That's why she takes precise care when she screen-prints images on T-shirts that come across her machine at B&S Sporting Goods.
Started by the late Jimmy Stephenson 38 years ago and now owned by his daughter, Karen Godsey, B&S has been doing business at its current location on West 12th Street for 22 years. The segment of the business that prints designs on shirts, shorts, sweats and bags is called American Design Studio.
Stephens is Godsey's aunt, but she didn't enter the business automatically through family connections. Her introduction to the clothing manufacturing business came at Chalkline from 1979-92. After the textile manufacturer closed, she was employed in a couple of other local industries before joining B&S in 2005.
Her motive was to be helpful at the family business, but around the shop, she emphasizes, she's another employee.
Her typical day starts with "anything that's on that table," she said, gesturing to a stack of shirts with orders attached.
Her work might entail creating a new screen from a design worked out by the client and staff artist Chris Harris, or finding an old design on one of thousands of wood-framed screens stored around the premises.
If a customer needs a new design, say for telling moms and dads who sponsored their kids' sports team, Harris will create it on a computer and print it on paper vellum; the vellum forms the silhouette of the design on the screen.
Stephens then takes the meshed screen and photochemically treats it with an emulsion to prevent ink from seeping through — except in the place where she anchored the artist's design.
Next, she attaches the screen to one of the shop's multi-printers — it has three — that looks like a mechanical octopus, in which each arm handles one color. By compressing the ink across the mesh, Stephens squeezes a precise amount of one color onto the fabric. One screen is needed for each element of the design that's a different color from the rest, which is why precision is needed — all elements need to line up the same way for every shirt.
"You just have to move the screen and work with it until you've got it all lined up," Stephens said.
"Sometimes you can line it up right away," other times not.
"It can be tedious, but all in all it's not bad."
The best part of her work, Stephens said, is "when it comes out and it looks really good ... I want to send out good quality."
Typically five eight-hour days a week are enough for her and fellow printer Don Brown get her work done, but football season can send everyone into extra hours. March-July, filled with youth baseball, soccer and other activities, is also stressful, she said.
But it's all worth it when the client and the boss are pleased.
"We try to do the best we can because we care about what the customer thinks."
Readers who know of interesting jobs — or perhaps common jobs that involve more than meets the eye — are invited to e-mail email@example.com for a possible write-up for "Off to Work."