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Non-profit newbie

161 Views 2 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  Rodney
Hi all,

I've been lurking for a bit and I finally decided to join. Tons of information here, glad I found you.

I have volunteered at a small non-profit animal shelter near Chicago, IL since 1989 (in a few months, we'll hit our 5,000th incoming animal). We go to shows for fundraising and sell a lot of t-shirts with animals, and we finally decided to just make our own shirts to save a bit of money. More money will then go to the care of the animals (vet bills are so huge these days). The artist we mostly used has no more time to design and make shirts, so we bought all of her artwork and her presses and we can now make our own items. She is already referring her old clients to us, as she also sold to other shelters across the country. We are lucky to have the rights to her artwork. We plan on making shirts, mousepads, totes, and maybe more in the future.

I do have a question. I am looking for a company that gives great prices on bulk shirts. I know there are a lot of companies out there, but some want a resellers license. We have a tax id number, is that the same thing? I have filed the sales tax for our shelter but I've never used anything other than the tax id number.

Also, the artist gave me hard copies of her artwork. She said she used to go to Kinko's or similar and have the artwork printed onto transfer paper and that's how she made her shirts. She said that they no longer use the same type of machines at Kinko's and can't use her old methods. I haven't figured that out, maybe they use laser now or something. I am wondering if I can scan these designs and work on them in CorelDraw or Illustrator (which I'd have to get and learn first) and create some vector designs, and eventually get some plasticol transfers made up.

For now though, I'm still looking for a printer and haven't figured out transfer papers yet, but I'm doing tons of reading. I know there is a lot of info here about all that, I will be doing a ton of reading over the next few weeks. I will have a bunch of volunteer helpers to make the items, I just need to get the basics figured out. All I do these days is read this stuff.

Thanks for listening and I'm glad to be here. Donna
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Hi Donna,

That's great someone handed off business to you:D

You can certainly scan and print out transfers yourself.

I'm using Epson printers with OEM Durabrite and Magic Mix inks from personalized supplies.

My papers of choice so far are TransJet II (also known as Magic Jet) and MiraCool (not suggested if you're doing volume, onsite shows because this paper does is super sensitive).

You don't need to vectorize your image using my above method so can use other software as well. I do use Corel Draw 12 because I need flexibility in my designs.

To avoid the carrier paper showing I suggest you put image on a "background" that is easily trimmed with scissors, rotary cutter, exacto knife (whatever you like to cut with).

You can also look into purchasing a vinyl cutter with optical eye (but that will cost around $1200 - $1800).

That's great you do rescue work:)

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Hi Donna, welcome to the T-Shirt Forums (sorry for the delay).

There are a few wholesalers that don't require a resellers license. I think cheapestees.com doesn't. There are a few others as well. You might pay a bit more without one, but the prices are still pretty good.
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