About 2 months ago a friend of ours asked if we could screen print onesies for him as gifts. He is in the Air Force and each time someone has a baby in his squadron they give a onesie with the squadron logo on it to the new parents. Our friend didn’t know who put this logo on for them in the past, but knew that we printed shirts so he asked us! He sent us pictures of the onesies that had made in the past and I realized they were not screen printed but the image was put on with heat transfer. Luckily for us we have our Digital Knight Heat Press and I just had to find the right heat transfer product to use. So we took the job.
Finding the right product to use may sound easy enough, but this process was quite grueling. I started off with some heat transfer products I have used in the past when I made photo quilts. But with the products I used in the past were primarily made for ink jet printers and were not very good quality compared to the laser papers. But the laser papers I tried left either a heavy film or the image was washed out. So I just kept researching until I found Pro Word, Inc. I found a product called Trim Free Laser Paper.
This paper is pretty cool! You print your image from your laser printer onto the paper. After you heat press the image onto the garment, only the print comes off onto the garment. I could not believe what I was reading! What a neat product! I ordered enough to get the onesie job done then waited for it arrive. When the Trim Free paper finally arrived, I took them to my local printer to have them printed. I couldn’t use my laser printer at home because it is an HP, and of course, the paper cannot be used in an HP printer. But I thought this was not a big deal because our local printer has a Canon laser copier. When I took the job there, they won’t copy on to heat transfer paper anymore after someone ruined their printer. So I went to the next copy store. And the same problem occurred there.
Finally, Kyle and I talked about what to do to get this job done. He suggested that we buy another laser printer. This was not an expense that I was expecting, but I needed to get the job done. We did some research and found a printer that would work. As luck would have it, we went to purchase the printer at Office Max and it was on sale! YEAH! We brought the printer home, hooked it up, and printed the Trim Free paper with the squadron logo. Then the big test came when we pressed the design onto the onesies. And they came out great! I was very pleased with the paper, the quality of the color, and the whole look of the design on the garment. When we delivered the onesies yesterday, our friend was very pleased! Me too!
And the best part for me is that we had another friend already ask us if we can print on onsies! Yes. Yes, we can print on onsies!
After a lot of time and deciding what would work out best for our setup, we decided to go ahead and make a new drying rack. Using the PVC rack for the wood screens proved to be too small for the aluminum screens. If you need any specifics on how to make this, just let us know!
This contest that we entered on a whim in July has really been wonderful. We went into the contest as a family with everyone sharing how their part is important to the company, how we started off screen printing as a hobby, and how our interest grew to this point that we wanted to grow into a company. A successful company of course. We just needed some help. And that is what we feel people saw when they watched our video and voted for us in order to win.
Today, when we got the link for an article to read in Impressions Magazine and realized we were mentioned in the article, well, that was overwhelming! Not just because the contest that we entered was there, but that Ryonet would make sure to mention us by name! Just when you think that Ryonet can’t top themselves, they do.
I was in LA visiting friends of mine and on my way home today I stopped by Ryonet LA to pick up a few supplies. Nate and Enrique were there, and I met Gabe as well! Nate and I chatted for a bit about the techniques that I have been trying and the progress of all the Ryonet bloggers. Even though LA is about 5 hours from Vegas, we seem to be there a good bit, and it sure was nice to be able to just grab some of the little things that we don’t always remember to order! I look forward to our next visit to Ryonet LA!
We got approval for the artwork for the green Crew 555 shirt that we talked about on previous post. Since then we pitched another design to the Order of the Arrow chapter and are awaiting approval on that job. It should be a fun shirt for Kyle as he was in the Order of the Arrow as a kid and has become an active member again since our son joined scouts. The design is the “evolution” of the Order of the Arrow logos. It is a clean, neat, and simple design that brings a big statement.
Our next project on task for the weekend is making another video. As I stated in our last post, we have been doing more paperwork than printing the past few days. But we have been designing some shirts as well. Kylie is still on the archery team and they want shirts again (yeah!) so we are trying to come up with some designs to show them on Wednesday. We are finishing up the designs for her English teacher as well. This is the shirt that we mentioned in our original contest video. The catch for us for the summer was that the teacher went out of the country so we couldn’t move forward with the design. So now that school is back in, we can get some of these projects going.
So the past week or so has not been very exciting for us, but it has been a productive week. School started on Monday so things were busy for us with our family, but also for our business. School groups, teams, and clubs have been an area we want to market to so we took the last week coming up with a flyer to send out to the three local high schools. Las Vegas is so heavily populated that we have three high schools within a 5 mile radius. There are about 50 high schools in Las Vegas so we will keep branching out further and further eventually.
At this point we made the flyers and included information about our company as well as some mock up designs for the schools. Revolt Graphics Technologies has a great website set-up and this helped us design some great artwork for the schools. When I went to the NBM show, I mentioned before that I took a lot of business seminars. One of the seminars was a marketing seminar taught by Vince DiCecco. In this seminar we talked about how to get your mail outs noticed, and one of the techniques is to hand write the outer envelope. So I spent the last three days while the kids were in school handwriting the envelopes for the three school mail outs. As the first set just went out yesterday, I will have to keep you posted on how many leads we get in return. I did make a list of everyone we sent the flyer to and what subject they teach, club they sponsor, or team they coach so we can have that information on record to help with creating designs. I also wanted to do an analysis next summer to see what groups responded and what didn’t. Another area Vince talked about in the seminar is knowing your target market and know how to market to them. For example, if we get more clubs than sports teams that respond, then we will target our marketing more towards clubs. If we get a response from each area, then we know to continue marketing to the school in general. Well, I need to get back to those envelopes…