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Hello Everyone,

I am RabMarr, and I've been interested in starting a t-shirt line for a very very long time. I have no experience in the industry what-so-ever.
Right now I'm in the process of finding out what type of equipment I need and can afford. I've decided to start with laser heat transfers, for the self weeding paper and 4 color process.

I'm really nervous about starting this. I don't want it to be a waste of time, and MONEY.

If anyone has any advice on affordable laser printers, 16x20 heat press, and other supply sources let me know.

In the meantime I'll be combing this site for clues :).

Thank you so much to all the people who have volunteered there experienced advice to this site.
 

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The wonderful thing about being in business is that there can't be a reward without there being a risk. If there was no risk, everyone would do it, and then there'd be no reward!

The most important part of any transfer business is the heat press. I would suggest buying it from one of the preferred vendors here on TSF. You know you'll get a quality product, but you'll also get quality service. DO NOT GO CHEAP ON THE HEAT PRESS.

ProWorld Inc is supported here by @proworlded and they run a fantastic special where you get their 15" x 15" heat press for $99 when you buy your starter supplies at the same time. For $400 plus shipping, it's a nice enough press to start out. It isn't one I would expect to last years and years, but it can get you going.

The rest is up to you! Only you know how much space you have for equipment, and how much time you have to use it. If you print your own inkjet transfers or do dye sublimation, know that you have to print regularly, more than a few times a week, or you will clog your printer. Ordering plastisol transfers from a preferred vendor means no head clogs ever!

If you go the vinyl cut route, also select a quality cutting machine -- from a preferred vendor, so you can get the support you need if there's a problem.

The #1 reason people fail in this business is because they focus on profits too early. The proper way to make money is to:

#1 -- Save up your money by reducing your spending, so you can buy quality equipment with quality service.
#2 -- Focus on building your market by creating a nice website, using social networking, and passing out business cards or flyers to people you know. The first few months or even a year of printing may not make you any profit at all, but it's how you build your brand name and recognition!
#3 -- Reinvest any profits in a safety nest egg so you can always order supplies or replacement machinery if needed. I have seen successful businesses go bankrupt because they didn't have enough money to cover a huge job, and when a problem happened, they were kaput.
 
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