By George: A Successful and Growing Helena Business

By George (Alterations, By George) at its original location in 2002.

By George (Alterations, By George) at its original location in 2002.

Deedra George first opened Alterations, By George in 2002 as a shop that did only that—alterations. But the Helena business grew, involving family, multiple moves, and some large, heavy machinery.  The original shop was in the tiny white building where the Helena Taco Bell sits now. 

One month after the store first opened, Deedra bought her first embroidery machine. Over the next few years she would do alterations and embroidery, assisted by different family members both working some in the shop and selling merchandise such as decorative bows and wreaths.

In 2006, the shop was temporarily moved into the George house for two years until they moved into their next shop down the road from the original store. Husband Adam George joined her, and they tackled running a small business together with Adam taking over the embroidery side until By George added another department: t-shirt printing.

This began an explosion in By George history. In 2009, By George got a direct-to-garment printing machine and began making t-shirts. The next year they expanded their printing department with a vinyl cutter and printer for making quick print designs, cutting vinyl, and added yet another service—printing banners.

In June of that year, Adam drove to South Carolina to pick up a four station traditional screen printing press, further expanding their capabilities for t-shirt printing.

But the printing department wasn't the only area that grew; in 2011 embroidery added a new 6-head embroidery machine, vastly growing its capacity.

By George's current storefront off of County Road 52

With all this growth, By George needed to upsize, and in 2013, the business moved into their current location off of County Road 52, behind a restaurant that has been Frankie's, American Ranch House, and is now El Tejano.

The move was not without its own share of adventure, however, as getting that 6-head embroidery machine safely across County Road 52 ended up with Adam behind the seat of a forklift carrying the embroidery machine with someone on either side watching to make sure nothing went wrong.

Adam & Deedra George

Adam & Deedra George

So, By George has grown from a small shop offering alterations, to a business offering a variety of services that proudly stands with the community around it. Just a drive around Helena showcases many By George products, from the decals on the caboose (added and maintained by the store) to shirts printed for both other small businesses as well as the local schools.

By George has not stopped expanding. The store always looks to grow its business to provide more and better services and products, and a new automatic screen printing press with more stations has just been added to their equipment line, allowing more colors and faster printing.  They have also refreshed the front of the shop with new flooring and paint.  Make sure to stop in soon to check out the updates.