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Discussion Starter · #401 ·
Has this tip post helped anyone? It would be great if you read these posts when it was first created and to see where you guys are at now. What worked and what didn't? What would you do over?
 

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This is a great post. Im still in the stages of starting up and I feel good because this post seems to convey alot of my thinking and ideas. Im not big on designs but i have a buddy who is. I agree with the branding and defining your market base. thanks. I just keep learning and learning. :D
 

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Discussion Starter · #405 ·
Are you on a budget? No money for huge marketing plans? Well this might be a way to get your brand out to your audience and meet them face to face.

In Portland, Oregon we have a local place downtown called the "Saturday Market." During Saturday and Sunday, local artists & businesses can display their products for the public. I know a few people who sell their products at the market during the weekend and they make enough money where they don't have to work during the week. I also see a lot of small clothing brands there too. There is one brand that started selling shirts at a booth and in about a year he made enough money to open a small retail shop not too far from downtown. Then he gradually got bigger and now he has about 1,000 square ft retail store. It's interesting that I met him when he was first starting out at the market and I would visit the market about once a month and saw him becoming more successful. There is nothing special about his designs or shirts, most of them are 1 color prints with his brand name on them. But he managed to gather a following of people and built his brand around the people.

So for $10-$50 a week you can connect with your local audience and meet them face to face. You'll also be able to see reactions on your designs and shirts and collect good feedback. The best thing is, most local markets allow you to come and go as you wish. So if you don't have time or money to sell at the market that weekend, you don't have to.

For those of you that aren't having much success selling through your website, you might want to try finding a local artisan market and test it out.
 

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Something we have found that spreads our brand far... Getting your shirts into the hands of entertainers.
We have chosen a lot of local rappers and DJ's as pseudo-sponsors and have received great results from an exposure standpoint. You get to document them on stage moving crowds while wearing your stuff, you get to promote their shows and music, and in turn they Appreciate the free promo you give. It's a cross-promotional win when both groups are willing to pump the others' services/products out there uninitiated!

Be very careful who you choose...
Don't get someone relaying negative messages if you're a positive brand.

Always think about hypocrisy and how it will affect your company's history and reputation.


Live The Good Life.
www.GrapeCloth.com
 

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How do you approach specific retailers? If the item should retail at $30 for example, do we request $10 per piece or can we ask for more realistically. Items are full dye sublimation so I have some breathing room compared to screen printing.

That's correct, you will see a wide range of dates depending on the retailer. Small boutiques are even harder to guage because they are on their own timeline which could depend on their cashflow and financials.

A general rule would be 3 months before the actual date of each season - up to 6 months before the actual date of each season.

A reminder: If you plan to become a vendor of a retailer, always be sure to ask for clear requirements on their finishing choices. They may require you to apply their hangtags on a certain location, fold them a certain way, box and label them a certain way, UPC barcodes, etc.

Also plan ahead...if you plan to design for Spring 09, you should already have designs for it and be getting prepared to approach retailers at this point. This way you allow plenty of time for print or cut&sew production.
 

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Great thread!

Everybody, at least once in their life, has probably had an idea for some cool printed T-shirts, right? Considering all those who are keen to enter the T-shirt world, we at Printsome have created this small guide to help T-shirt designers plan. From creation, to the type of T-shirt printing that best suits expectations for the business and, hopefully, to helping sell the T-shirts too.

Tip #1: You want it to be cool
There are literally millions of options available when coming up with a design for your own T-shirt/fashion label. In this article we went through a few, so be sure to check it out! Think about what’s trending, research a lot on Mintees and Pinterest and make sure your original design will stand out. It’s very important to plan it according to how you’re going to be printing it later as well. Keep reading.

Tip #2: You want it to be cheap and easy to print
For volumes bigger than 100 printed T-shirts, the most cost-effective printing technique is, by far, screen printing. Unlike CMYK separation for offline press, where one colour adds up to another to create millions of variations, it works with solid colour separation in layers – always in vectorial graphics. You can have up to six on average if you want (high-end machines can have 10-14 colours though!). Of course the more colours you add to your design, the more it will cost, so you probably want to focus on the shapes and keep it between two and three colours.

There are other printing techniques available on the market, like transfer printing and direct to garment (ideal for photographs and high-resolution artwork graphics); the only down side to the last one is the higher final print price if compared to screen printing. So before the design process begins, you should consider the profit margin that suits your expectations for the budget you have and the quantities you’re after selling. Then it’s just doing the math.

Tip #3: You want it to be sold
After setting a reasonable selling price and opening for sale, you have to act like a marketer. If the idea is selling them online, you can create your own personalized e-commerce shop (there are good options for free or small fees per sale, like BigCartel). If you’re a person of contacts, you can even do it through a Facebook page. And, of course, if you have the resources, you can always have a web designer doing a professional e-commerce page as well.

Also make sure you publicise it correctly, and by that I mean taking good quality photographs (almost professional) – it would be even better if you have real people wearing them. Asking that handsome friend to model for you would do - it’s probably the most important thing to consider investing in, after the prints. Using cool graphics like the ones Hype Means Nothing did for their celebrity t-shirts – and we used to illustrate this article – adds up a lot of values as well!

Tip #4: You want people to actually wear it
You know how we have 20 tees but always use the same five? To be part of this ultra-exclusive club, you have to nail it. There’s no better way of getting people to get attached to your design than making it original and suitable for the audience you’re targeting. So research, look for the highest quality artwork, garment and print you can afford and go for it!
 
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