Al's T-shirts, Signs and More

Al Kitchen offers school uniform shirts, but customized shirts are his specialty

Albert Kitchen, center, and his staff and family members, Alramon Kitchen, left, and Albert D. Kitchen, with school uniform shirts at the business in east Gainesville.

Elizabeth Hamilton/Special to the Guardian
Published: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Wednesday, August 7, 2013 at 3:49 p.m.

Parents looking for affordable school uniform polo-type shirts, community and sports organizations and businesses looking for affordable lettering on their uniforms need to look no further than Al's T-shirts, Signs and More.

In its 17th year, Al's T-shirts is gearing up for another year of providing an array of goods and services, including school uniform shirts, customized shirts for businesses, faith-based, Greek, sports and other organizations, lettered uniforms, graphic design products and more.

"We have had school uniform polo T-shirts since the beginning of July because we listened to our customers who have requested over the past several years that they don't like waiting to the last minute to buy the shirts," said Albert Kitchen, owner of the business, adding that although he sells a lot of school uniform shirts, it is not that lucrative to his bottom line.

He said as a small businessman, it is hard for him to profit from school uniform shirts like big stores, but he does it because it helps a lot of people in the community.

Kitchen, whose business is located in the Northeast Industrial Park at 3019 NE 20th Way, said if he can't be found at his shop or in the community, those interested can arrange to buy shirts by calling 352-222-6791. He will deliver them and he also offers a layaway plan.

Kitchen said he has small- to extra large child-sized shirts and small- to 4X adult-sized shirts. He has $20 shirt deals for children and $25 shirt deals for adults. Kitchen said his shirts come direct from reputable manufacturers, such as Gildan Activewear Inc. and Hanesbrands Inc., two of the leading manufacturers of 100 percent cotton T-shirts and polo-type shirts in the U.S.

Kitchen said his business is family-operated, with help from Maria Kitchen, his wife of 28 years, and his children, Albert Kitchen, 31; Alramon Kitchen, 21; and Alexia Kitchen, 18; along with a nephew, Alex Word, 25.

Kitchen said the business is trying to increase its sales in the lettering and uniform part of the business.

"We can put names and numbers on uniforms and we can do rush orders, where we will have uniforms or whatever ready the same day," said Kitchen. "We do custom shirts with lettering for almost anything."

Kitchen said he is encouraging other small business owners to stop getting air-brushed lettered shirts for their businesses and to start getting shirts made that look more professional.

"That is something I am really pushing right now," Kitchen said.

Ernest "JoJo" Mosley, owner of Mosley Building Inc., has been using Kitchen's services for eight years. He said Kitchen has done all of his company shirts and logos and he has referred Kitchen to many other businesses. Mosley, a deacon at Friendship Baptist church, said Kitchen has also made banners, signs and picnic shirts for his church.

"He does a great job all of the time and he has very reasonable and affordable prices," Mosley said.

Kitchen said the keys to his success are simple.

"I am a professional, and I, along with my staff, take pride in what we do," Kitchen said. "We take our work serious and we are serious about satisfying our customers."

For more information, call 352-222-6791.

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