DRACUT — Ann Tinnirella first opened her print shop a decade ago, on Pleasant Street. The space — about 800 square feet — is where she settled in and worked for two years.
Then came an opportunity to rent a spot on Lakeview Avenue. Tinnirella, of Tyngsboro, recalled feeling excited about it but didn't think she could afford it. She took the leap anyway, and spent the next eight years there.
Now, Carbon Colors has a new home at 1327 Lakeview Ave. — in a building Tinnirella purchased nearly a year ago from Krista Loucraft of Ryan's Hairstyling.
Tinnirella stood in the busy full-service print shop last Tuesday during an open house she and her staff organized for their supporters.
It was just after 4 p.m., and more than a dozen or so friends and customers chatted away over refreshments. Two Red Sox tickets and a free iPad were being raffled off. Her team was also giving away complimentary black-and-white towels with "Carbon Colors" embroidered on them.
"I don't want people coming here today to talk business. I want to say 'thank you' to them," said Tinnirella, 50. "It's the customers that made this happen. Thank you for me being where I am today."
Carbon Colors offers commercial printing, signs and banners, and more. They also now work on vehicle signage.
Every month, the business offers specials outlined on the website. In June, they offer 10% off all calendar orders and, in July, 15% off all brochure orders.
"We like being here because it's so much more organized. It's more professional," Tinnirella said of the new location. "The work flows better."
Tinnirella's son, Jacob Tinnirella, works with her. So do her nephews. Mike Dion is the production manager and Joshua Bergeron handles the apparel.
Bergeron, 28, of Tyngsboro, has been working for his aunt for about eight years. He said he's watched the business grow in that time.
"I actually painted the walls in the old place, so that's kind of how I started," Bergeron said. "Then I started doing deliveries for her, and then I kind of worked my way up to designing. Now we're doing embroidery."
Diane Wojcik, of Tyngsboro, is one of Tinnirella's former employees-turned-customers. She said she's had towels and shirts designed at Carbon Colors for her children, Stephanie and John. On Wednesday, she wore a bright pink sweater with the Carbon Colors logo.
"I told her (Tinnirella) I'm her biggest cheerleader," Wojcik said. "She's a great business lady. She aims to please, and she does. This is her knack. This is her thing, and she's so good at it."
Frank Provencher of F.E. Provencher Insurance Agency said he's used Carbon Colors' services for business cards and other items. He walked over to a desk and lifted a large calendar with his insurance agency's name.
Provencher said he always encouraged Tinnirella to push forward in business.
"She listened. She does it all. She did the right thing," he said. "She works hard, and anybody that works hard will make it."
Tinnirella said she's learned a lot from Provencher. She added that she wouldn't be here today without her loyal customers.
"Dracut is very good to me," she said. "Dracut businesses do business with Dracut people. They're amazing, but we've definitely broadened out a little bit more in the Merrimack Valley."
Frank Antifonario, of Dracut, stopped by the event with his wife, Rachel. He wanted to show his support. Antifonario, the incoming president of the Dracut Rotary Club, said the group has used Carbon Colors for its 'Dining Around Dracut' event booklets, posters, tickets, and more.
"We support Ann," he said. "She's always been there when we need her."
Follow Amaris Castillo on Twitter @AmarisCastillo.