PODOS Ink & Thread offers one-stop shopping for team apparel and specialty items

PODOS Ink & Thread is a boutique screen printing and embroidering shop located in the Publix Shopping Center in Calera. (contributed)

PODOS Ink & Thread is a boutique screen printing and embroidering shop located in the Publix Shopping Center in Calera. (contributed)

By MOLLIE BROWN / Community Columnist

PODOS Ink & Thread is Calera’s only screen printing and embroidery service offering apparel, jewelry, candles, spices, sauces, re-claimed wood picture frames and unique gift items. Owner Debbie Marsalis said the store name’s originated from a previous location.

“We opened our first store, Polka Dots, in downtown Calera in 2007,” Debbie said. “Being a nurse, I abbreviate everything and podos was my abbreviation for polka dotted fabric. When we incorporated a year later, the name was changed to PODOS.”

After two years in business the majority of screen printing and embroidery orders were from schools and athletic and cheer teams, so the business moved to Debbie’s barn. The business operated out of the barn-turned-shop until she and her co-owner son Brent expanded the business to the Publix Shopping Center.

Six years ago polka dots was the rage, but now it’s anything chevron. Customers can choose from a wide variety of t-shirts and select a pre-made chevron frocket (front pocket) to personalize. Employee Mariah Mumford said other popular items are jewelry and scarves.

“Customers come in looking for Infinity jewelry and the sideways cross necklaces and bracelets, as well as bubble necklaces,” Mumford said. “Peach and mint combinations are a favorite.”

Brent uses his degree in finance to run the daily operations. “We originated in screen printing and embroidering fan wear and collegiate apparel, but we opened a store so moms can come in and buy clothing and jewelry without making a trip to the mall,” he said. “We only buy 6 of an item, so more than likely you won’t see someone wearing the same item you purchase.”

PODOS specializes in local fan wear that is comparable to collegiate apparel sold in major sporting goods stores. Other items include men’s polos, The Naked Bee personal care products, Flipped Bird purses, Debbie’s original SPLIT PURSEnalities reversible bags , and her hand painted home décor.

Check out PODOS Ink & Thread’s new merchandise and sale items on Facebook. Store hours are 10 a.m-7 p.m. Tues., Thurs., Fri., and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed., Sat. Call 668-0515 for questions or directions.