Reddish Printing finds home on Adams StreetWritten by Chase Will | | firstname.lastname@example.org
If Toledo is a growing body, Max Reddish certainly knows where the heart is.
As part of a family that has been doing business in the city since 1909, beginning with his great-grandfather’s hardware store, Reddish said he opened Reddish Printing with the intention of celebrating the city’s potential.
“This is my town,” Reddish said. “I think if you’re going to make a profit off the community you should give back to the community as well.”
His journey began while working labor jobs at factories, fresh from his decision to eschew a college degree. His family ran Reddish Contact Sports Supply, already a popular brand with locals, but Reddish found his niche by discovering something the business didn’t produce.
“They always made screen printing available but never actually did it in house,” Reddish said. “So I said, ‘That’s an opportunity. I’ll buy some equipment and learn how to screen print.’”
With a business plan in mind, Reddish flew to Arizona to attend a school specializing in the craft. The new business had a humble beginning as he worked from a nook in the back of the family’s store. After five years, Reddish decided he wanted to expand into his own location.
He found the perfect spot at 1503 Adams St., right across from Manhattan’s, his favorite restaurant.
After investing in equipment and materials, Reddish set up shop in a “big bang” sort of way, he said, getting everything in at once and displaying T-shirts promoting the city.
Using his imagination paired with the printing skills he’s developed, Reddish can take a customer’s idea and create designs for their club, sporting team, organization or personal use.
Dave Crafts, who noticed Reddish’s work at a street sale booth during The Arts Commission’s summer Art Walks, frequently enlists him to create jerseys for a sand volleyball league and for students who served in the military.
“I have always been able to give Max a rough idea of what I need and he is able to translate my sporadic vision into a great product.” Crafts said. “Max’s commitment to and passion for Toledo is apparent in his designs, and you can see he truly loves his work.”
Reddish currently offers T-shirts, sweatshirts, baby clothing and more. In the coming months, he plans to offer custom pint glasses and drinkware, as well as sunglasses and summer attire.
Other plans moving forward involve creating a relaxing space in the front of the store for people to hang out, complete with new couches and possibly offering drip coffee.
Being creatively driven, Reddish also said he plans to repurpose the display space at the front of the store into a stage for local performers to play acoustic sets or for open-mic nights.
“I’m thinking of maybe adding a projector screen too, something to show movies on for customers,” he said.
One screening that immediately came to Reddish’s mind was WGTE’s “Toledo Stories,” a series of short films about the city’s history.
Part of this creativity in utilizing his space comes from the awareness of other businesses with multifaceted approaches to customer interests.
“Everyone seems to want to be interactive on multiple planes,” Reddish said. “You’re not just a bar, you’re a banquet hall. You’re not just selling crafts, you also have people there crafting. I don’t want this place to just be a print shop.”
Lending his space to other artists seems like a no-brainer, Reddish said. His walls display several works by a local painter, providing exposure to someone else who may have a dream waiting to see fruition.
Reddish said people often overlook Toledo’s friendly attitude and regional developments on the rise. He said the city has the famous Midwestern spirit, and newcomers are always welcomed and shown around.
“This is my city,” Reddish said. “I’ve been stomping around this area for 17 years. I’ve always had a love for it and I hate people who are hating on it.”