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4:17 PM Tue, Oct. 23rd

Customized embroidery caps Kingman

Leroy Butler Jr., seated above, is owner of Lee’s Uniforms and Embroidery. He and his assistant, Billie Bear, watch closely as the store’s garment printer bonds a local cabinet company’s logo to a T-shirt. Butler said the company, Timberwolf Woodworking, was responsible for installing his store’s numerous cabinets.  At bottom left, Bear holds a T-shirt sporting the image of Butler’s twin nephews, Dylan and Evan Steadman. Butler said such custom T-shirts take only about five minutes each to produce. And, lower right, Lee’s Uniforms and Embroidery is capable of embroidering or printing almost any image on any part of a baseball cap. The store carries more than 100 varieties of blank caps just waiting to be customized.<br>
JAMES CHILTON/Miner

Leroy Butler Jr., seated above, is owner of Lee’s Uniforms and Embroidery. He and his assistant, Billie Bear, watch closely as the store’s garment printer bonds a local cabinet company’s logo to a T-shirt. Butler said the company, Timberwolf Woodworking, was responsible for installing his store’s numerous cabinets. At bottom left, Bear holds a T-shirt sporting the image of Butler’s twin nephews, Dylan and Evan Steadman. Butler said such custom T-shirts take only about five minutes each to produce. And, lower right, Lee’s Uniforms and Embroidery is capable of embroidering or printing almost any image on any part of a baseball cap. The store carries more than 100 varieties of blank caps just waiting to be customized.<br> JAMES CHILTON/Miner

KINGMAN - Like father, like son: Less than two months after Leroy Butler sold his hardware business, his son, Leroy Jr., is keeping the family dynasty going with a new store in a new industry.

Lee's Uniforms & Embroidery at 3900 Stockton Hill Road, Suite O, opened about two weeks ago and is one of only a handful of embroidery businesses in town.

The store carries a wide selection of T-shirts, sweatshirts, hoodies and jackets, all tailored specifically to meet uniform requirements for all local public schools.

"Since my dad's been here 35 years, we want to continue our service to the community," Butler said. "We have all the school uniforms for every school. This is the first year they're required, and we wanted to be the biggest in town as far as having the shirts ready to go."

Lee's also caters to Kingman Regional Medical Center, offering a variety of off-the-rack Dickies brand medical scrubs.

"We have the full line - women's, men's, lab coats," Butler said. "Right now, we're also getting into firemen's uniforms, and we're looking at getting into police uniforms and eventually postal uniforms, once we can find a supplier. We want our business to grow to carry every type of uniform."

But while Butler's primary business is meant for schools and the hospital, his business also is capable of doing nearly any kind of custom work, as well.

"We've already done work for a few bowling teams," he said. "Our goal there is to get into the baseball teams and the bowling teams."

With more than 100 colors of thread, the store's embroidering machine can reproduce almost any team or corporate logo.

Butler also has a garment printer capable of bonding digital images directly to an article of clothing.

"We can do photo-quality printing on shirts," he said. "It actually dyes the fabric. It won't bleach out; it won't fade."

Lee's also performs screen printing, the process of adhering words and logos made of a vinyl-like substance to T-shirts and sweatshirts.

Butler noted that while screen printing doesn't hold up as well under repeated washings, it's sometimes the best option for getting bright letters on dark fabrics.

Butler's machines are capable of printing and embroidering on baseball hats as well.

"We have more than 100 different styles of baseball caps in stock," he said.

"We also carry the military hats - we can do everything from World War I to the Iraq War, army, navy, whatever.

"With these machines, you can print down the bill of a hat, too," he said.

Lee's places no upper or lower limit on the number of orders it can handle. Butler offers discount rates on bulk orders, and prides himself on fast turnaround.

"We can do one, we can do 100," he said. "It takes 30 seconds to print it, 30 seconds to set it, and it's ready to go."

Lee's Uniforms & Embroidery is open 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. For more information or to place an order, call (928) 692-5337 or e-mail leesuniforms@frontiernet.net.