Awards & Engraving

April '18

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The biggest positive to working with a contract wide-format printer is being able to build a market, test a new market, and being able to scale up or down quickly. The worst is investing in equipment, not having any business for it, and then when you do get the big job, you come to find out the heads are clogged or there is some other issue. NEW MARKETS With the myths out of the way, it's time to figure out what you can do with wide-format sublimation as an option for your business. Home Textiles: This category is a vastly growing market when it comes to subli- mation. If you head over to websites like Etsy, you will see they have tons of per- sonalized home textile items. The most popular items are pillow cases or throw pillows, but the demand for personaliza- tion doesn't end there. You will also find larger items, like shower curtains, bed sheets, comforter covers, towels, and more. There is also a great market for items like door mats, car mats, comfort mats, and more. The home textile market is growing and doesn't show signs of stop- ping any time soon. Boutique Fashion Products: Gone are the days of boutiques and other retailers of fashion searching for next season's trends a year in advance and placing large stock orders for delivery in four to five months. The consumer and the retailers now demand a shorter turnaround and smaller minimum order quantities to keep up with the changing pace of fashion and hot trends. Digital decoration via subli- mation allows for ideal management of these demands. I spoke to Joe Werner, CEO of the Before+Again label, who star ted the fashion line in 2008 during the height of the recession. He says, "As a just-in-time manufacturer, our ability to turn around highly creative pieces with low minimums fit well for a market that was nervous about high inventory levels. And in the fashion business, it is key to be able to quickly react to what is on trend now and replenish product versus waiting months 30 THE SUBLIMATION REPORT • Spring 2018 • Large items such as car and door mats, table throws, and tree skirts are just a few popular gift items that can be personalized using wide-format sublimation. IMAGES COURTESY PIC THE GIFT LLC

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