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From hobby to large scale success

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By Doug Ponder

A LaRue County man has turned his hobby into a large graphics business.

Chris Hines of Upton created Uptown Graphics in November 2006 after he wanted to have his bass boat wrapped and he had a hard time finding someone to do it.

“I fish in a lot of tournaments and wanted to have my boat wrapped,” Hines said. “When I started trying to find someone to wrap my boat, I couldn’t find anyone who did it around here. So, I opened up this business and started wrapping boats myself.”

Prior to opening Uptown Graphics, Hines severely injured his right hand while working at a manufacturing plant in Elizabethtown. After undergoing 21 surgeries in an attempt to reconstruct his hand, Hines chose to have the hand amputated and he said he refused to be on disability.

“They gave me an option to keep my hand the way it was, try a hand transplant, or take it off. Hand transplants are complicated and a lot of them are unsuccessful, so I told them to take it off,” Hines said. “When I got hurt I didn’t want to sit at home and do absolutely nothing. When I told people I was going to open up a wrapping business, they told me it was the silliest thing. They told me I would never make it and it would never work. Now I have no idea how many boats I wrapped. I lost count after 1,000.”

Uptown Graphics performs a wide variety of graphics work for their customers including business signs, banners, license plates and much more. However, Hines noted that their specialty is wrapping, which consists of material that fits snugly over an object such as a boat or vehicle.

“If you name it, we’ve wrapped it. Some wraps take two or three days and some take weeks. Things like school buses or semi-trucks take a lot longer than a boat or regular vehicle,” Hines said. “We do a wrap as seamless as possible. Instead of dividing material we take everything in one piece so there are no breaks.”

Hines went on to say that he built up his clientele by fishing professionally in tournaments. Uptown Graphics has performed wraps for several professional anglers including JT Palmore, Brent “Brody” Broderick and Rick Morris. One of the largest wraps Uptown Graphics did was on a 53 foot semi-truck and trailer for Country Music Television’s show “Chopper Challenge.”

The business has continued to grow over the years as Hines recently opened another location in Bowling Green. He said Uptown Graphics has contract with the Army ROTC, Kentucky Department of Agriculture, Campbellsville University, National Corvette Museum and several other organizations and people throughout the state and in surrounding states.

“We do wraps, wall murals, signage, banners and a lot of other things for the National Corvette Museum, which is pretty cool,” Hines said. “You get what you pay for and that is very true in this business. It’s good whenever you see people happy with their product you made for them. We are all about quality over quantity here.”

Uptown Graphics is located on 73 Riggs Street in Upton. Their hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays. For more information about Uptown Graphics call 270-369-0144 or visit www.uptowngraphicsky.com.