By Cynthia Gellis
Long Beach Graphix owner, Esau Diaz, has lived in Long Beach since he was eight years old. A first-generation immigrant and Marine-Corps veteran, he grew up in North Long Beach but dreamed about moving to Belmont Heights.
Esau has always been creative. He was inspired by Andy Warhol’s artwork to explore silk-screening and ran a side-hustle, silk-screen t-shirt business out of his garage for four years before opening Long Beach Graphix on the corner of Ximeno and 4th Street in 2009.
The shop first became popular with local college kids, creating custom t-shirts for fraternities, sororities, and on-campus organizations. Esau saw the need to offer a diverse range of products and rapidly expanded into custom embroidery, business cards, and other printed collateral. Today, it is a one-stop-shop where customers can get everything from shirts and hats to flyers, window decals, and outdoor banners designed and produced.
Esau likes that his business is small and local and that most of his clients are also family-owned businesses. The competitive advantage he offers over online print services is that a client can get a complete package of collateral with clean, top-notch, custom graphics. It is the kind of place that you can walk into with just an idea; the artists who work there will help you put a graphic together that will fulfill all your requirements. The only advertising that he does is through donations to local organizations.
Long Beach Graphix is known as one of the best silk-screen shops in Los Angeles County. Though they focus on the Long Beach community, they have repeat customers who come from as far away as Los Feliz, Riverside, and San Diego because of the level of service they offer — particularly the selection of clothing they stock, their attention to detail, and fast turnaround times.
The stay-at-home order had a huge impact on Long Beach Graphix; ninety-five percent of their business evaporated practically overnight. Slowly, the shop began doing more graphics in the form of floor decals and outdoor banners for other local businesses trying to adapt to social distancing regulations. As of mid-June, the shop was running at around thirty-five percent and Esau was able to bring back half of his staff.
Esau’s advice for his Belmont Heights neighbors, “If there is anything that you can get local, do it.”
Long Beach Graphix
406 Ximeno Ave, Long Beach 90814