Our Top 10 Sites

Hey everyone-

We wanted to give you a list of our top 10 sites that we use as reference for our business.  These websites either provide products for us, information for our business, or a source when we need questions answered.  Some sites do all three!  If you are another printer out there, leave us a comment of your favorite sites and why.  We are looking to add as many references as we can!  So here goes our top 10 reference list (the order is not necessarily indicative to how much we use the site):

10. International Coatings at www.iccink.com– This site provides a ton of information about the ink that we use to print our designs.  They have articles about the inks, FAQ’s on how to use the inks, and even MSDS sheets!  I go to this site about once a week to see what is going on there!

9. Shirt Supplier at www.shirtsupplier.com – This is my second source for shirts as my first one is listed below.  Their site is easy to add multiple items to the cart and it comes in handy when you have a big order.

8. Outlet Shirts at www.outletshirts.com – I use outletshirts.com when I need large  sizes of shirts in more variety of colors.  I like that Outlet Shirts has Port & Company shirts in sizes 3X, 4X, and more!  This gives our clients a lot of options.

7. Graphic Elephants at www.graphicelephants.com– I go to this site every now and then to see what Lon Winters and Jason Ballash are up to.  I was fortunate enough to meet them a couple of times at shows and they have such a wealth of information to share.  And both are so good with sharing this information.  I know that I am on such a different level of printing, but these guys never make you feel like you can’t do something.  In fact, they encourage you to try!

6. Small Business Administration at www.sba.gov – This site is so useful as a new business owner.  There is a wealth of information on this site and when I need a business question answered or clarified, I go to the SBA site!

5. Printwear Magazine at www.printwearmag.com – I like to catch up on the latest information for garment decorators.  I do subscribe to the hard copy of the magazine as well, but the online version is fun to go through as well.  I like finding archived articles of topics that are current to our printing. 

4. YouTube at www.youtube.com -Everyone knows of YouTube, but I like the information that is out there. Ryonet  has great videos of course and there are some other interesting screen printing and business videos out there. 

3. Shirtspace at www.shirtspace.com – This is the best site that I have found to order T-shirts from.  They have exceptional customer service, the order arrives on time, and their prices are great.  I like their prices even better when they have a big discount going on.  I have been very pleased with our purchases from this site!

2. Ryonetblog at www.ryonetblog.com-How could we not list this as our #1 or #2 site?  This is the site that got us up and running in this business after we entered the Ryonet Pick Me Contest!  I visit this site several times a week to see new posts, videos, and ideas from Ryonet. 

1. Ryonet at www.silkscreeningsupplies.com of course!  This is our number 1 site due to the fact that there is so much information on products, videos and help about the products, and so much to learn about this business.  We are on this site so much during the week, whether we are scoping out our next big purchase, watching a video about a product, or just looking at the regular supplies that we need. 

These are our top 10!  Want to add to the list?  Let us hear from you!

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!

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!

Scout Job: Sales Pitch

I am very excited to write this entry as this design evolution came about from the things I have learned over the past two months, but more specifically what I learned at the NBM show seminars.  I took three days of seminars and several that included t-shirt designs, specialty inks, and how to market our business.  I took lots of notes, met a lot of people, and had a lot of information just waiting to be used!  Today we got to put a lot of that information to use. 

The local Boy Scout Troop 555 needed a new shirt design for the Venture Crew t-shirt.  The theme of the Venture Crew is rifles, archery, muzzleloading, and shotguns. For the back,  we came up with the traditional design of the four diamonds and the text around the outside of the design.  The  front design is the traditional fleur-de-lis with the crew number around the design.  We had a similar design that we came up with as well.

But, before we left to pitch the design, I wanted to try something new.  At the NBM show I had taken several classes from Lon Winters of Graphic Elephants and Lon had talked about just trying new things.  Making designs more modern.  In the classes, Lon showed us a ton of shirts with specialty inks or just original applications.  He kept saying to just try something new.  I have been thinking about that a lot, and I just had an idea that I wanted to pitch to the scouts.  So Kyle and I quickly sat down with our graphic editing program that we got from Revolt Graphics.  We put a modern style design together in 20 minutes!  It was great!  We decided we would pitch the design using a reduced plastisol ink so the design would have a softer hand when it was printed.  We also pitched a softer cotton shirt so the shirt overall would be more comfortable.  Of the two basic designs and the modern design, it was an easy sell.  The scouts want the modern style shirt! 

I am very excited because I want to try the reduced plastisol to make the softer style shirt.   I need to find the color and style of shirt too!