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Needed: Advice, Insight or Encouragement.

1255 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  iknedup
Let's see..where do I begin? When I thought about starting a t-shirt company 3years ago, I brought up the idea to a very good friend that was pretty interested in it and wanted to be a partner. At the time I had a little money to either put it into a business or put it toward a down payment on a home. Well my partner brought up the idea of me moving into her new home, we start the business and go from there. So I did that. Not long after, we got our equipment and began doing shirts for local schools, teams, and bars. The work was not steady. We were so green when it came to business it was pathetic. We found out rather quickly that it took a lot more money than what we started with. We were able to purchase our major pieces of screen printing machinery but we did not take into consideration the programs, the shirts, screens, ink, new printer for the computer, transparency's and all the things needed to screenprint shirts that came from our pockets. During the course of the 2 and a half years we were in business, we were able to purchase all the equipment that it takes to run a successful screen printing buisness. We began to talk about starting own t-shirt line. So we began working on designs and even purchased a website. Two weeks after purchasing the website, she decided that she did not want to continue. Yep! I can't say I was totally surprised because I could see she was becoming less and less interested in our business. She felt it was interfering with her relationship. I understand that relationships are important and should not be put on a back burner but com'on, learn to juggle your professional life and your personal life. Anyway, we had accumulated about 7 thousand dollars on my credit card for business purposes. I explained to her that we needed to attend some festivals and make some money and take care of all the debt that WE accumulated. Her solution was that she would let me walk away with all the equipment for the debt. She just wants nothing to do with it. I went ahead and let her walk away. Now guys, here I am with some pretty cool designs all this equipment for screenprinting, a website that needs work and a whole lot of drive to continue. I can't understand how easy it was for her to walk away from it after working and sacrificing to get all the equipment we needed and to just let it go. I told her that I could not walk away that easily and I was going to go at it alone. Oh yeah, I have to find a house now to live in and run my buisness out of and all with a full time job...LMFAO. All i can do is just laugh to keep from crying. Any words of advice would be much appreciated. I would really like to hear from my fellow screenprinters who are doing it alone. One thing I know for certain, it's not going to be easy at all.

Thank you,

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Wow, that really bites. I'm not a screenprinter, but I do everything by myself ... marketing, website maintenance, shirts, designs, etc. Oh, and plus I have a full-time job. So it can be done and quite honestly you're probably better off doing it alone because you have the passion whereas your partner didn't ... and sooner or later that would show in the product which will affect your reputation.

My best advice to you would be to get out to some festivals and sell your "pretty cool designs" :) to pay off the debt you accumulated. Festivals are the quickest way to make money ... at least they have been for me. I've only done two festivals and made over $3,000.

Also get your website ready so that once you pay off the debt you can put the money into advertising to drive traffic to it. You said it needs work, so I'm guessing you may have done it yourself? If you're having trouble with it, hire a freelancer to design and/or code it for you ... it's not that expensive and if you're not proficient with coding it's well worth the money to let somebody else deal with it while you take care of other things.

I hope this helps a little. Obviously you're not lacking drive or you wouldn't have posted such a long email. :D Just kidding.

Good luck with the house hunting. Has she asked you to leave? If she bailed on you I would hope she would have the heart to let you stay as long as you need to.
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Thanks Rhonda. She's not asking me to leave. I feel like I need to leave because I was there for our business and if she's not part of it then I need to move. Especially becasue the equipment is in her house. We are still very much friends, that will not change. I respect that she wanted to go a different direction. We have been friends way too long for it to get too ugly.

I agree. The festivals is where it's at. We have made alot of money doing festivals.

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Its funny I came up on this thread, the same thing happened to me but opposite, with some exceptions...

I didnt want to walk away, I just didnt want to work with them. Lets just say for the record working with family as partners (for me and I know many others) is a bad idea.

I came up with a marketing campaign, flyers biz cards, a biz plan you name it I was ready to rock and roll.

After working for nothing for the past 6 months ( to pay back the purchases ) I got fed up, I need to eat to ya know. Now I wish I could find someone like yourself and work with them.

But if I where to give you any advice on your situation. If you want to do it full time...

Take your designs and go to local events, hallowseve is right around the corner you can still get something done, craft fairs, bake sales whatever, get your name out there and the biz will trickle in. Then hand out biz cards flyers whatever you have.

When it comes streaming in hire an art student for an "internship" to do the work with you give him 10 or 20 bucks for gas...if you need the help

BUT!!! make sure you dont make promises you cant keep (obviously) take all the jobs and dont sell yourself short if you say you want 10 bucks a shirt and they say "Well sir I can get it for 5" say okay im sorry I cant help you. Your in biz for yourself to make money not to break your back to make ends meet.

Theres a reason all the crap at walmart is so cheap,
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