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Being new here and not wanting to look through countless post to get a feel for who is in what part of the business, I am asking for all to respond about just where they are in the biz and what they do.


A little history on myself. I am 52 years old and have had several very successful careers in my life. I am a Vietnam vet of the 82nd airborne variety. In other words, I put my life on the line for your freedoms and the right to free speech. My son is a lifer in the Air Force and is on his 4th tour of duty in the Middle East. He is currently in Iraq right now.


Several years ago I got tired of working for other people and decided to go the road to self employment. I started off doing vinyl graphics and developed a line of custom decals for remote control helicopters. Those decals are now sold all over the world by distributors. I then added textile screen-printing to my list of offerings and have basically fell in love with the business. Because I have always been one to put 200%+ effort into anything I did, it was not long until I mastered the art of screening. We now have numerous customers that we print custom shirts for as well as printing sun activated pre-print lines for the several tourist shops in the Caribbean. Our normal job to the Caribbean islands will run anywhere from $3,000.00 to $25,000.00 per order.

On the other side of the gulf we print for our local customers and business growing faster everyday. We not only offer custom printing but also onsite printing for events. We do not take a bunch of pre-printed shirts to an event to sell but we actually take a mobile screen-printing shop with a 6-color press and conveyor dryer to the site and print right there in front of everyone.


Our business model is and has always been fast service, high quality products at a fair price and impeccable customer service.

Point being, we are very good at what we do. I have a lot of knowledge and experience in this industry. If you ask me a question, I will be more than happy to try and answer your question as I best can. If at some point I seem blunt, please take it with a grain of salt. I am only trying to stress a point. I have been down many roads in my life that includes this biz along with multi billion dollar corporations. So if I come across rather rough, it is only because I am trying to warn you of a possible pit fall and hopefully help you advert any possible negative outcomes.


So now that you have read a little about me. Tell me about yourself.
 

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Hi Preston, welcome to the T-Shirt Forums.

You'll probably find that the majority of our members are folks that are selling their own designs on t-shirts are trying to start that type of business (selling pre-prints online).

However, we do get a good number of screen printing specific questions posted in our Screen Printing section of the forum:
http://www.t-shirtforums.com/forumdisplay.php?f=13
 

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Wow Preston!

Well, I'm so happy that you were the first message that I saw. I am a newbie to this business but I too am an entrepreneur at heart. My name is Rhea (better known on the web as sorheal) and I am 26 years old from the Caribbean (Guyana). I am married with a kid and one on the way. Like you, I'm so tired of working for other people and would LOVE to work for myself.

I am actually looking to start my own t-shirt company (very small), making custom prints for children (onesies, and small t-shirts only). I would also like to find out about sourcing 'organic cotton tees and onsies' as well.

I would LOVE for you and anyone else to help me in finding out what I need to do/purchase in order to get started. I am a graphic artist and advertising person by trade and I have these funny little quotes that I would like encorporate into a little hobby/business.

I need help to determine:
1) What type of equipment I need and the cost. Silk Screening is what I'm looking to do.

2.) Where can I source blank t-shirts (2T, 3T, 4T sizes) and onsies (0-6M, 6-12M) that are either 100% cotton and/or 100% organic cotton (that would be better).

3.) I would like to also get some statistics on T-shirt business with a focus on the toddler and mommy niche.

You all can email me privately as I'm not always online but I'll start checking. [email protected]
 

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Hello Preston,

I really have enjoyed the knowledge that you've shared thus far. I was wondering if you print more tees for men that you do for women? Also which tee brand have most of your clientele printed on?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
lawaughn said:
Hello Preston,

I really have enjoyed the knowledge that you've shared thus far. I was wondering if you print more tees for men that you do for women? Also which tee brand have most of your clientele printed on?
Let me articulate a bit on the Men’s versus Ladies shirts. If you are asking by style, then the answer is without question Men’s t-shirts. This by no means is meant to suggest that more men buy shirts than women. As for brands, 90% of what well print are Gildan. We supply the Gildan 2000 Ultra Cotton 6.1oz as our house brand and most of our customers will not accept anything but Gildan.

The key is to select one or two brands that you feel comfortable with and push those as your house brands. Do not try and save a few cents on a shirt if quality or “feel” suffers. We could very easily supply Gildan 5000 Heavyweight shirts and save a few cent per shirt but then out customers would not be wowed by the feel of the shirt and just figure we provide the same lower weight type of shirts as the completion.

Another piece of advice. Either way, starting out small or big, get your DBA and tax number from your State. Then setup to buy shirts from one of the big distributors like Staton, S&S, Broder, SanMar to name a few. You will pay less for the shirts from them over what you would pay for them from someone like Best Blanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
sorheal said:
Wow Preston!

Well, I'm so happy that you were the first message that I saw. I am a newbie to this business but I too am an entrepreneur at heart. My name is Rhea (better known on the web as sorheal) and I am 26 years old from the Caribbean (Guyana). I am married with a kid and one on the way. Like you, I'm so tired of working for other people and would LOVE to work for myself.

I am actually looking to start my own t-shirt company (very small), making custom prints for children (onesies, and small t-shirts only). I would also like to find out about sourcing 'organic cotton tees and onsies' as well.

I would LOVE for you and anyone else to help me in finding out what I need to do/purchase in order to get started. I am a graphic artist and advertising person by trade and I have these funny little quotes that I would like encorporate into a little hobby/business.

I need help to determine:
1) What type of equipment I need and the cost. Silk Screening is what I'm looking to do.

2.) Where can I source blank t-shirts (2T, 3T, 4T sizes) and onsies (0-6M, 6-12M) that are either 100% cotton and/or 100% organic cotton (that would be better).

3.) I would like to also get some statistics on T-shirt business with a focus on the toddler and mommy niche.

You all can email me privately as I'm not always online but I'll start checking. [email protected]
There are a lot of options for you but a lot depends on what resources are available to you in Guyana. What I mean by that is, I can just about get anything here in the States as just about every product or manufacture is available to me locally.

I would first search Guyana for any sources of supplies and equipment. See what’s available local to you and then work from there until you narrow down just what you are going to get and from where.

It would take too long in this post to go over all the options for you to start your niche so feel free to email me and I can give you some things to consider.
BTW, we are fixing to ship nearly 1,000 pieces to Curacao. Just a few paddles of the oars north of you,
 

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Hi Preston,
New to the biz, and the forums... I also tired of working for other people, after speding 6 years on Madison Avenue in the advertising biz. I know its not a lot of time, but I got burned out quick. I am now a stay at home mom with a 16month old son and another on the way. My husband and I stumbled on some graphics that you may appreciate.... Government training material from the late 50s (yes a little early for you) The images are fresh and like nothing we have found on the market. We recently had 200 shirts screened (we are using a slim fitting alternative apparel) and I pick them up today!!! :) Our website should be up in the next week, and I look forward to all the feedback from you fine folks here. While our shirts will be available for sale online, I am hoping to develop some partnerships with the right retailers starting in the trendy boutiques of Manhattan. I have all their contact info, and now that we will have our shirts I can start to call on them before I get too heavily pregnant. My husband is my partner in crime, but he is employed fulltime and cannot be too much help on the leg work.

www.govtissues.com on its way to your screen very soon :)
 

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govtissues said:
We recently had 200 shirts screened (we are using a slim fitting alternative apparel) and I pick them up today!!! :)
Congratulations!!!:D

I remember the first order I ever picked up from the printer a few years ago! You talk about exciting!

Good luck to you, and much success!;)
 

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Preston said:
Being new here and not wanting to look through countless post to get a feel for who is in what part of the business, I am asking for all to respond about just where they are in the biz and what they do.


A little history on myself. I am 52 years old and have had several very successful careers in my life. I am a Vietnam vet of the 82nd airborne variety. In other words, I put my life on the line for your freedoms and the right to free speech. My son is a lifer in the Air Force and is on his 4th tour of duty in the Middle East. He is currently in Iraq right now.


Several years ago I got tired of working for other people and decided to go the road to self employment. I started off doing vinyl graphics and developed a line of custom decals for remote control helicopters. Those decals are now sold all over the world by distributors. I then added textile screen-printing to my list of offerings and have basically fell in love with the business. Because I have always been one to put 200%+ effort into anything I did, it was not long until I mastered the art of screening. We now have numerous customers that we print custom shirts for as well as printing sun activated pre-print lines for the several tourist shops in the Caribbean. Our normal job to the Caribbean islands will run anywhere from $3,000.00 to $25,000.00 per order.

On the other side of the gulf we print for our local customers and business growing faster everyday. We not only offer custom printing but also onsite printing for events. We do not take a bunch of pre-printed shirts to an event to sell but we actually take a mobile screen-printing shop with a 6-color press and conveyor dryer to the site and print right there in front of everyone.


Our business model is and has always been fast service, high quality products at a fair price and impeccable customer service.

Point being, we are very good at what we do. I have a lot of knowledge and experience in this industry. If you ask me a question, I will be more than happy to try and answer your question as I best can. If at some point I seem blunt, please take it with a grain of salt. I am only trying to stress a point. I have been down many roads in my life that includes this biz along with multi billion dollar corporations. So if I come across rather rough, it is only because I am trying to warn you of a possible pit fall and hopefully help you advert any possible negative outcomes.


So now that you have read a little about me. Tell me about yourself.

Thank you for checking out my post! I was wondering if you knew the method of printing that makes the design/image appear to be apart of the tshirt without having the raised feel of Screen Printing and if I could get a thin print of pastisol inks on my shirts to somewhat simulate the "apart of the cloth" feel should i be using 300 Count Screens or what do you recommend? Getting the image/design apart of the shirts cloth is my main goal right now! Thank you for your time! My stepdad is retired USMC and currently works with the gov. So, I definitely respect everything you've done for our country! GOD BLESS AMERICA.. oh yah >ps< all my clothing is made in american even down to the cotton...! none of this outsourcing...
 

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Discussion Starter #10
What you are talking about is called "the hand" of the shirt. The higher the mesh count when printing, the softer the hand. You can also achive a soft hand by using certain inks. Process inks on light colored shirts give a real soft hand as does waterbase inks. You find that most printers do not use waterbase except for things like towels.
 

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Preston said:
What you are talking about is called "the hand" of the shirt. The higher the mesh count when printing, the softer the hand. You can also achive a soft hand by using certain inks. Process inks on light colored shirts give a real soft hand as does waterbase inks. You find that most printers do not use waterbase except for things like towels.

Thank You Verrryyyyyyyy MUCH!
 

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Preston said:
You can also achive a soft hand by using certain inks. Process inks on light colored shirts give a real soft hand as does waterbase inks. You find that most printers do not use waterbase except for things like towels.
I've been trying to weigh up whether I'm better off using water-based or plastisol inks (for general t-shirt printing, not towels ;)), so that gave me an idea for a thread.
 

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Anyone know where I can get my hands on a graphic for window application using the pressure sensitive vinyl? I am specificallly looking for a Motocross graphic. Imprintables sells Clip Art program for $150.00. I don't mind the price, but am not sure if what I want is on there.
Thanks for any help
Micki
 
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