February '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 F E B R U A R Y P R I N T W E A R 2 7 The jacket was sourced to offer a tailored fit, which would be different from loose-fit- ting tracksuits of old. With a premium blank product, the art creation began. In following design and apparel trends, I know that the runways at fashion week showed a lot of re- flective. The idea of reflective for a decoration finish made a lot of sense for a few reasons. First, the material reflects light back to the source which would create amazing photos and a great look on stage during awards at competitions. Next, reflective would be a real functional material as well. The dancers are often heading out into parking lots and streets during the night time, so the reflec- tive logo would provide an element of safety. After considering this further, it became clear that for some added low-light visibility we would add a cuff print to each sleeve featur- ing the dance school's initials. Tone on tone, with charcoal reflective would be the right fit against the black fabric of the jacket. Pink reflective, the dance school's color, would be the choice for the primary logo. With re- flective imagined as the primary finish, we would need to include something that added a pop during the day. To not depart too far from what seems to be a standard, glitter and rhinestones were selected to complement de- tails within the design. To coincide with the sale of the new track jacket, a new dance bag was created as well. Since the jackets were the hero piece, the bags needed to coordinate. To accomplish this, the primary pink reflective material was used for the decoration. Now, rather than relying on just a jacket for profit, we increased the value of each sale by completing something relatively easy with a heat press. The production workflow from cutting the materials, preparing them for application, and heat applying them to a jacket consumed about 5–8 minutes per piece. For those heat printing a lot of T-shirts with screen-printed transfers, you could do 10 shirts in that amount of time. However, the profit of a single, premium jacket can eclipse a typical profit on 10 shirts. When adding in the bag, the profit per set yields tremendous returns. In these scenarios, calculating a profit per hour of machine time can be extremely benefi- cial and will help to drive future sales and marketing decisions. While this is one specific example to inspire, there can be many ways to play in the premium end of heat printing. The first step is to find a customer type that values this. Once found, we can start to imagine and create an offer and items that stand out from the crowd. With one job comes more jobs and with more jobs comes a competency. Once a decorator starts to create a competency with high-end looks, it's tough for the next start-up or hobbyist to catch up. Go and decorate like a heat press professional. PW Josh Ellsworth has been on a mission to help GroupeSTAHL customers of all shapes and sizes build their businesses for almost 20 years. Throughout his career, Josh has helped implement heat printing production systems in some of the largest garment factories in the U.S., as well as set up thousands of small businesses with their very first heat press machine. Josh has been with GroupeSTAHL since 1998, most recently holding the position of vice president of Sales, Dealer Channel. Various other positions included roles in mainte - nance, sales, production and general manager Stahls' CAD-CUT direct, and general manager Stahls'TV. Zach Ellsworth has been helping heat printers for the last 15 years. From hopeful startups to seasoned professionals, Zach's advice and insight has helped them all increase productivity and profit- ability. Zach is currently serving as the general manager of Imprintables Warehouse and is focused on his favorite thing: helping decorators succeed. The tonal reflective transfer looks subtle normally, but lights up beautifully when exposed to light.

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