bail on them and go to Scottsbluff ... We thought we could stay here, and people would come to us, and we were right.”
Continuing to support Gering teams and Gering events is important to Logoz.
“It’s very important to support the Gering sports and the Gering athletes to try to provide something for them at home where they didn’t have that before,” Michaelson said. “Other Gering businesses are supportive as well, where being involved in the schools and everywhere else, we’re maybe a little more in the face of everybody. We try to support them because they support us.”
The 10 years has been a learning process for the Logoz team, learning when to grow, when to add employees, how to train those employees, how to keep up with trends in the industry, all the way back to watching YouTube videos to learn how to screenprint in the first place. Dollarhide and Ryan Hutchinson are the designers with Michaelson and the rest of the team keeping up with the production of merchandise and apparel screenprinting, embroidery and engraving.
“I think you’re always nervous, no matter which side of that you’re on,” Michaelson said of the early days. “Both of us were successful in everything we’d done, so that didn’t scare us too bad. We knew we were going to make it work.”
One might ask how a person with an art degree found himself working a tire shop. Dollarhide explains that his dad ran a tire shop for many years, so the fit was natural.
“I learned at an early age,” Dollarhide said. “My entire life, he ran a tire shop, so I learned how to change tires when I was probably 9. By the time I was old enough to work, I could change tires with the best of them, and I already knew the tire world.”
Shortly after graduating from college, Dollarhide went to work doing artwork for an aerospace company in Denver, When his son was born premature, the time needed to take care of him didn’t allow Dollarhide to stay with that job, prompting the family to move to Gering for help from their family. When they moved to Gering, there were no graphic design jobs open, so Dollarhide went to work at Peerless. The bond built with Michaelson during those days led to Logoz down the line.
Canceled events such as car shows, family reunions and any type of gathering during the pandemic stalled production in the shop, but the owners put together a plan.
“From the day that schools decided they were canceled, the phones literally just stopped ringing,” Dollarhide said. “It went from 60 phone calls a day to one or two. Even the telemarketers stopped calling.
“Between the school stopping first, then a lot of the businesses were closed, so they didn’t need clothes for businesses. Car shows, all the summer events, the color dash, the runs, the family gatherings, all that stopped. It stopped pretty dramatically for us.”
Michaelson and Dollarhide say they appreciate the support they’ve received from their families and their customer base, all the way back to the first invoice for a printing job they had, printing T-shirts for a Panhandle Explosion basketball tournament put on by Brandon Cunningham and Josh Guerue.
“It’s been a lot of work,” Michaelson said. “It’s been a lot of hours. It’s been a lot of support from our families to get this far.”