Contract Embroidery and DTG Printing
Its hard to believe, but the months are gaining on us. Summer may have just ended, but as far as your embroidery business is concerned, the holiday season has already arrived. Granted, your customers probably aren't thinking about Christmas or Hanukkah while they're picnicking in the park. But if you're smart, you will be. In the second part of this series, I'll give you ideas on preparing your publicity, shop displays, in-store promotional events and customer service programs for that potential fourth-quarter surge in holiday sales.
There used to be a time when sweatshirts were considered appropriate for two purposes – exercising and cleaning out the garage. Today, a sweatshirt, especially one that is embroidered, can be appropriate attire for a holiday dinner, an evening out, even the office.
Sweatshirts are now widely accepted as everyday apparel. Especially with many women, who took longer to convince, but now do the bulk of fleecewear buying for themselves and other members of their families.
Sales for fleece apparel, while minimal April through June, begin to accelerate in July and August because of back to school purchases. Embroidery sweatshirt sales continue to grow strongly through November, influenced by cooler weather and pending holiday sales. They peak in December, then drop once the holidays have passed.
Cooler climates see fairly strong sweatshirt sales year round, while warmer ones can benefit from lightweight styles, such as short sleeved pullovers, and fleece shorts. The benefits of sweatshirts are comfort, warmth, easy care and affordability for your customers. They can be casual or dressed up for just about any occasion. Your benefit is that blank sweatshirts are relatively low cost, yet can become profitable by adding the value with embroidered logos.
So you’ve made a successful career out of professional screen printing or promotional products for years now. In the back of your mind you’ve known that embroidery and DTG printing are things that could expand your business to a new level, but have been hesitant about offering them yourself. Your customers have been requesting these services for years, and you’ve been limited to answering those requests by referring them a competent embroiderer in your area. Handling requests this way may be the simplest way to maintain a good relationship with your customers, it also leaves a glaring hole in your profits by pushing any part of the sale completely away from you.
Most customers appreciate a one-stop source for all their decorated apparel and promotional items. When a customer has an event that they’d like some screen printed T-shirts made, but additionally would like embroidered caps too, placing that order with the same company is simply easier for them. Running around to multiple manufacturers is time consuming.
When a digitizer is hired to transform artwork into a file capable of being be run on an embroidery machine, the customer contracting the work usually has a clear idea in his or her mind about how the finished results should look. Determining how well a design will work as embroidery should not wait until after it is digitized, however. To help assure satisfaction of a design when it is sewn, assessment should actually start at the beginning when the order is placed with the digitizer.
First, the design itself is the basis of any good embroidery. Quality stitching will come from a well-prepared blueprint to follow. Artwork should be clear and bold with colors well marked. The size should be big enough to show detail. Any artwork also should have the eventual production goals in mind. Keeping the focus on efficient production helps the digitizer avoid adding any unnecessary detail, colors, trims, and so forth.