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Insider Profiles

Turning His Hobby Into a Career While Encouraging Others to Do the Same

Sam Ladach-Bark"I really like the live music scene in Austin," Ladach-Bark says. "That was one of the big draws for me to move here, all the great venues and the great road shows that come through. I like to go to live music shows a lot — at least once a weekend."


When he started screen printing, Sam Ladach-Bark was a student at Texas State University. He was just looking for a hobby and decided to give screen printing a try. "I had a minor in photography and that was more or less a good digital intro for all the tools that I use for screen printing. I watched some videos online, went to Hobby Lobby and bought some supplies, and just started doing it for myself."

Ladach-Bark's friends liked what he was doing, so he tried selling some of his stuff on Etsy, the online crafts marketplace, and also got a good response. At that point, he realized he may have discovered his calling. "I finally found something that I was really good at," he says.

Now Ladach-Bark and Mike Fuchs, co-owners of Under Pressure screen-printing shop, sell their original and custom designs on T-shirts, tank tops, canvas bags and posters. "We're the only shop in town that will do small orders, or even one T-shirt," says Ladach-Bark. "If you call any other screen printer in Austin for a small order, they'll call us."

Now that Ladach-Bark's former hobby has become a career, he likes sharing his passion with others, so Under Pressure also offers workshops in screen printing. "We teach people, start to finish, how to do exactly what we're doing, and encourage them to get a setup," Ladach-Bark says. "One of the guys that took a class from us started doing screen printing at his house and started selling his stuff at Parts & Labour, a local artists' consignment shop."

Ladach-Bark is happy to see that happen. "It's such a cool process, and I want people to get excited about it, like I am."

Ladach-Bark and Fuchs design everything they sell online, and all the posters they create for local and touring bands. "I really like the live music scene in Austin," Ladach-Bark says. "That was one of the big draws for me to move here, all the great venues and the great road shows that come through. I like to go to live music shows a lot — at least once a weekend."

Ladach-Bark's favorite venue is Emo's. "It's just kind of an Austin icon, a cool throwback to when Austin was a much smaller city." And he likes hanging out at The Side Bar. "It's a very Austin haunt for me and my friends."

Ladach-Bark's also kind of a connoisseur of the food trailers that have been springing up around town. "You can get a really amazing taco at Izzoz Tacos [now called Mellizoz Tacos], and there's Hey Cupcake! and The Mighty Cone — they take cones and fill them with sweet and savory. Oh, and there's Flip Happy Crepes. They make sweet and savory crepes. If I get up early enough to get their breakfast crepes, I'm down there."

Check out Sam's Austin.