Looking back to move ahead

As the days go by and we are busier and busier thankfully, I started to think the other day about where this whole T-shirt business started.  Many people know our story that we bought VERY basic screen printing equipment in order to make T-shirts for our son’s cub scout troop.  That was over four years ago.  After making those shirts we really didn’t do much else with the equipment except made a few fun shirts for our family.  I don’t know what point we decided to try out making money with screen printing, but I had a good chuckle when I thought about how difficult printing seemed then.

When we printed, we were MESSY!  Everything was covered in ink, cleaning up was a nightmare, even exposing screens was awful.  I didn’t really do much with the screen printing then, Kyle did most of it.  I would sit with him in our dark room (i.e. the bathroom) while he exposed screens for 12 1/2 minutes exactly, and I might have helped him wash out screens, but I just wasn’t into the whole process.  After we did get our first equipment and found out Ryonet had classes to help learn the process better, I arranged the whole class and trip for Kyle.  I went with him, but not to the class.  I spent the two days in Portland and had a great time!  I just figured this was his hobby.

I don’t know when I started printing, but I remember asking Kyle if I could try it.  I wasn’t great at it and it was more difficult than it looked, but I liked the end result. So somewhere along the line I started printing and Kyle let me!  He always said the printing stressed him out because he didn’t want to mess it up.  I enjoyed the time to see what I could come up with and how the mesh, ink, shirt relationship worked. 

By the time I had done a couple of prints, Ryonet decided to have a contest to help a new business or a not yet existing business expand their potential with the Pick Me Contest.  The contest would consist of an initial video telling about the company or soon to be company that you would like to have.  And then people got to vote for their favorite.  And we won! 

We won lots of great equipment that really helped us sculpt our small hobby into a “real” business.  The silver press, exposure unit, and tons of great ink were just the beginning of what I found to be a fabulous business. We also were treated to another class but this time were able to go to LA at the new Ryonet LA facility.  It was my turn to learn more about screen printing and I was definitely hooked!  Foil, glitter, and other specialty inks caught my eye and I was anxious to learn more.

Now fast forward almost two years and we have definitely expanded.  We do not print full-time just yet, but we do work steadily.  We have several repeat customers including the Archery Club, and Student/Teacher softball game at Northwest Career and Technical Academy, several other school groups, two teams, Batitudes and Team Intensity, with the Northwest Girls Softball League, and we just keep getting more and more repeats.  We are always glad to get calls for new business and strive to provide a great experience for our customers.  

Our products don’t just revolve around printing anymore.  We do car vinyl decals, buttons, lots of rhinestones, numbers and letters for jerseys or other shirts, and promotional products.  I look around now and see our business as an opportunity for my family to work together to make a better life together.  That’s why we started this business and it is nice to know that we have followed through with our family in mind. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vinyl to the rescue!

We don’t usually take one shirt orders but we received a call from a customer that just needed one shirt. The design was easy enough to be cut out on the plotter and heat pressed onto the shirt that we decided to say yes. In fact the entire shirt was just words. Unfortunately, the meaning of the shirt escapes us as it’s some kind of inside joke but we were able to get it done in just a couple of days as we don’t keep the shirt color that he wanted in stock. We already had white vinyl at the shop and were able to cut the design in short order.

Now that we are a LLC in the state of Nevada additional distributors have been opened up to us. We discovered a local t-shirt distributor just 30 minutes from the shop. Kelley was able to swing over and pick up what the client needed and come back to heat press the design.

Custom White Vinyl Letters

Custom White Vinyl Letters

Las Vegas Area Council Mega Scout Expo Booth

In an effort to increase sales and visibility in our community we decided to take out an ad in the event guide at the Mega Scout Expo for the Las Area Council Boy Scouts. The Expo event occurs every year and every troop, pack, and venturing crew is invited for this two day extravaganza. We figured this is a perfect spot to advertise. The event guide is given out to everyone that attends and it comes with a free booth. We asked our designers to come up with an ad to be placed in the guide. You can see what she came up with below. If all goes well we will have talked to a lot of people that are interested in shirts for their unit and hopefully come out with some new orders. We will be promoting our normal business with The T-Shirt Guy as well as our girly blinged out shirts for the moms with The T-Shirt Girl. We are even going to roll out our promotional items and see if anyone needs customized key chains, cups, pens, and more!

Boy Scout Mega Scout Expo Ad

Boy Scout Mega Scout Expo Ad

Batitudes Softball T-Shirt Re-Order

Our favorite softball team has re-ordered from us again. A few more blingged out rhinestone shirts, t-shirts, and sweatshirts. We also cut out some names and numbers to but on the back of the shirts as well. By using the rhinestone sticky flock template material we are able to reuse the templates again and again. This allows us to be pretty productive when creating these girly shirts for the team and moms.

Batitudes Softball ladies rhinestone bling shirt and sweatshirt

Batitudes Softball ladies rhinestone bling shirt and sweatshirt

Jack and Jill

These two new beauties will be joining The T-Shirt Guy family. In an effort to show off our shirts in the best way possible we picked up a couple of mannequins to dress in custom screen printed t-shirts. Look for them to show up all over the blog and our new web site!

Jack and Jill mannequins
Our newest additions

New Web Site!

Over the past month or so we have been busy planning out a new web site. We hired the design firm Virtual Tours Production to create our new online experience for us. As we don’t want to let the whole cat out of the bag just yet but we did want to give you just a glimpse of what to expect. Leave a comment and let us know what you think.

The T-Shirt Guy and The T-Shirt Girl landing page

The T-Shirt Guy and The T-Shirt Girl landing page

More on Vinyl

So last night I had a few jobs to cut on the plotter. We started using the plotter for the onesie/twosies jobs. We don’t usually take orders for less than 10 shirts but when it’s for family or a close buddy what are you going to do?

First, made a quick cut of a phrase for my mother-in-law’s birthday. It was a quote from Tina Turner. The Graphtech CE5000-60 peeled right through it.

The second job was a little trickier. This is for a track shirt for my buddy’s daughter. She only wants two shirts but it’s a two color design. Since her school, Foxcroft Academy, colors are maroon and white we decided to pick up some maroon vinyl from Specialty Graphics. The design is layered on top of each other creating an outline effect. This is the first time that I had to create two vinyl designs and layer them on top of each other. It didn’t come out perfect as my first cut I missed the inside of the “A” but I ended up cutting it out with an exacto knife. All in all it came out well. Kelley will be pressing it on a shirt later today. She will have to line up the two designs by eye so we will see how that goes.

This is the design that was proofed. The client gave us a pdf from Microsoft Word with what he wanted. He basically used Word Art. I was able to take his as a concept and create it in Adobe Illustrator.

Foxcroft Track and Field Vinyl T-Shirt

Foxcroft Track and Field

The finished vinyl designs are below. You can see the white one on the left will go directly on the shirt as a base. The maroon design on the right will be pressed over the white.

Foxcroft Academy Track and Field White Vinyl design

Foxcroft Academy Track and Field White Vinyl

Foxcroft Academy Track and Field Maroon Vinyl design

Foxcroft Academy Track & Field Maroon Vinyl

Below is the final product. Front two-color vinyl design with cut letters on the back.

Foxcroft two color vinyl heat press shirt

Foxcroft two color vinyl heat press shirt


Let us know how we can help you with your school track & field shirts or other sports. We can print uniforms and practice jerseys. As you can see we can put names and numbers on the back of the shirts as well.

New Vinyl

We are trying out some new products now that we have a vinyl plotter and cutter.  As previously mentioned by Kyle in the last post, flocking is a big hit around here! As the decorated apparel industry strives to have the wants of the consumers in mind, the “feel” of designs on shirts is very popular.  But the look is as well.  Glitter and metallic vinyls were on the order recently as well.  When I saw the Flamingo Pink Glitter vinyl, I just thought of what a cool upgraded look that would be for softball uniforms!  Instead of the traditional solid color vinyl, adding glitter vinyl names and numbers would really stand out from the other teams!

Trying out a new product – Flocking

I’ve been working with our plotter for the last couple of months. I’ve successfully cut out rhinestone designs and we heat pressed them on shirts. In search of some car vinyl to make those little people that go on windshields I stumbled across www.specialty-graphics.com. In addition to the window sticker vinyl I grabbed some flocking material. Although flocking comes in several different colors I bought some white and when it arrived I got to work.

The flocking stands out and is “fuzzy” to touch. I made two shirts for my kids just for fun. The plotter cut out the vinyl with no problem at all. Weeding was just as easy. You can see the final products below. Flocking will make it to our Las Vegas shop soon. Look for it under specialty products.

Batitude Softball Uniforms

We just finished an order for uniforms for the Northwest Softball League team, the Batitudes.  They are a 12U team that have been playing together since the fall.  Last season we did their T-shirts and sweatshirts, and we were able to print their entire uniform this season.  We are also expecting a T-shirt order from them soon including rhinestoned shirts for the moms!  Check out the pictures of how the uniforms came out!

Blinged Batitudes! The Batitudes jerseyThe reverse print for the practice jerseyThe jersey and pants ready to goSponsor name looks great!