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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, guys~

I'm currently a small gift shop owner and my girls and I have created a tshirt line of our own...out of necessity. We have a number of shops similar to mine and the competition here (though I truly believe in being a good competitor), has been very vicious. One shop sends secret shoppers into our store to make noise and loud inuendos that THEIR store is better and cheaper, etc., and ONLY when I have a house full of customers! :(

(;)We seem to be doing something right in other words!)

Anyway, I'm about as trusting now as a wolf. I'm currently suspecting that my screenprinter hired to do our shirts is producing our designs and selling them in other regions. I'm not certain that this is occuring, but he's had my last design now for at least 6 months and I can't get him to get them to me even though I've told him more than once to just put the design on a colored shirt that he thinks the design will show well on and "GET THEM TO ME"...yep, 6 months now. I suspect this though because one time he was showing me on his computer some of HIS newer designs and he quicly scrolled through a design that had elements of one of MY designs on it. So this is why I'm as suspicious as I am. He's not getting another design. I'm going to do them myself. I just have to learn how! LOL!! :)

I'm thinking that I want to do this digitally because I won't have to worry about how many colors are in the design. I've been reading and lurking here for almost a year and still really feel overwhelmed as to which equipment to go with, but I'm thinking a good digital printer with a bulk ink system, the correct transfer paper and a good heat press would get me started. Am I correct? Thanks for any input!
 

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Hey Sonya,

I don't know much about heat presses and sublimation, but it sounds like you're on the right track. As far as the artwork goes, from now on you should have some sort of document that the printer signs stating that they do not own the artwork, only you do. I've never done this, but it sounds like this is the kind of legal action you need to take, so that if you see your design being used, you can do what is necassary.
 

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We too deal with many different t-shirt designs for gift shops and such. Southern Belle, Southern Chicks, etc. are very big here as they are all from the MS / AL area it seems.

My only caution is that the look at feel of the design might change a bit by not using screenprint. We use various methods (screenprint, DTG, heat transfer, dye sublimation, vinyl) and although each has it's strengths and weaknesses....for the type of designs I think you are talking about may look best with screenprint. Although, a good DTG with white underbase can do a pretty similar job but it will defintely cost more in quantity. But, if you are looking to do a few at a time to keep inventory low..that would be another plus.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys for your input. I had originally asked him if he had a problem signing a non-compete agreement, but did I follow through and make him sign one??? NO! I feel like throwing myself overboard for it, but I'd rather just continue with this lesson learned and go on about it. John, I actually carry some of the same brands you carry...we're not very far apart geographically speaking. It was because of one of my experiences with the makers of one of those brands that I started just trying to design and produce our own line. (That's a whole other story too bad to be getting into here!)

Since I've written this first post, I've been reading more and more about the pre-printed screenprint designs that I can just have done and press myself. I may go this route to start, but there again...I'm going to have to be careful about the company I choose to do them for me and MAKE THEM SIGN the right paperwork this time! Thoughts? Suggestions?
 
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