Printing for change.
Ten years ago, a friend of Rachaad Howard needed graphic T-shirts printed for his church. Not one to leave a friend in need, Howard went to Walmart, bought their iron-on kits, and ironed on a design he created for the 50 T-shirts. A graphic designer by trade, he spent many hours over the next few years mastering the craft. He has turned all that time into what is now Cream City Print Lounge.
Throughout the years, Howard has created several brands, attended festivals and street events, and printed for well-known companies like Bon Ton and Summerfest. Currently, Cream City Print Lounge’s clients include Kohls and Payless.
Creating an Experience
Still in its infancy, Rachaad Howard created Cream City Print Lounge a year and a half ago to create a fun and inviting experience with apparel and screen printing in the City of West Allis. These experiences include birthday printing parties, Friday karaoke, and Print and Sip.
Print and Sip brings you and your friends together for an evening of drinks, design, and creation, leaving you with an original T-shirt you create yourself.
Printing for Change
With recent social justice movements, Cream City Print Lounge has became part of the change. Howard began creating graphic tees that promote and help spread the voice of change. Those T-shirts caught the eye of Kohls and have helped spread the message on a larger scale. With the motto of “say it on the shirt,” Howard believes this is a positive way of expressing yourself versus social media postings that may cause arguments and create negativity.
Rachaad Howard is also involved with the homeless community. He donates any T-shirts that cannot be sold at the end of the month to various organizations that support the homeless. Howard also teaches screen printing to youth and to other entrepreneurs. In June, he will be partnering with Courage MKE, an organization that is a licensed group home for displaced LGBTQ+ youth, creating unique shirts while donating all the proceeds to them.
Why West Allis
When it came to setting up shop, West Allis is the place Cream City Print Lounge chose to call home.
“I always liked the vibe and I loved that (West Allis) was putting plans in place to make it better here. And that’s what brought me here. I want to be a part of something that’s creating new spaces and atmosphere for a new crowd of people,” said owner Howard. “Everyone supports me here.”
A lot has changed since the days of using Walmart’s iron-on kits and selling out of the trunk of his car outside of bars. Inspired by his children and motivated by his experience not having a lot growing up himself, Howard believes in never giving up and continuing to push forward, even in a pandemic. Being resourceful and asking himself “How can I be better?” makes Cream City Print Lounge what is it today. Always striving to be better, Howard is looking forward to opportunities in the future, including a mobile print service van where live printing can be done on-site.
“I plan on staying here for awhile,” said Howard.
Print Your Own
For bulk orders, to print your own T-shirt, to schedule an event, or for more information, please visit www.creamcityprintlounge.com.