November '19

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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2 0 1 9 N O V E M B E R P R I N T W E A R 5 3 Motorcycle clubs can be very fertile markets for patches. Often, clubs want things like me- morial patches or patches for special events. Some simply want identification patches to des- ignate club officers or to pass out when new members join the club. One thing to understand about motorcycle clubs, however, is that they often have very strict standards for the appear- ance of the patches they wear. They want colors, sizes, and shapes to be uniform throughout the length of the program. So, if you get involved in selling to motorcycle clubs, make sure you have a very stable method for making patches and obtaining supplies. These types of customers are much more likely to reject something that is a bit off in color or size than other types of customers. Medical clinics, veterinary clinics, dentists, and other organizations where people wear lab coats or scrubs may be another fertile market for patches. These patches are used to identify the position and/or specialty of the person wearing the lab coat, as well as brand the business itself. Construction companies are often organizations that use patches. Reflective patches are a useful product for those who work on road crews or who work long days and may work into the evening. Employee safety can also be provided by high- visibility patches, which are created in bright, neon colors, making them much more visible than a standard patch. Construction companies may also need branding for hats, jackets, and even tool cases. Keep in mind that patches are about branding, which means almost any business could potentially be a good market for embellished patches. The trick is to find a method of making patches that suits your business and the way you work, while also allowing you to turn out patches with a speed and consistency that enables you to make a profit. The method you use may de- pend somewhat on the expectations of the customers to whom you sell. Some will find patches with satin stitched or heat-sealed edges acceptable. Others may want a more professional look, which would require buying either merrowed blanks or already decorated custom patches from a company who spe- cializes in such work. The main thing to remember is that, whatever method you choose, it should be one that you can du- plicate consistently so you can ensure you're offering the same quality and appearance to your clients. PW Kristine Shreve is the director of mar- keting for EnMart and parent company Ensign Emblem. She developed and writes the EnMart EmbroideryTalk Blog at and the SubliStuff blog at She additionally maintains the EnMart Twitter feed ( and Facebook page ( Reach her by email at kristine. (Image courtesy MelissaMN - Top: Patches should be easy to consistently duplicate so you can ensure you're offering the same quality and appearance to customers. Above: Almost any business can be a good market for embel- lished patches. Top: Patches should be easy to consistently duplicate so you can ensure you're offering the same

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