Tone Def Ink:

Founded: 2009
# of Employees: 3
Type of Press: Riley Hopkins Win 6×4

Contact Info:
Address: 301 El Camino Real, Port Lavaca TX 77979
Phone: (361) 652-7898


Rene from Tone Def Ink started out the same way a lot of prospective screen printers do: disgruntled.

In 2009, Tone Def Sounds was booking Texas bands for gigs in the local area. In order to tap into the market further, Rene decided to start by making shirts as well (not unlike our own Ryan of Ryonet!). This origin story couldn’t be possible without conflict, however, and when he was unexpectedly dropped by a local printer for his order, he decided to take on the challenge of learning to screen print, himself. He bought Ryonet’s 1×1 starter kit and taught himself using Ryonet’s Youtube channel.

Four years later, he is the exclusive screen printer in his town, pumping out about 200-500 shirts a day for local businesses, schools, churches, and gatherings. Part time! In fact, his day job is making the plastisol base that is used in the very plastisol inks he uses in his shop.

Hard work is not foreign to Rene or his full-time printer Mark Garcia and designer Aaron Delgato, and it shows. When asked what his shop’s biggest struggle was, he made it clear that he simply had too much business to complete in the time that he needs with his current equipment: “I work from 6 am to 6 pm, then come home and screen print from 6pm to 4am.” After going through numerous press upgrades over the years, Rene finally called up Ryonet and got to fulfill one of his dreams, buying a Riley Hopkins press. “I know it sounds weird, but I just think it is a beautiful looking press,” says Rene, and I think most customers would agree. After being advised by Brandon, Ryonet’s sales manager, about how our Ryonet Plus program would benefit him, he signed up. After one month, with the 5% membership discount on his mind, Rene made the easy choice and called Brandon with an order for the green and black Riley 6×4 that now graces his shop. He says it is his favorite Ryonet product, closely followed by spray adhesive.

After starting with only a heat gun and an oven in his house, he is glad to have some newer and more efficient equipment, especially since his business has only doubled since the past year. His next big step is to upgrade his conveyor dryer to the Ryocure 8ft and get a small automatic press to keep up with orders. Right now, his shop focuses on screen printing and DTG for local customers, with a lot of business coming from family reunions and other community-centered gatherings. He prints “anything for anybody,” and he has made a solid mark on his community with his work.

From a DIY kit to a prospective automatic press owner, Rene is a shining example of what can be done with screen printing when you set your mind to it.


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