April '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 33 of 68

2 0 1 9 A P R I L P R I N T W E A R 3 1 that sells apparel. This should inform our choices on design, pricing, marketing, and almost everything else. This is also where you can shine with your personalization technology. How many retailers can take a brand name item and personalize it? The competitors in the traditional uni- form and spiritwear space are anything but traditional anymore. Typically, you would compete in this space against a local screen printer or embroiderer who had a relation- ship with a league or school. With the rapid consolidation of the local sporting goods dealers across the country and the entry into the lo- cal space by national companies, the competition is fiercer than ever. This competition seems to be focused on providing a more expansive product offering, including communication tools for teams, on and off the field apparel options, and team stores that make ordering and organization easier. Knowing that, how can we differentiate our offerings? This drive for sim- plicity by larger companies leads to a lack of options when it comes to finishes and creativity. If we are truly competing for attention at events, our competitors are varied. There are food vendors, the actual games or event itself, and whatever businesses are around the event loca- tion where people would leave to visit on breaks. This means we need to create an experience around the printing of a potential customer's items. How can we make it interactive? How can we create a sense of urgency to gather around our decorating area? HOW DO WE MATCH UP? This question requires some reflection. Consider the competition for your heat printing business. Are you really only competing against other local decorators? Are you really only competing for decorating business? Answering these questions can put us on a path to make the most of our heat presses. PW Josh Ellsworth is the VP of sales, dealer channel for Stahls'. He deals in the sales and implementation of heat applied, apparel decorating systems with a core focus on customization. He has experience in mass customiza- tion for apparel; production, sales, marketing and business development with a background in social media marketing including videos, blog development, and social networking. He also delivers educational seminars at trade shows around the world and regularly contributes articles to trade publications, like Printwear magazine. Zach Ellsworth is the strategic product manager for Stahls'. In this role, Zach develops channels and partners for CADCUT (heat transfer vinyl) sales. Zach also deals with business development for the company, catalyzing the adoption of heat printing technology through education, consultation, and connecting the proverbial dots. Above left: Making your event pressing interactive helps drum up business. Below left: The competitors in the traditional uniform and spiritwear space are anything but traditional anymore. Above: Finding the right audience and then offering products that they would be interested in is key to success in standing out.

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