In Dave and Michelle Plaza’s garage, there’s a paint-splattered floor and shelves filled with crates of colored ink. A nearby box contains a result of the artistic mess – a box of green hooded sweatshirts for the Woodland wrestling team.
“We’re kind of artists in denial,” Michelle Plaza, 43, said with a laugh.
The couple opened their screen printing and embroidery store, called Fire Pigs Designs, about four months ago. For now, they operate from the garage of their Woodland home. They hope to expand to a storefront by the summer.
Michelle Plaza said opening the store seemed like a “natural progression” for the couple. She had tried embroidery while making clothes for her youngest daughter. Dave Plaza, 50, is also artistic, she said. He paints skateboards in his spare time.
Ultimately, however, the transition to starting Fire Pigs Designs came after Dave Plaza lost his job with the Woodland Police Department in April.
“In my profession… they haven’t given me a lot of training in the real world. So at my age, opportunities weren’t knocking on the door, ”he said.
A few weeks later, the couple began taking screen printing classes with the intention of opening their own boutique. They invested approximately $ 15,000 in equipment, including a used screen printing machine, exposure unit and conveyor dryer.