Since opening its doors in late 2020, KNOCKOUT Prints has delivered a customer-focused service experience that extends far beyond the industry standard.
Literal ‘Hands-On’ Approach
KNOCKOUT’s services include logo design, screen printing and embroidery services, vinyl sign applications, personalized promotional products, and more. Unlike many of its competitors, who offer a primarily web-based platform for placing and shipping orders, owner Shannon Thomas and her team prefer a more “hands-on” sales approach.
“I want customers to come in and see what we have to offer with their own eyes, rather than relying on an online photo and description that isn’t always accurate,” she explained. “There’s real value in allowing your clients to touch and feel the fabrics before they place an order. It’s just one way we try to stand out.”
Another way KNOCKOUT Prints stands out from others in the field is due to what Thomas calls “our storefront appeal.” Located at 4007 West Algonquin Road, the shop’s large, colorful sign is highly visible to passing drivers and has proven quite successful at drawing them inside.
“I’d say 90% of our customers first learned about us by simply driving past the shop,” she added.
Once inside, customers encounter a welcoming, inviting storefront space with an abundance of natural light, comfortable seating, a range of product samples, and a multi-media design center where Thomas provides design and consulting services for clients who request them.
The shop is also dotted with examples of its work: commercial apparel with logos, sports team and other customized apparel, and a range of promotional products where businesses may apply their name, logo, or other identifiers.
Moreover, the space is available for group events – such as children’s birthday parties – where participants are invited to design their own T-shirts or similar item.
“Our space is functional, professional, and versatile,” Thomas said with pride. “It’s a reflection of our overall approach to customer satisfaction.”
Fulfilling a Lifelong Passion
KNOCKOUT Prints is the tangible result of Thomas’ lifelong interest in graphic arts, combined with her insistence on being able to live her “second half” on her own terms. After spending nearly 25 years in the finance and technology industries, Thomas lost her job in early 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Facing an uncertain future, Thomas decided it was time to follow her passion.
“I’ve been fascinated with logos and graphics since I was 13, and losing my job finally convinced me to follow the path I had always wanted to travel. Plus, I told myself my next career was going to be something over which I had complete control.”
KNOCKOUT Prints was born.
Counts Rolling Meadows as Client
The shop’s client base is comprised primarily of organizations with 50 or more employees, including construction companies, community groups, local businesses, and municipalities – including Rolling Meadows.
KNOCKOUT Prints has proudly provided screen printing and embroidery for the City’s Public Works Department and, recently, supplied customized T-shirts for Independence Day parade volunteers. It also designed the decorative street banners currently hanging from streetlight posts around town, and is providing the souvenir mugs sold at this year’s Wine-Down by the Creek event (August 13th).
“It’s a pleasure to offer our support for City initiatives, considering how great Rolling Meadows has been to us,” Thomas recalled. “City staff members, especially, have been amazing in terms of helping us do what was needed to get the business up and running. Everyone we’ve worked with has been extremely helpful.”
‘Next Level’ Operations
Thomas recently completed a three-month business development program through Next Level Northwest, a nonprofit business accelerator established in 2018 by Rolling Meadows and four other northwest suburban communities. The process, she explained, was eye-opening.
“As a business owner, it’s far too easy to immerse yourself in every little detail. The Next Level Northwest program helped affirm that my role, as owner, is to view the big picture,” she said. “Too often, I was operating from a defensive posture and responding to anything that might happen. Now, my approach is more organized and thoughtful, and my business is better off because of it.”
4007 W. Algonquin Road
Rolling Meadows, IL 60008