This is the second in an occasional series entitled: “Site Unseen.”
By Steve Wilder dotCANTON.com
There’s no flashing neon above an inviting storefront; just a small sign, along with a few others, fastened to an old brick wall next to an unappealing pair of heavy metal doors.
You’re at the same Collins Co. building that houses Antiques on the Farmington, it’s doorway maybe a couple hundred feet to the north. You’ll find a lot of history here, but not an ounce of glitz.
On the other side of the two metal doors you move forward into a narrow corridor and onto a very old and worn wooden floor, unsure of where you’re going until you spot a sign for the business you’re seeking and an arrow pointing the way. Windows on the wall to your right should provide a clear view of Bridge Street … if, that is, you could see through glass that’s covered with goodness knows how many decades of grime.
There are lots of exposed pipes, and when you look up you can’t miss an impressive, but not-made-for-Halloween web in the exposed beams above. Another sign, another arrow, and then you pass a stairway to somewhere. Finally you reach Collinsville Screen Printing & Embroidery.
Talk about a site unseen.
“I love it here,” says Linda Cournoyer, the owner of the business. “I was here before it was fashionable to be in Collinsville.”
According to her website, Cournoyer provides “custom T-shirt printing using both direct to garment and traditional multicolor screen printing.” She also does custom embroidery.
It’s all pretty simple. If you want to put words, names, numbers, logos, photographs, artwork and such onto apparel including T-shirts, jackets, polos, hats, etc., Cournoyer can do it for you.
She takes orders from businesses, athletic teams, bands and even families planning a reunion.
Cournoyer, who grew up in Farmington and now lives in Canton, has been in business for about 30 years, she says. She has been in this building for the last 16 years, but up until about two years ago she went about her work in space across the hall. The area she’s in now was occupied by well-known artist Garth Francis, who died suddenly at the age of 53 in January of 2009.
“He was a friend,” Cournoyer says. “When he passed two years ago, I wanted his space.”
Cournoyer says she has clients from “New York to Lake Champlain.” How, one wonders, do they find her?
“I’ve been doing it for 30 years,” she says. “There’s a lot of word of mouth.”
And, she adds, “I’m a perfectionist. I take pride in my work. If it’s not right, It’s not going out the door.”
Cournoyer’s studio is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. She said arrangements can be made for Saturday morning appointments.
Click here to see an earlier Site Unseen story.