May '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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4 6 P R I N T W E A R M A Y 2 0 1 9 like sublimated neck pillows, blankets, and eye masks to places like gift shops who want to offer a full set of branded items to their end customers, Ereren adds. Outside of the tourism industry, Mary Bakeman, SanMar Cor- poration recommends shops also consider the soft goods and home products category when it comes to accessories. "Aprons, towels, and blankets are great canvases to feature decoration and brands for events, companies, and causes," she says. HOW TO DECORATE Just like apparel, ideal decoration discipline will vary depending on the product's construction. Jason Peters, S&S Activewear, presents an example. "A 200-denier nylon bag can handle a screen print with nylon ink, but if you used the same technique on a 600-denier bag, it might not work due to the abrasion-resistant construction on the bag's surface," Peters says. Other components like zippers, pockets, and straps factor into a bag's decoration method, he adds. While some bag constructions will work with screen printing, embroidery, heat transfer, and sublimation equally well, sources suggest finding a middle ground between price point and decora- tion method. For higher-end or retail-style bags like high-end duf- ACCESSORIES BAGS ACCESSORIES BAGS ACCESSORIES AND With higher-end bags, shops will want to consider a corresponding dec- oration method like embroidery. (Image courtesy Carolina Made) TEAM UP Parties agree that while adding bags and accessories to your broader catalog is a wise idea, the team and spiritwear market will always be a reliable avenue for this product category because of its upsell potential. Here are a couple of benefits to keeping the team market on your shortlist: Consolidation for the client: In some instances, "teams are going to multiple vendors to get a team outfitted," explains Mark Huebner, HookFish Manufacturing. If a shop can offer their services as a one-stop-shop with not only apparel but match- ing bags, hats, and other accessories it will help bring in more revenue. The easiest way to accomplish this, Huebner suggests is by mentioning to the coach, team mom, or any other person in charge of buying decisions for the team that they don't need to shop around. Walking advertisement: While it's well-understood that T-shirts have a high impact when it comes to promotion, Alp Ereren, Terry Town, suggests that producers should consider bags as well, especially when they're out on the playing field. "They become a great companion piece that can be branded with team names, individual names, or titles won," Ereren notes. "It's a highly-visible banner that adds a crucial utilitarian factor in that you know bags are used in many outdoor settings." Keeping coordinated: Lori Helms, Carolina Made, highlights the importance of offering a team a coordinated look. Since schools and students will often want a lineup of goods from a recognized brand, shops can coordinate with a supplier to offer their customers everything from shirts and shorts to hats and bags, all from the same brand. That way, Helms says, "A team will have a cohesive look from coaches to players." Something for everyone: Because there are such a wide variety of bags available to decorators, Jason Peters, S&S Active- wear points out that it's easy for a shop to pair a bag with a sport that matches its application, rather than just adding on a generic promotional item. "Let's say you know the team uniform account your working with has a swim team," says Peters. Decorators can look to products like dry bags as the perfect add-on to an existing order since they fit the adverse conditions a pool environ- ment presents. "They could use those to hold wet swimsuits." And since many of these sport-specific blank bags come from popular brands with youth sports, Peters points out that the athletes will not only have a bag with their team's name but a brand they're excited to own. Why decorators should capitalize on the team and spirit market with bags

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