September '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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6 4 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 SHOP SNAPSHOT Always Learning A pparel decorators occasionally change careers and industries, but for many, all roads lead them back to the printing press or shop floor. For Pete Bolsini, owner and founder of Same Day Tees, screen printing has been a part of life since his teen years. "I got into the business through a high school teacher," Bolsini explains. His school course helped him learn the basics of screen printing, and Bolsini began experimenting with printing post- ers and shirts with the hobby supplies available in the classroom. At 17, Bolsini says he was fortunate enough to take part in some valuable field education. "This was 1978, and about that time Scott Fresner came out with his first book 'T-Shirts for Fun and Profit,'" Bolsini says. The budding decorator flew to Arizona and attended Fresner's course with a group that was mostly full of screen printers 10–20 years his senior. From there, Bolsini says the world opened up for him when he learned about advanced printing techniques like four-color and simulated process. Fresh off the knowledge he'd picked up in Arizona, Bolsini says he started setting up shop at home, first in his parents' living room, then out to the garage after a few too many ink spills on the rug. From there the business continued to grow until Bolsini says he hit a wall in his late 30s and decided to change industries. "I was burnt out," he explains. "I went into the restaurant business for a number of years and thought that would be easier." After roughly seven years, Bolsini says he found the foodservice industry to be extremely difficult and ultimately realized his heart was still rooted in the screen-printing world. Bolsini's wife was working as a distributor outsourcing promotional goods, and he decided the couple would establish themselves as an in-house decoration service. "I told my wife 'we're going to buy a direct-to-garment printer,' and that's going to be it," Bolsini says. "And that last lasted six months." From there, the couple continued to amass equipment and production space as the client list and order volume continued to grow. Today, Same Day Tees functions as a large-scale operation with a fleet of automatic presses, direct-to-garment printers, and a stack of contract printing jobs on the roster. The contract printing work, Bolsini explains, has had a significant impact on the business' growth. "Being (situated in) a small town, I was always making my money doing one and two-color stuff," he notes. The larger, challenging jobs, Bolsini says, are rewarding and he's enjoyed building a team of solid professionals who also have a passion for the craft. With the business now experimenting with advanced technology like hybrid printing, Bolsini contests that growth, regardless of your business model, is highly dependent on being open to change and education. "I think everything's going to be de- pendent on keeping up with the technol- ogy on the equipment side," Bolsini says. "You're either going to do what you've al- ways done and if you're at a certain age, making a comfortable living, that's great. But you might also say 'you know, let's look at what these young whippersnap- pers are doing.'" Bolsini says a keen eye on what the up-and-coming professionals are doing with elements like digital marketing and social media, matched with his skills, are all part of the growth process. For more information, visit www.same PW SAME DAY TEES LOCATION: Frankfort, Illinois OWNER: Pete Bolsini SQUARE FOOTAGE: 20,000 sq. ft. PRODUCTION EQUIPMENT: • 4 M&R Automatic Presses • 1 M&R Dual-Zone Split Belt Dryer • 2 M&R Dryers • Multiple Barudan Embroidery Machines • Brother GT-782 Direct-to-Garment Printer • M&R M-LINK Direct-to-Garment Printer • M&R ECO-RINSE Automatic Screen Rinsing System 6 4 P R I N T W E A R S E P T E M B E R 2 0 1 9 The busy shop now runs a fleet of automatic presses, direct-to-garment printers, and embroi- dery machines. Contract printing helps keep the shop busy and offers challenging jobs for the crew. The business has evolved from a two-person operation to a bustling warehouse with multiple employees.

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