“Be Your Authentic True Self.” SUCCESS STORIES Podcast: Ep. 18 (feat. Monica Maglaris)

If you’re a successful contract decorator, you know that you don’t sell ink or thread on cotton…what you sell is Trust with a capital ‘T’.

One shop in Connecticut has found a higher level of success by generating trust through hard work, creativity, getting the job done, and simply being their authentic selves.  

On today’s Success Stories podcast, we’ll speak with Monica Maglaris with Liberty Print Co about what it takes to be successful as a Certified Women-Owned and LGBT company, in this highly competitive industry. Also, find out how to get certified and how it could benefit your business.

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What’s “Brand Fill” and How It Affects You and Your Client’s Bottom Line

Brand fill is a big issue in the promo industry. While this isn’t anything new, industry pros are shining a brighter light on it because of its negative impact on Mother Earth—and the promotional industry’s reputation.

Even if you’re new to the term “brand fill,” you’re probably aware of the problem it describes. Brand fill is a reference to the cheap, useless and unwanted merch that’s given out to people, which usually just ends up getting thrown away and building up landfills – contributing to the ongoing pollution of our planet. 

“One way to help prevent cheap T-shirts’ from becoming brand fill is simple. We educate our customers on the overall ROI of spending a little bit more money up front on a better-quality shirt.”

Megan Erber, Outside Sales Manager at S&S Activewear

And of course, the demand for these low-hanging-fruit products perpetuates the cycle. That includes fast fashion’s manufacturing process that only adds to the negative effects on the environment. (And we’ve watched H&M and Forever 21 get torched in the media for their fast fashion manufacturing practices.)

On the PromoKitchen podcast, Jamie Mair, chief growth officer at Spector & Co, said that “People see ‘branded stuff’ as junk, because there’s too much brand fill that’s being made and given out. We should be focused on selling products with purpose. Instead, there’s so much brand fill and fast fashion that it’s irresponsible, and not sustainable. We clearly see the implications in the supply chain and environmentally.”

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7 Reasons For and Against Using Water-Based Inks

At screen-printing shop Night Owls, the crew only uses water-based inks. “We chose to move to an ‘ink solution’ that offers a higher-quality print for us,” says Eric Solomon, owner of the Houston-based shop. 

 “We love the way water-based ink works, we love the way it elevates our printing quality and the way it’s helped us elevate our craft.” 

Eric Solomon, owner of the Night Owls

Although design quality is always a huge factor in the printing process, another growing factor for some is how to print in a more environment friendly way. To be more “green,” do you need to move away from the traditional plastisols and toward water-based inks

Colette Wilhelm, owner of Contract Impressions in Cape Coral, FL, says that while water-based inks are touted as being better for the environment, they’re in fact, acrylic based. “However, they can give customers the great designs they crave, with a better ‘feel’ to the shirt,” she says. “We also recommend water-based inks for clients when it helps enforce their brands’ eco-friendly messaging.”

Let’s take a closer look at the benefits of water-based screen-printing inks, along with some things to consider.

The Joys of Water-Based Inks

The screen printers who learn how to use water-based inks for vibrant, full-color and long-lasting designs love the versatility of the ink and its results. Here are seven reasons why they choose water-based over plastisols.

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