August 21, 2018
Manufacturing insights

WooSox merchandise flying off Guertin Graphics' shelves

Photo | Zachary Comeau
WooSox hats and T-shirts are available for sale at Guertin Graphics.
Photo | Zachary Comeau
John Guertin displays a WooSox T-shirt at his Southbridge Street shop.

Worcester has had baseball fever ever since the Pawtucket Red Sox signed a letter of intent with the city to build a potential $90-million ballpark in the Canal District. Some businesses, including Guertin Graphics, are beginning to pounce on that news. The 50-year-old company immediately began producing Worcester Red Sox merchandise, including hats and T-shirts. John Guertin let the WBJ inside the shop for a sneak peak at the merchandise, which has been flying off the shelves.

Is this official clothing for the team?

It's not official. We're calling it support gear. Everyone is so excited about it, and they want all these different T-shirts and hats. We came up with a few logos and people seem to love it.

Why did you start doing so soon?

The reason I jumped on board so quickly is that we're less than 100 yards from our front door to the proposed stadium.

Are other Canal District businesses as excited as you guys are?

It's going to be great for the businesses around Kelley Square. We're going to clean up this neighborhood. Everyone on Southbridge Street is working on the front of their buildings and cleaning up their areas.

When did you decide to make WooSox merchandise?

People have been talking about it for the past two or three years. We're right next to the site, and people have been talking to us and telling us the team would be coming to the neighborhood. A city official here would come around or there or people with knowledge of the talks would say something to us. A lot of it was all talk and speculation, and a lot of things had to be cleared up. There still is.

When it was announced Friday, that's when we really ramped it up.

How many pieces of merchandise have you produced so far?

Probably close to 1,000 hats and T-shirts combined. Our website got more than 20,000 hits. That's a record for us, a small business in Worcester.

So you've been busy?

There's been a line pretty much since Friday. As we print and embroider it, people are buying it.

You sold out of hats Monday. Will you be making more?

Absolutely. We'll be making them as our machines become available in-between our current contracted jobs. Merchandise will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Do you hope to eventually do any work for the team itself?

I'm hoping we get it. I'm going after it. If they're doing anything at the stadium and need it in a rush, we can do it for them. It's still a few years away, so this is just to satisfy everyone's palate.

This interview was edited and conducted by WBJ Staff Writer Zachary Comeau.

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