Build Your Business
Technology, e-commerce, fast delivery and customer engagement currently are hot retail topics, but these trends go beyond the business-to-consumer world.Full Story
From apparel to non-wearables, these defining developments span the entire promotional products industy.Full Story
It can be argued that trends don’t bob and weave in any other industry segments as frequently as in the childrenswear and teens/tweens apparel categories.Full Story
It’s a simple case of déjà vu. That’s what fleecewear manufacturers will tell you when describing what’s happening in the category today.Full Story
In economics, there’s a theory called “opportunity cost,” defined as the potential benefits you miss out on when you choose one option over another.Full Story
Hard-working apparel decorators encounter many and diverse challenges daily.Full Story
This Texas screen-printing shop has found success by sticking to its foundation.Full Story
Stylish and versatile, this apparel option continues to enjoy a popularity surge.Full Story
Define your shop’s expectations and keep open communication with customers for successful and repeat orders.Full Story
She smokes cigars and drives fast cars. But looking past the wafting smoke clouds and revving engines reveals a different side of Suzanne Whatley, owner of Branding Matters! LLC.Full Story
Show floor highlights and trends from the Impressions staffFull Story
The decorated apparel industry offers classic T-shirts with a twistFull Story
This Nashville, Tennessee-based graphics and screen printing shop embodies a true rags-to-riches taleFull Story
Impeccable screen-printed detail. Vibrant colors. A boom box. This year’s winner has it all.Full Story
Setting up a sports selling schedule can help boost sales and profitsFull Story
Acquiring new customers for your T-shirt business can be difficult, expensive and time consuming.Full Story
What are the benefits of putting together a team package when selling to the team market?Full Story
As we prepare to bid farewell to 2016, it’s only natural to wonder what
2017 has in store for the digital decorating portion of our industry.
Since its industry debut as tight-fitting, moisture-wicking,
support-enhancing apparel, performancewear has continued to be a staple
of gyms, greenways and yoga studios.
With the year’s end just around the corner, it’s time to get ahead and
prepare to kick off 2017 with new products that will meet customers’
Glenn Robbins’ vision has always been to help people find their way.Full Story
A big part of the ongoing success of any decorated apparel shop in the
team uniform market is staying abreast of the latest trends.
“Your price is too high!” These are the five words that you likely hear
the most when quoting products or services for your T-shirt business.
Whether it’s protection from the elements or statements of style to accompany a favorite outfit, jackets — and the entire outerwear category at large — have undergone a transformation.Full Story
From flame-resistant pants and high-visibility shirts to scrubs and chef apparel, the workwear market is full of on-the-job essentials.Full Story
As a shop owner or staff member who is daily entrenched in the decorated
apparel business, you probably no longer think about the minutiae
involved in the production process for great-looking apparel.
In the heart of the Ozarks and nestled against the fringe of the Boston Mountains lies Fayetteville, Arkansas.Full Story
One of the best things about being in the decorated apparel industry is the opportunity to be creative.Full Story
How would I find your business if I were looking for it?Full Story
Consultants typically have incredible ideas on industry best practices that can fine-tune your shop.Full Story
Use these tips to better promote your company and capture more business.Full Story
Five guidelines for building a team that will help take your business to the next levelFull Story
A Brit’s trip across the pond inspired a T-shirt business with a social mission.Full Story
Suppliers discuss how the line between retail and wholesale continues to blur.Full Story
Upon hearing the term “innovation,” it’s natural to think about technology as it applies to products. But what about other aspects of apparel decorating, such as techniques, design, business practices and marketing?Full Story
Today’s apparel suppliers are working to cultivate creative ideas to meet the ever-evolving needs and wants of consumers.Full Story
Stephen Terrell wanted to prove the naysayers wrong when they said his way of doing business wouldn’t work. That desire ultimately catapulted his company, Print Works, to notable success in a relatively short time period.Full Story
When it comes to apparel, consumers have long been experimenting with
what they wear in their free time, in the office and for exercise. And
thanks to fabric technology and some of the performance properties
introduced in wearables, multiple clothing styles have become acceptable
in different environments.
Headwear has seen a surge in action during the last two years, from an
emphasis on form and fit to style and color. In keeping with apparel,
headwear is incorporating all of the latest technical benefits to keep
wearers satisfied and comfortable.
Color editing and stylizing can be a bear of a chore to handle,
consuming lots of time to achieve a customer’s desired look on a
I recently led a seminar in which I asked the audience a couple of
questions about spam email. In the interest of full disclosure, I
already knew the answers, but my motivation was to get attendees to
In 2005, Tom Rauen was working as a bartender in the small college town of Dubuque, Iowa, and — like most new college grads — wondering where life might take him next.Full Story
If a picture paints a thousand words how many words does a video paint?Full Story
It’s all about lifestyle when it comes to womenswear this year, with suppliers offering up-to-date, tailored-to-her looks fit for the gym, office and everywhere in between.Full Story
Custom work comprises the very thread of the decoration industry. It carries a high perceived value, which means you typically can charge a premium. The availability of new printing and embroidery technology now makes custom work not only feasible, but also profitable.Full Story
In today’s marketplace, being a consumer is easier than ever. Online marketing and technology have revolutionized the way business is conducted and customer expectations. Understanding the new paradigm and incorporating it into your sales model is critical for success.Full Story
Spring is the perfect time of year to refresh your shop (e-commerce or bricks-and-mortar), attracting current or potential customers.Full Story
Successful business owners know the importance of adapting their products to stay competitive in an ever-changing market.Full Story
Large, high-volume printing shops don’t just appear. It takes years of
hard work to grow into a successful apparel-decorating business.
Designer Wolfgang Joop once said, “Fashion is about suspense, surprise and fantasy. It’s not about rules.” With all due respect to Mr. Joop, most lawyers would disagree…Full Story
Today, embroidery machines are the most technologically advanced they’ve ever been. Machines typically achieve more than 1,000 stitches per minute, and designs are loaded quickly and easily.Full Story
What a great time to be in the decorated industry. Consumer confidence is up, print and embroidery technology has made more custom “one-offs” possible and new website technology is readily available to the masses, regardless of budget.Full Story
The editorial team loves an ISS event! It is our opportunity to, like you, scour the show floor for new products and trends, as well as booth happenings.Full Story
They may not be the obvious choice for casual wear that T-shirts are, but plackets and wovens are rapidly gaining ground on the apparel king.Full Story
Owning and running a business can be stressful, but finding and keeping the right employees can help your operation run smoothly.Full Story
When Michael Rothermund got laid off from his fourth job in the engineering industry, he knew it was time for a change — and all signs pointed to the T-shirt business.Full Story
I’ve done it. You’ve done it too. You are sitting there waiting for your spouse, mind wandering and bored, when someone walks by wearing a T-shirt. Your first thought to yourself is “Geez, who printed that? Look how off-center it is!” Once you start, you just can’t stop.Full Story
The T-shirt is a fashion staple in virtually all closets across the country. The horizon looks strong and promising for this wardrobe basic, and colors and styles continue to evolve.Full Story
Whether for sports, activewear or corporate apparel, performancewear represents tremendous profitability in a less-contested market space.Full Story
Each year, Impressions invites apparel decorators of all experience levels from shops of all sizes to enter the annual Impressions Awards competition.Full Story
Hair bows make a great add-on sale for dance and cheer, children’s apparel, school, retail and more.Full Story
It started in his high school graphic-arts class in the 1990s. That is where Jason Lansdell, owner of Rome, Ga.-based High Voltage Prints, learned about the printing industry…Full Story
Whether your customers are hitting the gym, participating in outdoor activities or even performing strenuous tasks, the breathability, comfort and performance properties of their apparel can be the difference.Full Story
In an industry where speed, efficiency and cost effectiveness are paramount, it is critical to arm your shop with the latest digital decorating machines
There are many things small business owners should do, but don’t because they “don’t have enough time.”Full Story
In its current incarnation, Goodfellas Merch is the ideal high-volume screen-printing business. It boasts three automatic and two manual presses…Full Story
When there’s a biting winter wind blowing, lighter apparel simply doesn’t compare to outerwear.Full Story
Speed is a key factor in online sales success. The longer it takes to respond to a customer’s request or needs, the more likely he is to look elsewhere.Full Story
Regardless of whether a T-shirt is destined for a retail rack or created for a one-time event, the quality of the garment’s design can impact sales.Full Story
We live in a digital world, daily interacting both personally and professionally. Sooner or later, someone will say something about you or your business that isn’t flattering.Full Story
One of the good “problems” associated with a screen-printing shop’s growth is reaching the point where it can no longer handle the current production load.Full Story
It seems fitting that Hi Voltage Productions, Mike Ritchey’s aptly named apparel-decorating business, occupies a former 5,000-square-foot electric power station.Full Story
If you haven’t heard of the 2012 Hazard Communication Standard (HCS 2012), it’s important that you take the time to familiarize yourself with it as soon as possible.Full Story
A high percentage of all small businesses make a big marketing mistake. I don’t want to call it a fatal flaw, but it’s responsible for slowing growth, decreasing profits…Full Story
It took Andrew Blood six years to regain his independence after an accident, and he’s been working almost non-stop since to make up for lost time…Full Story
With the fall and winter months right around the corner, consumers will be looking for garments to keep them warm and stylish. Soft, light fleece-wear always is a solid option…Full Story
Quality should be a lynchpin of any business. For my shop, it’s something that customers have come to expect and it has been a key factor in our success.Full Story
When deciding what products to offer, having too many options is just as problematic as not having enough.Full Story
As an embroidery instructor and consultant, I speak with many embroiderers who would like to start a business, as well as current business owners. Sometimes a business can sprout from the tiniest seed…Full Story
Marketing is an investment. It can be hard to look beyond the time and money you have to put into it, especially if you have a small business.Full Story
Childrenswear comes in all different shapes and sizes, with outfits designed for rapidly growing newborns, toddlers or youth.Full Story
When it comes to email, I’m a bit of a fanatic. I’m fascinated by what works and what doesn’t. Sadly, most of what clogs our inboxes is junk that’s only worthy of deleting.Full Story
Welcome to the mid-decade of promotional wearables. According to industry pros, it’s a season of transition, transformation and tradition…Full Story
It’s amazing how far-reaching apparel decoration can be, not only for the wholesale market with which we’re all familiar, but high fashion as well.Full Story
Howard Potter always wanted to own a graphics-based business. That dream came true in 2003 …Full Story
In this final installation, each roundtable participant discusses the future of business and shop-management software, hurdles experienced in decorated apparel shops and more.Full Story
Headwear can make the perfect add-on — especially for athletic and promotional orders — while also satisfying customers and giving profit margins a boost.Full Story
It’s “game on” in the team and spirit market, with suppliers competing for the win in this profiitable niche.Full Story
Just like their brick-and-mortar counterparts, online businesses need traffic. After which, this traffic needs to be converted to either capture a potential customer’s email address or place an order.Full Story
Yellowknife, Northwest Territorries is home to more than picturesque views and the Northern Lights. Sarah Erasmus, co-founder of Erasmus Apparel (EA), has made her dreams come true there, creating apparel for residents and visitors alike.Full Story
In Part 1 of our three-part series, Impressions spoke with four companies about the general direction they feel shop operating system technology is going. Here in Part 2, we continue our discussion, and focus in on specific products being offered, and what special features they have.
Promotional fashion style leaders are keenly aware of several trends dominating new product development, particularly for women.Full Story
There’s an interesting push in special-effects printing for ladies’ and juniors’ apparel that is more subtle. It even starts to push the boundaries of what is commonly considered special effects.
Every business needs new customers, and adding them is the most common way to achieve growth. However, it may not be the ideal method for doing so.Full Story
The secret is simple, really, according to Rich Santo. Success not only comes when you can creatively and efficiently deliver on promises to your customers, but also when can push the limits.
It’s all in the details when it comes to womenswear. Suppliers know a just-right hem, drape or seam can make all the difference.Full Story
In 2007 Gerald Cantalupo Jr., owner of New Jersey-based Breakthrough Custom Clothing, had a major breakthrough.Full Story
Plackets and woven shirts are the go-to styles for work environments, but customers aren’t the only ones on the job.Full Story
They’re lighter, faster, more efficient and more technologically advanced. Clearly, the evolution of embroidery machines continues.Full Story
Gone are the days of Internet keyword-driven search. It was sweet while it lasted, but during the past two or three years, a big shift in Internet-driven searching has taken place.Full Story
I would venture to guess that most shops in this industry have something in their facility or storage unit that is paid for but is not earning money.Full Story
Sometimes, an opportunity comes along and you just have to take it. Whether it’s a sure bet or a leap of faith, a new and different path can pay off handsomely.Full Story
So, just what are promotional products distributors (PPDs) searching for in the quest for decoration excellence? We asked dozens of these busy promotional apparel counselors what they seek or currently have in a superb contract decorator.Full Story
About two years ago, I was browsing Facebook and looking at entertainer fan pages, which included musical groups, singers, songwriters, etc. I was stunned by how many fans some of these pages had.Full Story
In the fast-paced performancewear market, consumers’ purchasing decisions are driven by comfort and high-tech details.Full Story
In the world of apparel decorating, there is nothing more popular or challenging than embellishing on performancewear. The question really isn’t whether you will decorate performancewear; rather, it’s when and how will you do it?Full Story
Your business’ success depends on getting its message in front of a qualified audience of potential buyers (emphasis on “qualified audience”). This is where precise targeting comes in.Full Story
Success not only comes when you can creatively and efficiently deliver on promises to your customers, but also when can push the limits.Full Story
Absolutely Specialties proves you don’t have to be the biggest decorated apparel shop to be one of the best.Full Story
As part of this three-part series, Impressions spoke with four companies about the general direction they feel shop operating system technology is going.Full Story
Speed and efficiency are the names of the digital game. Every year, this market segment offers exciting new state-of-the-art products.Full Story
When it comes to allover printing on garments, dye sublimation has been a growing trend. Whether you’re at the grocery store, mall, post office or your favorite deli, you’re bound to see shirts covered entirely with oversized images, or in unusual placements.Full Story
Social media is about reaching out to your prospects and customers, and connecting with them in a meaningful way.Full Story
Suppliers continue to push the warmth-without-the-weight envelope, with outerwear fabrics that are increasingly lighter.Full Story
Apparel decorators operate in a competitive market today. The key to sustaining and growing business is happy customers.Full Story
In 2007 Gerald Cantalupo Jr., owner of New Jersey-based Breakthrough Custom Clothing, had a major breakthrough of his own.Full Story
Today, there are a ton of keywords that you can add to your product offering. It is not hard to find these keywords; just look around where you shop. From the grocery store to street vendors, trending keywords are everywhere.Full Story
Sometimes, an opportunity comes along and you just have to take it. Whether it’s a sure bet or a leap of faith, a new and different path can pay off handsomely. Such was the case for Scott Dortch, president of Royal Pacific of Las Vegas (RPLV).Full Story
If there is one notion you want to understand completely before you leap off the high diving board, it’s how big and deep the pool below will be. Don’t just launch yourself and hope you’ll make it.
Have you heard the term “greenwashing” before? While “whitewashing” is defined as a coordinated attempt to hide unpleasant facts, greenwashing has been coined to describe the effort a company may make to appear to be sustainable and environmentally friendly, but, in fact, their efforts don’t really add up to any substance.Full Story
What Paul Costanzo did with his home’s 1,500-square-foot walk-out basement is the kind of project people dream about on all those home-improvement shows.Full Story
Adding value to a product is simply increasing its perceived value by differentiating the product from that of your competitors.Full Story
Before you can reap more profits from increasing your business, it is important to review your current system so that you can take advantage of more volume in the future. It is better to refine your process prior to adding more business because an increase in volume doesn’t necessarily mean an increase in profit.Full Story
Whether your local school already has a school store with an apparel shop or is new to the school spiritwear industry, custom screen printed and digital transfers can help those businesses grow.Full Story
When Elaine Hayward came up with the concept for her decorated apparel business, Absolutely Specialties Inc., she was looking for a way to balance her roles as a stay-at-home mom and (at least) part-time worker.Full Story
The kidswear market spans small tykes, active youth and trend-seeking teens, making it one of the largest, most demanding — and most lucrative — niches.Full Story
As with any type of screen printing, there are pros and cons to contract work. The key to making it pay is being aware of what they are and gearing your operation to meet the challenges.Full Story
With consumer spending on the decline, many companies are desperate to boost sales and see jumping on the “green” bandwagon as the perfect solution.Full Story
It all started with some T-shirts – or the lack thereof. Ask Greg Szechenyi how he got started in the decorated apparel business, and the diehard musician will tell you he just needed some shirts to promote his band.Full Story
The team sports arena remains one of the most profitable niches for apparel decorators. But the competition is fierce in this hot market, and customers are looking for the latest and greatest the industry has to offer.Full Story
Adding headwear offerings can bring good margins, as they make great add-ons for other orders. The varying price points for caps means there are styles designed for every client’s needs, from youth athletics, to corporate and fund-raising events.
Large quantities of people will come to your website, but only a few will leave as new customers. Your job is to design a funnel process that delivers a steady stream of profitable customers for the business.Full Story
What Paul Costanzo did with his home’s 1,500-square-foot walk-out basement is the kind of project people dream about on all those home-improvement shows.
In 2006, Lucas Guariglia and Joe Zangrilli started Rowboat Creative in the same manner as many small-business owners: in a basement.
There is one thing in common that all shops in this industry share, and it is the reliance on our supply chain. We all need ink, screens, emulsion, shirts and a multitude of other products to keep our shops going.
While Tees By Tazz continues to carve a solid niche for itself in the decorated apparel world, the story of how the Loveland, Ohio-based shop came to be is defined by owner Tazz Ringel’s relentless will and determination.Full Story
Having your customer base suddenly dry up because another company is slashing its rates seems shockingly unfair and can quickly get anyone’s blood boiling. So what’s going on here and what can you do about it?Full Story
I recently was challenged via Twitter by Patti Keegan of Keegan Tees, located in the awesomely named city of Effort, Pa., to discuss the pros and cons of using purchased goods versus customer-supplied goods.
Regardless of your shop’s size, equipment or the number of employees, the primary daily goal is getting more orders produced, shipped and out the door. Sometimes in the quest to just handle those challenges, getting down to examining how you can increase your throughput doesn’t quite make it to the light of day.Full Story
small Michigan offset printing business expands with screen printing
services — adding a revenue stream and improving operations in the
process. – See more at:
A small Michigan offset printing business expands with screen printing services — adding a revenue stream and improving operations in the process.Full Story
Woven shirts dominate the corporate market and have for decades. Beyond a wide variety of basic options, suppliers introduce new styles every year with fashion details, expanded color options and performance technologies.
How often do you show embroidered samples to prospective customers? If you’re frequently showing embroidered samples, you could benefit from increased sales.Full Story
With its cross-niche appeal, the T-shirt is sure to maintain its status as the go-to apparel blank for years to come.Full Story
QRST’s in Boston offers screen printing, embroidery and digital capabilities.Full Story
Jeremy Capron has heard it before. If you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. As it turns out, not only did he prove that adage to be true, but he also found a way to make money while abiding by it.Full Story
Richard Patino bought F&E Sportswear with zero industry experience and drove it to success.Full Story
In the cutting-edge performancewear market, comfort, movement and technology are paramount. This year’s offering doesn’t disappoint.Full Story
Online advertising can be an extremely powerful tool you can use to increase your business’ visibility and, ultimately, grow your customer base.Full Story
Having an attractive website that accurately communicates what your business offers and makes it easy for customers to find information they are looking for is the ultimate goal of any company.Full Story
With cooler weather fast approaching, outerwear suppliers offer a variety of options for your fall and winter orders.Full Story
ThreeSixty Graphix hopes to achieve long-term success by keeping quality, service and a commitment to getting the job done as top priorities.Full Story
An Arizona shop’s impressive growth is fueled by the classic approach that the customer is first.Full Story
For the uninitiated, hot-market printing is the term used in the decorated apparel industry for contract printers who take on the stressful, and often large, T-shirt printing duties after a sports team wins a championship.
With stylish options, fleecewear also maintains its status as a fashion staple. This year’s selection includes everything from contrast detailing to neon colors and heather looks.Full Story
This year’s crop of start-up decorated apparel companies arrives as its predecessors did: with elevated levels of excitement and optimism, varying degrees of well-warranted apprehensions and trepidations, and a 50% chance of making the cut.
When Mili Mulic and Brad VanSteenvoort decided to start a screen printing business together, their combined capital came to a whopping $350.
As the T-shirt turns 100 this year, we are reminded that this versatile medium isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. And that’s good news for Susan Becker, owner of Reading, Pa.-based Jersey Ink Custom Apparel.Full Story
From tiny tykes to towering teenagers, youth customers make up one of the most influential demographics in the decorated apparel industry.
If you’re looking for a screen printing business that can successfully play with the big boys, it’s safe to say ITA Printing is it.
It’s no secret how important the receiving and shipping departments are to apparel decorators.Full Story
I would venture to guess that most shops in this industry have something in their facility or storage unit that is paid for but is not earning money.
A basement-born company takes shape as Cyrus Eleven Clothing ascends to success.Full Story
Today’s headwear market has wide-ranging appeal, providing everything from practicality to fashion-forward looks, performance-quality fabrics, sustainability and unexpected details.Full Story
There are two critical stages to launching a preprint line. First, you must have the right idea and get the artwork created. The next challenge is getting orders.Full Story
Even financially savvy businesspeople may have trouble navigating the complexities of merchant processing.Full Story
Whether it’s at three or six months, or even two years, all apparel decorators will face growing pains.
Embracing technology as a marketing medium has been key to building Four Ambition into a full-time, growing business.Full Story
With winter winding down, it may be time to think about spreading your apparel offerings to include resortwear.Full Story
As an advisor and producer, I have learned that everyone wants to get into the T-shirt business.Full Story