October '22

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research may give you a competitive advantage. Embellishing uniforms and workwear may not be for every shop. ere are hoops that need to be jumped, supplies that need to be sourced, and, in some cases, regulations that require compli- ance. What makes this profit center attractive is the fact that most towns have smaller businesses that need uniforms, and they're not large enough to be worth the time and effort of the large-scale uniform rental companies. Like corporate logowear or spiritwear, creating uniforms and workwear can be a way to tie clients to your shop since you know how to create what they need and meet any specific industry requirements. Doing this sort of work also offers opportunities for upselling and expanding into corporate wear or promotional items as well. A mechanic's shop or the local diner may also be an easier client to secure than a local school or hospital or larger orga- nization. In the end, uniforms and workwear, like any job a busi- ness takes on, will be what you make of it, but this category has a great deal of potential, and shops that specialize in certain types of uniforms and workwear can do very well for themselves. GP casual workplace environment, so it's a nice, loose-fitting shirt, or a shirt that's comfortable on employees, that they want to wear. WHAT'S BEHIND THE APPEAL OF COLLARED SHIRTS IN THE WORKPLACE? It sets the stage that you're there to do business. I talk to people all the time that you can see have a dress code of some type because they have that collared shirt on. The collared shirt is the minimum of what most businesses want to see. T-shirts did show up, particularly during the pandemic, but the appeal is it's the minimum standard of the casual side of representing a company. Managers like it because it shows that there's business; employees like it because it's not a dress shirt. It's a nice blend of what the employee wants and what the manager wants. HOW ARE DECORATION TRENDS CHANGING? The biggest trend we still see is embroidery. By far, that is the number one way to decorate garments. However, I do see the placement of that embroidery changing. It always used to be the left chest. Now, it could be the left or the right sleeve, it could be the yoke of the shirt, it could be the collar of the shirt. The biggest trend I see with decorating is a higher placement so you can see the logo on camera. Film embroidery is the number one option. With some of the performance fabrics, printing is popular or transfer vinyl. WHAT ARE SOME DO'S AND DON'TS FOR WORKWEAR PROGRAMS? I believe having multiple options is important for adop- tion. If everybody has the same, they all feel the same, and you want some individuality with color. You want employees to feel good about putting that casual busi- ness shirt on. So have options; I think those that have one option have less adoption. Whether it's a cotton versus a polyester blend, some people are passion- ate about the shirts they wear, and they should (be) because they're wearing them all day. WHY IS BRANDED WORKWEAR HERE TO STAY? If you eliminate it, the employees will wear what they want, making it harder to enforce the dress code, so very few companies we work with completely eliminate a dress code. When you have that brand- ed workwear, everybody looks like a team, and then it's easy to separate the employees from the customers. From a safety and security standpoint, I think those things are very important, and our customers believe the same. Having a list of the approved shirts and branded workwear is something that employers and employees like because it elim- inates what they have to wear. It eliminates the employee from hav- ing to think about what they can wear that day. Kristine Shreve is the founder and CEO of Kristine Shreve Consulting, offering writing, marketing, and business development services. Visit for more info. Kristine is also the creator and host of the Business + Women podcast and is also the director of marketing and outreach for Applique Getaway. Kristine was the director of marketing for Ensign Emblem and EnMart from 2006-2020. Consider fluorescent, sustainable options when you need your workwear to really stand out. (Image courtesy Atlantis Headwear) Q&A WITH MIKE BRUGGER OF FULLY PROMOTED Mike Brugger, president of Fully Promoted. G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M O C T O B E R 2 0 2 2 • G R A P H I C S P R O 3 3

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