February '20

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Page 20 of 68

1 8 P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 1 8 P R I N T W E A R F E B R U A R Y 2 0 2 0 Work Hard OUR JOB IS TO MAKE THEM LOOK GOOD EMBROIDERY Stitch Solutions J e n n i f e r C o x order. None of these workwear customers want to tie up money or space managing an inventory of decorated goods. Make it easy for them to get exactly what they need when they need it. AMERICAN MADE MATTERS In many cases, the made in USA label is required. Show American-made apparel whenever you are selling to communities, public entities, and union operations. KNOW YOUR TIMING If you are working with any government or local fire or safety organizations, contact them to find out what their budget cycle is. Many of these organizations have to place orders and make payments for their orders within certain cycles to fit within their an- nual budgets. Once you know when their budgets renew, you will know when to reach out to them about their next order. Be sure to note this on your calendar, so I t is the American Dream: Work hard and you will get ahead. As apparel decoration profes- sionals, it is our job to keep all these hard working people looking good as they go about doing their jobs. In fact, it is because of these hard working people that our industry is somewhat recession proof. No matter what the state of employment and unemployment is, there are people at work that need to wear logoed and personalized apparel. No matter what the state of the economy is, the medical professionals, tradesmen, contractors, utility workers, safety workers, delivery drivers, and food service and hospitality industry workers will show up for work wearing their logoed and branded apparel. If you're looking to get into this market or expand this segment of your business, here are some things to keep in mind to help you be successful when you are pitching workwear. QUALITY MATTERS Many industries operate in difficult or hazardous conditions daily. They are out in the weath- er, in hot or harsh industrial environments, or dealing with extremes of one kind or another. These people need to know that their apparel and outerwear is going to hold up to their expectations during normal use, and possibly even help in keeping them safe. According to Derryl "DC" Caldwell of DC Mad Hatter, "Contractors want top brands like Carhartt, and they will pay for it, because they know that level of quality is worth it when it comes to their workwear." SEEING IS BELIEVING Caldwell has found that taking samples of the products that you suspect they will want to be very effective. "When they can see and hold the shirts and jackets in their own hands, they are going to place an order with you," he says. Once they select their products, offer to bring in a range of sizes so their people can try things on to ensure that they or- der the correct sizes. You will be able to use these sizing samples in the order, so you are not out anything. Cre- ate order forms that they can distribute to their staff so that each employee can select the correct sizes or create an online option, a custom company store where staff can enter their sizes and product needs. Offering the size samples and simplifying their ordering process may be the piece that puts you ahead of any other decorators in your area. Once you start working with an organization, track the information for each person by their sizes and what they order, even in a basic spreadsheet. When the customer contacts you and needs one more shirt for Jim Wilson, you will know what style, size, and color he ordered before and can easily replicate the Made-in-America apparel is not only desired for business clients, but is often required. (Image courtesy Amanda Ferguson, Your Name Here Embroidery)

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