Orders and Contacts

Although we did get our first non-contact order, the majority of our orders come from word of mouth which is what we have really worked the hardest on.  We always have business cards on hand, we give them out, and just tell people our story. 

 I actually get a lot of books on marketing and sales which I have talked about before.  Most recently I am reading Marketing Without Advertising:Easy Ways to Build a Business Your Customers Will Love and Recommend by Michael Phillips and Salli Rasberry.   This book has so much information and knowledge that I am NOT tearing through it rapidly.  I am reading it very slow and carefully.  I read the information and take in how this information can help us in our journey.  This book just follows along with what we have been doing or vice versa, but it is nice to know that it is working.  Slowly, but working nonetheless.

NWCTA Rock Band Club

I just wanted to show the pictures for another one of our orders that we had recently.  This is a two color front and two color back design for the Northwest Career and Technical Academy Rock Band Club.  This is the first time that they have had shirts so they were very excited.  They came up with the basic design that we went back and personalized  a bit for them.  We printed these shirts last weekend and delivered them to the group five days ahead of our promised delivery time!

This particular print was interesting for me because this was my first time using the RyOpaque Redon the black shirt.  The last time I printed red on black, I had to put a white under base which was not fun.  Lining up the red on top of the white exactly each time was tedious and usually was not exact.  The RyOpaque Red was great!  I did have to print/flash/print, but was very pleased with the vibrant red color!  I also used the Ryonet White ink and it was fantastic as always!   You can see the great results here! 4GVJ2ZZ4FFYW

Fluffy Puff Girls

When we started screen printing as a company instead of just a hobby, there is one thing that I really wanted to happen to feel successful.  Or at least on our way to successful.  And that one thing was getting an order from someone not connected to anyone that we know.  Not a school contact or friend of a friend, but just someone out of the blue finds us and we get an order.  Well, that finally happened two weeks ago!

On our website, www.thetshirtguylv.com we have a T-Shirt designer.  Guests to our site can design shirts using their own ideas or pick from already designed shirts.  The guests then place their order and we get to work!  Within minutes of getting the order, I received a call from the person that placed the order and she needed the shirts in 8 days from the day she ordered the shirts!  So we were VERY excited, and very nervous at the same time.  We had to order the shirts from a company that we normally don’t use, get the design burned, and then print the shirts all while we had another order on the press!  Oh, and did I mention this was all going on last week while the SGIA Expo was going on?!

Nonetheless, we did it!  We got the t-shirts from www.outletshirts.com on time, burned the designs, and printed the shirts with one day to spare!  And the client loved them!  She even gave our business card to some friends already and filled out our satisfaction survey giving us rave reviews!  We couldn’t be happier with the order and the results! 

BUSY Week and Weekend!

We had a very busy week here in the T-shirt world!  The SGIA Expo 2010 was going on Wednesday through Friday.  I was able to go the the Expo for a couple of days and see some really amazing things!  I was also able to meet a lot of vendors for the products that we purchase.  It was also good to see the ladies and gentleman from Ryonet and Revolt Graphics!

After a couple of busy days at the show, we had T-Shirts to print!  We have four orders of shirts to print and by doing them this weekend, we are getting them to the customers five days ahead of schedule!  And the shirts look AWESOME!  I am very pleased.  Kyle and I talked a good bit about the upgraded equipment and how time is money.  We really saw the difference in having better equipment and how much faster and smoother the printing process is. 

During the printing this weekend we have been brainstorming on ways to get out into the community more to continue to get orders and have come up with a couple of fun things to do.  Not to leave you hanging too much, but we won’t divulge all of our secrets today!  But we will soon!

SGIA Expo 2010

The SGIA Expo 2010 started today!  And wow!  It is awesome!  This trade show is really huge.  It is hard to believe how big this convention is.  There are lots of screen printing industry vendors and a lot of vendors for other industries as well.  So far I talked to the guys at CCI, M&R, Revolt Graphics, GraphicElephants, Digital Knight Heat Press, and Ryonet of course!  I have a couple of training sessions tomorrow that I am looking forward to.  Plus the Keynote Breakfast is tomorrow.  Lots more to learn and to tell you about!

Cleaning, Burning, and Printing

We had a very productive weekend.  We have three shirt orders that came in on Thursday and were able to get all three ready to print! Immediately on Friday I ordered the shirts from Shirtspace.com that we needed to get the orders moving!

The first two orders are for the National Honor Society at Northwest Career and Technical Academy.  They want shirts to sell as a fundraiser and want a girls style shirt and a boys style shirt.  While working with NHS over the past couple of weeks we came up with two very cool designs that I think are going to sell really well.  And, fortunately for us, we had a couple of shirts on hand and were able to print up sample shirts this weekend so they can start a pre-sell on the shirts.  This is beneficial for both of us because they can get their fundraising going, and if they sell more than they ordered, we can get more shirts ordered and printed for them!  It is really a win-win. 

The third order that we got on Thursday was for the Northwest Career and Technical Academy Rock Band Club.  They came up with their own image that we tailored more for their school and they love it!  This is an exciting order for us because we don’t have any ties to this club so this is more of a blind order.  We are very happy to get their business and were fortunate to have the foresight to do a test run on the design this weekend.  This design is printed on a black shirt, but some of the detail is very fine and I was concerned about how I would do with the Ryopaque White Ink on a 230 mesh with fine detail.  But, it worked great!  I don’t have pictures for this one yet because we didn’t do a full print, but just tested the white.  Those pictures will be up when we get the rest of the shirts in later in the week. 

So this weekend we spent most of Saturday rearranging our shop setup, removing emulsion from screens, cleaning the screens, then putting emulsion back on, burning images, and then finally, my favorite part, printing!  I am so glad that we have these jobs already setup.  Now I am just looking forward to my shirts to arrive from ShirtSpace.com!

Whew!

Well, the planning is paying off.  We knew that we had an order with a local school, but today we landed three additional jobs from that school.  I am very excited.  So this weekend we will be coating, burning, and printing….Finally!  I am very happy.  This is the niche that we want to be a part of and things have been slower than we would like. It looks like things might be picking up.

SGIA is next week!

As you all know, I love conventions!  I had a great time at the NBM show  in August and next week, October 13-15,  the SGIA show  will be here in Las Vegas!  I am really looking forward to seeing everyone from Ryonet of course, and I am looking forward to learning even more about the business.  I am trying to get my schedule figured out for next week to be able to make the most of my time at the convention.  I usually only have about 3 1/2 to 4 hours each day that I am available, but the Las Vegas Convention Center is about 25 minutes away so that leaves me even less time actually at the show.  But I am sure all of that will work out. 

The shows are a great opportunity to find vendors, see new techniques, and for me, learn about the business side of screen printing.  I try to go to a variety of seminars that include garment decorating and sales and marketing.  I learned so much at the NBM show that I am even more anxious for the SGIA show  to get here.  Going to a show really helps me get inspired and see what is possible for me to do and to learn.  Trade shows really help me see the possiblity of our business as far as both design and growth.  I learned a lot from Graphic Elephants’ Lon Winters, and am looking forward to see what all I can pick up from him at the SGIA show!

I am actually multi-tasking right now as I write this.  SGIA  has a preview webinar that they offer to participants and it is on right now.  Hearing that there are Sales-Free Demonstration Zones  at the show is pretty cool!  There are demonstrations in the exhibit hall throughout the day and if you want to go, you just show up at the time of the demo you want to see!  No extra seminar fees!  Pretty awesome!  Most of the demostrations are designed for beginners so being free is even better! 

I will of course have my Flip camera and notepad, so I will make sure to give updates as to how things are going!

Cross our fingers

Today we should find out about some jobs coming through.  I am hoping to get going on these orders.  Like I said the other day, there is so much potential out there, but the waiting part is difficult. 

We are going to try something new in December.  We are going to go to a local Christmas Event.  Vendors can sign up for a booth and even give away something for a prize drawing.  It is in our area of town so I thought this would be a good way to get our name out there more.  We are going to make a t-shirt to sell at the event and give something away in the drawing as well.  I am hoping to talk to the coordinators about making the shirts next year.  The event gives away a t-shirt to contestant that enter into the Christmas car decorating contest.  I think it would be a fun job to get!  We already have an awning and tables, I will just have to figure out how to decorate our space as decorating is encouraged.  I think we will have to have a banner made to further show off our business.  I generally like attending events like this one, so I think it will be fun to work it for our business!