Apparel Decoration Myths vs Facts: Can You Really Decorate These?

This session was featured in The S&S Virtual Experience (Feb 2021)

Have you ever thought to yourself, “Wow, this is a really cool product, but there’s just no way to decorate it for clients” or “This thing is just too difficult to decorate?” Then, this is the segment for you.

Our Head of Corporate Training and Dev, Stephan Baere meets up with STAHLS Senior VP, Josh Ellsworth, to dispel myths about some of those products you might have labeled “impossible to decorate”, while showing you some neat decorating tricks along the way.

Download the directions for all the demonstrations shown in the video here:

Featured Panelists:

  • Stephan Baere – Head of Corporate Training and Development at S&S Activewear
  • Josh Ellsworth – Senior VP, Dealer & Enterprise Sales at STAHLS

STAHLS‘® Featured Products:

S&S Featured Products:

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How Decorators Are Adapting to Customer’s New Needs & Purchasing Habits

This session was featured in The S&S Virtual Experience (Feb 2021)

Lots of decorators have seen major shifts in their business, since the arrival of Covid-19. Some of those shifts were forced upon them by the sudden changes in business, which came along with the pandemic, and some were a result of them seizing new opportunities that began popping up.

In the video above, Mark Graham, of commonsku, leads four short 1-on-1 discussions with industry decorators to talk about, how they we’re affected by these shifts, what adjustments they made, opportunities that we’re already coming about, before the pandemic, and how 2020 created other meaningful changes at their company.

Featured Panelists:

Session Takeaways:

“Kitting” is now huge.

One of the biggest changes that occurred last year, was the complete stoppage of in-person events. Companies that would normally have ordered decorated items for their corporate events, trade shows or promotional needs, now suddenly had to rethink how they engaged with their customers and employees.

Lucas Guariglia, CEO at Rowboat Creative, mentions how he tried to find solutions for these businesses by really becoming more of a partner and consultant to them. Doing so gave him and his staff the ability to offer really creative ideas for how these companies could develop a unique at-home unboxing experience, though the use of kits with decorated swag, which really connected with their audience in a more personal way.

“We try immerse ourselves into their (the client’s) company culture…immerse ourselves into what they are trying to get across…For us, it really is becoming part of that company”

Lucas Guariglia, CEO & Co-Founder at Rowboat Creative
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How to Increase Your Profit Margins on Decorated Apparel w/ the S&S Brands & Fashion Model

Since the early days of the company, S&S Activewear has always been all-in on fashion brands. Rather than focusing on developing private label options like many of the suppliers were doing at the time, we invested heavily on the retail brands that people still love and recognize today.

” The first thing I always say, when someone requests a non-premium item…is ‘why do you want that garment?’ and ‘what’s the reason?’

– Brian Geffen – President of Duds by Dudes

That investment has definitely been huge, not only for us, but also for our customers. Over the past several years, fashion trends have been increasingly influencing the kinds of apparel options that are available to and sought after in the wholesale channel. Because of that initial investment, we’ve been bringing those trends to you the whole time.

People no longer want to wake up in the morning and just put on the same tired old boxy tee, stiff polo, or plain embroidered woven. They want something that speaks to who they are as an individual. They want something, with a quality fit and feel, from a brand they recognize, which also gives them the ability to wear it from one occasion to the next, while still looking stylish.

So during a time when dress codes are expanding, customization is increasing and trends are rapidly changing, it’s now more important than ever, to capitalize on breadth of fashionable apparel options available for your business to sell. It’s time to start moving your clients away from the basics and towards premium fashion-forward options that’ll increase your margins and bring in the profits.

In the video above, our very own, Nolan Parker, leads an informative conversation with decorator, Brian Geffen and promotional products distributor, Chris Rosburg, to discuss this growing shift in the desire for decorating on fashion-forward and retail branded apparel, as well as how to convince your clients to buy premium products.

You’ll also hear how this is impacting their businesses, driving consumer demand, how the work-from-home movement is changing workwear, and get some terrific tips on how to set yourself apart from the competition.

Featured Panelists:

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A Close Look At 2021 Apparel Trends, What’s Selling and Who’s Buying

This session was featured in The S&S Virtual Experience (Feb 2021)

Learn about the top apparel and accessory trends kicking off in 2021, from a few of our Brand partners and S&S reps. We’ll also share our top 10 must-have categories, so you won’t want to miss this one.

Featured Panelists:

CLICK HERE to see the other videos from our virtual event.

How To Do Print On Demand the Right Way

This session was featured in The S&S Virtual Experience (Feb 2021)

Print-On-Demand and the use of online stores took off in 2020. Marshall Atkinson, of Atkinson Consulting, leads a panel of industry experts to talk about this major shift and give you tips on how to do it right.

Featured Panelists:

CLICK HERE to see the other videos from our virtual event.

Session Takeaways:

Print-On-Demand is here to stay.

Not only did the events of 2020 lead to a huge spike in the creation and use of online stores, it also gave lots a businesses a chance to see the benefits that a print-on-demand model can bring with it.

Kevin Oakley, owner of Stoked on Printing, says that with many warehouses needing to close last year, businesses had to lean on them for fulfillment, because they weren’t able to do it themselves. With that, came revelations that P.O.D. allowed these companies to keep from worrying about warehousing and shipping out products, because decorators could now provide that service for them.

“We really feel that Pandora’s box has opened, as far as print-on-demand and on-demand manufacturing, in general”

Kevin Oakley, Owner of Stoked on Printing
Continue reading “How To Do Print On Demand the Right Way”

Sustainability and CSR: Why it Matters to Consumers and How to Sell it

This session was featured in The S&S Virtual Experience (Feb 2021)

Sustainability and CSR is increasingly moving to the forefront of consumers minds. David Shultz, of Commonsku and PromoCares, leads a panel of suppliers and distributors to discuss the increase in demand for sustainable products and how you can incorporate them into conversations with your clients.

Featured Panelists:

CLICK HERE to see the other videos from our virtual event.

Session Takeaways:

More corporations and schools are starting to ask for sustainability metrics on apparel.

Denise Taschereau , co-Founder of Fairware, says that she’s starting to see more conventional corporations ask for background data on apparel.

“We’ve seen, in the last two to three years…what we would call more conventional companies coming to us and asking us for some pretty deep sustainability, metrics or information.”

Denise Taschereau , co-Founder of Fairware

Tech companies, universities and even those in the food industry are starting to map their carbon footprint as a company, all the way through their own operations, into their vendors operations and into the suppliers operations.

Continue reading “Sustainability and CSR: Why it Matters to Consumers and How to Sell it”

“The Art of Leveling Up Your Business” SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 15 (feat. Eric Solomon of Night Owls)

How are you with the mindset of failing?  Its a well known fact that people usually learn more from their mistakes, than from their successes. 

As we move through our careers and businesses, the concept of constantly evolving and learning has helped one business thrive.

Eric Solomon with Night Owls in Houston Texas has taken the concept of leveling up by constantly challenging themselves to do better.  

On today’s Success Stories podcast, we will explore the notion of how learning and the concept of intentionally conquering challenges, have set them apart from other screen printers.

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Continue reading ““The Art of Leveling Up Your Business” SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 15 (feat. Eric Solomon of Night Owls)”

Is Accepting Rush Orders Good For Your Business?

“I need 100 screen-printed shirts, but I needed them yesterday.” It’s a pretty common scenario for decorating shops to get a phone call that starts with that harried line. Rush and last-minute orders are part of doing business in this industry, and shop owners have mixed feelings about how to handle them.

“We’re in the sales and customer service business, so customers ask for things, not realizing how it affects our world,” says Jordy Gamson, co-founder at The Icebox“You want to make their lives easier, but sometimes it creates havoc on our side of the fence.”

“We do our best to accommodate a new customer’s fast-turn request, so it doesn’t affect our other customers. It’s an ongoing challenge, but we’re always trying to rise to the occasion.” 

Jordy Gamson, co-founder of The Icebox

Sandy Jo Pilgram, owner of Rhinestonetemplates.com and The T-Shirt Shop 56601, takes last-minute orders and upcharges for them accordingly. “These last-minute orders don’t affect my other jobs,” she says. “I build in time to fulfill those requests after-hours, and we get it done.”

While you probably won’t see the value in taking every rush order that comes your way, there are times when it makes good business sense. “We do our best to accommodate a new or existing customer’s fast-turn request so it doesn’t affect our other customers,” Gamson says. “It’s an ongoing challenge, but we’re always trying to rise to the occasion.” 

Now might be a good time to look at how you could incorporate last-minute requests into your shop’s operations, without stressing your team or normal workflow. You might even identify some bottlenecks that prevent you from flexing your production workflow with ease.

Here are eight ways to think about adding rush orders into your shop’s regular workflow.

Continue reading “Is Accepting Rush Orders Good For Your Business?”

“A Revealing Clinic on How To Turn Struggle into Rewarding Success” SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 14 (feat. Joelly Lang of Genumark)

On this episode, we’re talking to Joelly Lang about the ups and downs that led to her transformation into the “Branding Badass,” and a master in the art of promotional sales.

How did she go from “Zero to Hero” in this industry?  That’s the topic of today’s Success Stories discussion.

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Continue reading ““A Revealing Clinic on How To Turn Struggle into Rewarding Success” SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 14 (feat. Joelly Lang of Genumark)”

The Sustainable Story You Didn’t Know About Gildan

Founded in 1984 by the Chamandy brothers in Canada, Gildan enjoys a reputation for being a leading T-shirt manufacturerand we’re sure you know why. Distributors and decorators say Gildan offers the most versatile shirt options out there, since you can always find the color, style and comfort level you want in the company’s selection.

“By purchasing Gildan, or from any of our company-owned brands, consumers receive timeless wardrobe essentials that never go out of style, while supporting a company that cares for its people, conserves the environment and creates stronger communities”

– Summer Scott-Samuel, Senior Merchandising Manager for Gildan

High Ranks in Sustainability

In Photo: Biomass that will soon be converted into renewable energy, and used to power Gildan’s operations

Gildan is also a fan favorite because of its sustainable manufacturing processes and commitment to responsible practices. In fact, Gildan recently placed 32nd overall among The Wall Street Journal’s ranking of the Top 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies in the world. Gildan was second among only three apparel companies included in this top 100 ranking and was also the only North American apparel company on the list. The apparel manufacturer also claimed the sixth spot among the top 10 global companies for innovation in its business model.

Continue reading “The Sustainable Story You Didn’t Know About Gildan”