INVASION OF PRIVACY: Royaltees owners happily dress Geneseo

Most students have been to Royaltees at least once in their Geneseo careers, whether to buy some college merchandise or to kill time between classes. The store originated in 1985 on Main Street and now co-leases a second location in the Union, Under the Sun. It was started by Neal Moynihan and is now co-owned by his wife, Tammy.

The Moynihans are Geneseo alumni. Neal graduated in 1983 and his wife in 1989. Both have been in Geneseo ever since. Neal started out in Geneseo as a business major, but that only lasted a semester before he switched to communication. After learning how to screen print, he decided that Geneseo needed a store on Main Street.

"Bigger schools have a few school stores on their Main Streets," he said. "When I would go to Syracuse to watch games, we never even made it to their school store on campus, we'd always just stop at the ones on Main Street. I felt Geneseo needed something like that." Royaltees not only sells school clothing, but also does screen-printing.

Tammy was a secondary education math major at Geneseo, and she taught for a while before they had children. As time went on, she stayed home to take care of their two sons and eventually became more involved with the business.

"She does a lot of the behind-the-scenes work," Neal said. "She deals primarily with the accounting, finances and the mail-order things. While legally she is the co-owner of the store, she still considers this my store."

Neal designed a lot of the clothing when the store opened. "I was a lot more creative when I started; I liked to push the envelope with the shirts and hoodies. Now we buy from big vendors; we copy many of the same designs used at bigger schools. If the design is selling there, we have a good chance of it selling here. It reaches a point when paying the bills gets more important than having extravagantly designed shirts."

"I can see myself owning the store for at least another eight years," he continued. "I hope to be involved with the store into retirement; maybe one of my sons will want to take over the store after me. Although, at this point I can see myself just sticking to retail and moving out of the screen printing aspect pretty quickly."

Neal and Tammy have been both students and locals in the town, and have enjoyed seeing it from both aspects. "I've been a student and a local; now I kind of want to be a townie but they aren't letting me," said Neal.

After living in Geneseo for 28 years, he couldn't be happier. "I wouldn't trade places with anyone I know," he said. "This is a great community to live in. The people that live here really want to be living here, and it's a great place to raise a family."