‘We have a community that believes in us’
By BRANDON HURLEY
A new business to the Square should allow residents to let their personalities shine.
Through a passion for creativity, a chance opportunity and a strong customer base, Jen Badger and Shine On Designs have made the leap out of her Bagley basement onto the north side of the Square.
Approaching the business’ fourth anniversary, she no longer is forced to operate out of her home — nor does she have to rely on word of mouth and occasional pop-up shops.
Shine On produces and creates screen-printed and embroidered clothing, accessories and promotional materials and has a more than decade-long history in the area.
Badger took over Shannon Screen Printing from Karen Shannon in 2013 after a few years as a stay at home mom. She previously worked as a dental hygienist in Perry, but didn’t want to return to the daily commute.
That’s when the opportunity to buy arose. Admittedly, she didn’t exactly know what she was getting herself into.
“I didn’t know the first thing about screen printing, but it seemed like a good business plan,” the mother of four said. “I took a leap of faith.”
“I’ve always had an appreciation for art,” Badger added. “This combines the technical side of it and plays off the mechanical side but it also allows me to be creative.”
Her new business was small — she worked out of her basement in Bagley — but leaned on a loyal customer base.
A majority of the items are made custom. Badger believes in strong relationships with her customers as well as dedicated community pride.
“I love being in a community that supports small businesses,” Badger said. “I have a lot of connections through my kids and it makes it easier.
“We have a community that believes in us.”
She rebranded the company Shine On Designs, a name that has extra significance for Badger.
While mowing one afternoon, a Needtobreathe song (her favorite band, by the way) came streaming through her headphones.
It sparked an idea.
She had been mulling over new names for a while when she heard the song.
The lyrics encourage people to let their light shine and embrace change:
Shine on, shine on and onto something new. It’s long and overdue. I will remember you.
Shine on, shine on. Let the others see you’ve got your victory, will you remember me?
It was the perfect description for what Badger was trying to do with screen printing.
“I wanted a way to encapsulate our vision. Yes, it’s a business, but we want our customers to let their inner light shine,” Badger said. “Our goal through our products is for you to send your images, ideas and beliefs out into the world and let your light shine. We want to help people shine on.”
Those people — friends, families, strangers, not just customers — are what power Badger’s business. She often lets her clients come up with an idea or she’ll take a general outline from a client and make it her own.
Badger’s best friend, Neil Kegley, has been on board for a while to help steer the proverbial ship. He worked several months alongside Badger unpaid, volunteering his time to help get the business off the ground.
Then production began to boom.
She’ll create anything from Greene County and other local high school-related shirts to local race team shirts, sorority shirts, promotional materials and even a custom shirt for your best friend. Hatch an idea and Badger can execute it.
“About a year ago, it became evident we were outgrowing my basement,” Badger said. “Through a lot of trial and error we have been able to grow quite a bit.”
The move to Jefferson will open up several new avenues. Badger replaced her production equipment and set up her own retail space, something she couldn’t do at home.
She can also separate the two processes: retail on the main floor while production is downstairs.
“Partnering with the community is hugely important,” she said. “I married a farmer so I didn’t pick where I live and I didn’t grow up here, but I love the people here. Being in Jefferson and on the Square will give people a lot more access.”
Though the business has yet to open its doors in Jefferson, Badger plans to welcome customers in August, with regular hours in the neighborhood of 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and yet-to-be-determined hours on Saturdays.
She hopes to be flexible as well, allowing residents to come and go at convenient times.
It all goes back to relationships.
“I’ve always been a people person,” Badger said, “but being able to work with the community and learn what makes them tick, how they think, that’s what I really enjoy.”