Although we don’t get too much business for charity events and shirts, we do contribute a good bit to the Southern Nevada Susan G. Komen Foundation. We run every year in the Race for the Cure and like to promote events that help raise money to find a cure for breast cancer. I am also a big supporter of LIVEstrong and Lance Armstong’s endless fight to help find a cure for all cancers. As today is LIVEstrong day, find a way to help share the message or help find a cure!
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.
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!
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!
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.
Today we are working on some photos that Ryonet requested. As we won the first www.ryonetblog.com Pick Me Contest, Ryonet is doing an article on our company and the continued success of our business. As we’ve looked back over the past year, a lot has changed for us and we have learned a great deal. We are thankful to everyone at Ryonet. Over the next couple of weeks we will highlight some of our successes, some trials and tribulations, and tell you our favorite moments from the last year!
This is awesome, hilarious, and inventive. Leave it to Ryonet to be so creative!
I can’t wait until MONDAY! I am so excited about Ryonet’s 50% off sales! As everyone else waits in anticipation about the sale, we are too! Here are some of the funny videos that Ryonet put together to promote the sale.
I hope you like them! We do!
Now we are off to put emulsion on screens for the Cowboy Christmas event next weekend! YEAH!
Most of you know the main reason we were able to really take off with our screen printing business was from Ryonet’s Pick Me Video Blog contest. We won the contest that resulted a fantastic prize package that consisted of a new press, lots of great ink, and so many extras that has really helped our business begin to grow.
To help support the Pick Me Video Blog contestants, Ryonet sponsors a monthly contest to keep the new screen printers motivated. The first month’s contest was to have a certain number of posts and videos posted. Mobile T-Shirt Adventures won this contest and got a great selection of specialty inks. The next contest was to have the most views on a YouTube.com video about screen printing, and Moya Tees blew everyone away with over 5,000 views of his video! He won a great printer, the Epson BlackMax 1400 and AccuRip. For any non-printers reading this, well, it is one of the best products to start the art process to get great results when printing. The T-Shirt Guy blog won last month’s contest, thanks to many of you as we had the most activity on our blog in a month. We won some fabulous upgrades that included micro-registration for our new press! And again for non-printers, micro-registration helps us line up designs for more precise printing. A real help for newbies like us!
This month’s contest is to submit a unique marketing idea. Well, we have been thinking about this for awhile and think we have a really great and useful idea! On December 4th we will be attending a local Christmas event called Cowboy Christmas. This event is an annual kick-off to the Christmas season in Las Vegas. Vendors range from glassblowers to food vendors to local farmers. We have a booth at the Cowboy Christmas and are actually going to bring our press to the event! We are going to let people come and print their own shirts! We will have lots of information about our company available including printed koozies, flyers, and already made shirts! The best part about this marketing idea is that the Cowboy Christmas does a prize giveaway to attendees. We are donating a certificate for a T-Shirt order for 10 shirts to the recipient! The Cowboy Christmas sponsors told us that they will bring us up to the stage while the announcement is being made about our contribution and tell the community a little about our company! What a great way to kickoff the holiday season! We hope you enjoy our festive blog, our marketing idea, and we will let you know how it goes!