June '21

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 1 J U N E G R A P H I C S P R O 9 3 essentially be endless. Most promotion- al products companies can help you cut down on the cost of shipping blanks and cut out time by simply decorating the blank products that they already stock. There are thousands of these types of companies, many specializing in a single type of product, so the vetting process can be time-consuming. But if your cli- ent loves you and wants to know if you can make pens as well as shirts, the an- swer can be, "Oh yes! Absolutely!" with no hesitation. While sometimes utilizing your equipment and skills may be the best option, just because you can print business cards with your personal computer doesn't mean you should. By private labeling or blind shipping from wholesale promotional product companies who exist solely for this pur- pose, you can gain an advantage while still being picky about the companies you work with. These companies are often fa- miliar with the needs of apparel compa- nies who are expanding their offerings. CONCLUSION Before diving headfirst into a new offer- ing, do at least some basic-level research so you can direct your clients appropriate- ly, just like you do with your main offer- ings. If you want to offer wall prints, for example, ensure you know how your ma- terial is going to react with oxidized paint or textured walls so you don't end up los- ing a valuable customer you already have. Once you feel comfortable adding on one new product, you've got it and can start with more. While you do not have to add on 50 products at once, staying stagnant can be less efficient than it ap- pears on the surface, and with a little col- laboration, your end customers will thank you. GP JEREMY PICKER is the creative director and CEO at AMB3R Creative, a Colorado-based apparel design firm. He has over 20 years' experience in the fashion industry and brings a depth of knowledge in custom design, screen printing, embroidery, appliqué, finishing, and promotional products. He is a cancer survivor and a co- founder of ESTAINE, a high-end accessory line to sup- port cancer education. You can reach him at jeremy@ and 303-304-9948. At first glance, the idea of expanding into pens as an apparel decorator might seem daunting. However, there are a few ways to break into the industry to increase your of- ferings using the equipment and space you already have.

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