So for this Mother's Day we want to give our attention to a super cool screen printer named Sharon Tolmachoff. She happens to be the face of Sharon’s Fine Prints on Instagram, has a small Etsy shop, and runs these operations out of Goodyear, AZ. Sharon is the oldest of 5 kids and an aunt to 3 really awesome kiddos. This print shop has a great story of its beginning in 2003. Her dad came home with this giant machine and told Sharon’s mom that they were going to start a screen printing company
Right then her mom signed her up for classes on different computer programs to make designs for shirts. Sharon remembers being 16 sitting in a class full of adults in their mid to late 40s thinking “this is a job for grownups!” She did the graphic designs for a while but with school, softball, and working on their family dairy she didn’t really have a lot of time. Her mom was really into it while Sharon was still young. Her mom would print for our softball teams, other people’s softball teams, 4-H clubs, golf tournaments, and high school events. She was always drumming up business any chance she got. Since she worked a regular 9-5 job she would sometimes be up all night printing. Sometimes Sharon remembers a specific time she had a huge last minute order and she and I stayed up until 3 in the morning printing these shirts.
Sharon just remembers thinking “goodness this is so crazy, we are crazy!” After high school, she went to beauty school, made herself a career in doing hair and after doing hair for a decade she decided to explore other options. She worked for a mortuary transport company, a moving company as a customer service rep installing furniture into model homes for newly built neighborhoods all over the country, and then moved into the nuclear power industry. While Sharon was off on her venture finding her way in life her mom slowed down on the whole printing operation. All five siblings including Sharon were already grown and doing their own things in life. Her mom didn’t have the softball teams to print for anymore or the 4-H groups to make shirts for. She also became a grandmother so that took precedence over many things she spent time on. But she never sold the equipment.
In August of 2018, Sharon decided to take over the screen printing company from mom. She had been printing random shorts for concerts or river trips for friends and figured she could make some extra money on the side. Her mom was super supportive of it and said, “Maybe you’ll grow it and that can be your full-time gig.” Her brother helped set up the washout station, her sisters would help develop ideas for new designs, and for Christmas her dad built an awesome screen storage rack. In March of this year, Sharon was given the opportunity to print full-time and went all in. Sharon’s mom has been her support group and mentor throughout it all. She understands how much work goes into a print job and is showing the business side of everything which is what Sharon likes to call the really hard work. Her mom taught her a few tricks and gives Sharon tips on how to make a print job go off without a hitch. She’s really gone above and beyond with everything that is screen printing. She has even set Sharon up with vendors and some of her old customers.
When Sharon is not printing she tries to spend as much time with her family as possible. She doesn’t have her own kids yet but she soaks up every moment she can with her niece and nephews like it’s the last and with inheriting the print operation from her mom, she gets to print for them on all their special occasions. A lot of her inspiration for designs comes from being around the kiddos as well!
Big Thanks to Sharon for sharing her story with us and letting us know a little behind the background of how Sharons_Fine_Prints came to be.