Printwear

February '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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YOU GOT THE LOOK HEADWEAR STYLES TO KEEP IN MIND S ome supplier catalogs may feature dozens of headwear styles, but there are a few key looks producers should always make sure they're offering to customers. These include: The Trucker Hat: No longer marketed merely towards the retro enthusiast, this versatile hat has also found popularity with things like community 5Ks, bridal showers, and charity events. The "Dad" Hat: Despite the name, this style spans demographics and markets. Classic Ballcap: Common with sports teams and spirit wear, this cap can also be easily used in other niches as well. Beanie: Popular with outdoor win- ter sports, many businesses like ho- tels, breweries, and craft distilleries carry beanies as a logoed piece of headwear in their retail shops. of profiting. Campbell suggests two signifi- cant components of this will be order mini- mums and return policy since these will have a direct effect on your client. Over/unders: Due to the general nature of manufacturing, shops should be aware of any over/under standards that their sup- plier operates under. Headwear makers typically manufacture slightly more than their required quantity of an order and sub- sequently discard any items that are subpar in quality. This "over/under" rule generally ranges somewhere between five and 10 per- cent, but shops should find out this num- ber. Otherwise, it may look like the decora- tor is shorting the customer. Credit terms: While it might be easy to assume there are "standards" when it comes to credit terms, it's hardly ever the case. Some suppliers may re- quire payment upon receipt, while others can ask for net 60 or net 30, so it's worth getting this in writing. If they want to be extra thor- ough, Fafara recommends that shops ask what a supplier's daily capacity looks like for every- thing they carry. "Find out how many caps they can make in a day, how many shirts they embroider in a day, etc.," he suggests. "You want to get an idea, so when you're talking to customers, you can say with con- fidence 'yes, we can do 3,000 hats a day.'" PICKING A FAVORITE Working with more than one supplier can be beneficial as well. This is for multiple reasons, one of them being that some places may specialize in certain styles over other companies. Fafara points to licensed de- signs like specific camouflage patterns that may only be available from certain suppliers since they'll need an exclusive agreement to carry such items. Liu suggests that having more than one supplier also helps a decorator have a backup if something unforeseen happens with their main go-to dealer. "You never know if a natural disaster might hit, or even a digital issue where website and phones stop working," states Liu. Occasionally, shops will have an order that demands a much shorter turnaround than their in-house resources can handle, so finding a supplier that also offers outsourced decorating can be helpful. "Rather than turn away an opportunity like this because the shop's produc- tion capacity was not enough, you can still get the order and make a sale," says Liu. During the busy holiday rush, an unexpectedly heavy winning season for a local team, or a high-volume order for a corporate client could all be perfect candidates for this option. Sup- pliers who offer a decorator program also make the reorder process much more manageable for producers, since it means they can fulfill a customer's second or third or- HEAD WEAR offers outsourced decorating can be helpful. "Rather than turn away an opportunity like this because the shop's produc tion capacity was not enough, you can still get the order and make a sale," says Liu. During the busy holiday rush, an unexpectedly heavy winning season for a local team, or a high-volume order for a corporate client could all be perfect candidates for this option. Sup pliers who offer a decorator program also make the reorder process much more manageable for producers, since it means they can fulfill a customer's second or third or Below left: If a shop is seeking vi- brant, bright colors to match a corpo- rate client's brand- ing color scheme, they'll want to make sure the supplier stocks enough of the product to fulfill reor- ders. Below right: Low-profile caps are a viable option for customers who don't want the high-profile look of a trucker cap. (Images courtesy OTTO Inter- national) 4 0 P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 9

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