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Lionel Baker: Custom King

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Having recently moved to High Point from Virginia, Lionel Baker hopes to expand his clothes designing business.

From airbrushing shoes and shirts to designing all kinds of clothes, Baker is familiar with taking all kinds of custom orders. With a vinyl cutter and printer, Baker is self-taught in the art of clothes design.

The most rewarding part of Baker’s job is the customer’s reaction to a finished product.

“I like seeing the customers happy with what they get,” he said. “They can have something nobody else really has.”

He has designed t-shirts for 12 years and has sold them for 10. He ships his designs out across the United States. This year, he made his first international shipment to Australia.

The next step Baker hopes to take in the business is to get more people involved so he can focus on the labor while another can handle the business side. He also wants to get a website going. For now, customers reach Baker through Facebook, email and word of mouth.
The most challenging part of doing a business that sells custom items is helping the customer decide what they want.

“Sometimes they don’t know what they want, but they want me to make something that I think they would like,” said Baker. “I don’t want to do something they don’t like. It’s hard for me to judge what they really want if they don’t know what they want.”

One highlight of Baker’s career was when he made a pair of Clifford the Big Red Dog shoes for a child.

“I made a pair of shoes for a lady’s son with Clifford the Big Red Dog on them. He slept in them. He wouldn’t take them off. Like five or six years old. It’s crazy to hear a kid wouldn’t take them off just because he loved them that much.”

Baker also makes clothes for his daughter, like a Dallas Cowboys dress.

Want a custom order from Lionel Baker? Contact him at king.crmc@gmail.com

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