by Paige Benedetto
From the colors, to the music, to the employees, Jilly’s T-shirt Factory is made for fun and creativity. If you can think of it, odds are Jill’y T-shirts can create it!
40 years ago, Jilly’s made their first appearance on the OCNJ boardwalk, in the form of an arcade. Through the years the Jilly’s powerhouse name has added more businesses on the boardwalk for people to enjoy, have fun at, and utilize. Jilly’s Ice Cream was created in 1984, Jilly’s Dollar Store made its debut in 1994, and in 2001 Jilly’s T-shirt Factor and French Fries were created.
Jody Levchuk, has grown up in the Jilly’s business, and is fully immersed in the T-shirt Factory.
“I grew up in Jilly’s arcade and I always worked for my parents, so the Jilly’s brand and my parent’s business have always been there; I have always had a strong connection to it. Year one of the arcade being created was the year I was born, so I have never not been here. I have always watched my parents and grandparents really bust their hump and put in a real solid day of work…literally 15-hour day of work. I admired that and I felt a push from my parents – just strong and high expectations – and hopefully I can deliver that to them through this business,” Jody explained.
The T-Shirt Factory was established 15 years ago.
Jilly’s t-shirts are actually made by using three different types of processing – heat transfer, customization, and bulk screen printing.
“The most common one is through way of heat transfer because that allows us to offer thousands of different premade stock design ideas. Basically the customer just chooses whatever garment they like. Sometimes the customer will start with a design and then go choose a garment, but the idea is to marry the two. Back behind our counter is where we assemble the order that the customer places, we pull the design out of a folder, and then we will heat transfer it with our heat press machines on to the garment that they picked. This is the first most common method,” said Jody.
The second method sets them apart from your typical t-shirt shop – customization. “Somebody can create something special, something unique, like the customer’s name. They choose their name, their font, their color; every aspect of the t-shirt is completely customizable. We are able to produce it as a one up design, which means you only need to make one and we can make it for you,” Jody said.
Jilly’s T-Shirt Factory’s third process is bulk screen printing. This is the second year doing this method where they can print a mass production of shirts. This is for businesses, uniforms, charities, schools, or other groups.
“This would be for another business in town, or maybe another retail store that wants us to make them a special shirt that maybe they can go ahead and then uniform their staff with or they can fold it and put it on their shelves to sell,” said Jody. “We have a very strong customer base of other stores on the Boardwalk that utilize our printing business for their uniforms or for their own retail programs where they sell their products. It is very convenient for them; we offer low quantity printing. We believe in being good to our neighbors, we offer a price they can’t beat, so we take care of our neighbors in that way,” Jody said.
Anything Ocean City is an extremely popular in Jilly’s T-Shirt Factory, and Jilly’s takes a lot of pride in the different types of Ocean City designs that they put together.
“We really carry some of the nicest, neatest, and most unique Ocean City designs. We have become a really great destination for people coming to Ocean City. They know that they can rely on Jilly’s T-shirt Factory and they know that they are going to find something different,” Jody said.