Punching the Clock: To a Tee

There’s no way I could ever own a business that involved making personalized T-shirts. The temptation to build an entire wardrobe around my long list of rejected bumper sticker phrases would be too great. Eventually I’d have something like “You think I’m ugly? You should see my girlfriend” stenciled across my back each day of the week. I’d have way too much fun to ever turn a profit.

Thankfully, John Blenis has a little more self control. But not much.

“You can tell I’m a child of the 70s,” he said with a laugh, pointing to a rack of retro shirts he clearly designed for the few left who still admit to enjoying records and a good game of Frisbee.

Blenis owns and operates Fine Line Graphics, a custom clothing print and design shop on 14 Prentice St. in Norwich. A graphic designer by trade, he started printing T-shirts and clothing from his home about six years ago after working in the early 1990s with the late Kevin Hopson, a Norwich resident who did it as a hobby.

“I just became fascinated with it,” said Blenis, who spent 20 years in the private and public sector as a graphic artist. “Eventually I got tired of sitting at a desk all day doing computer graphics.”

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