I just got back from the Atlantic City Trade show and I noticed some very interesting trends. Diversification is moving ahead full force. Companies that only offered 1 decorating type have now branched out into many different areas. After all, you can only sell the same embellishment on the same garment to the same customer for so long before it gets stale. I think people shy away from different techniques because they are afraid of trying them. One important thing to remember is that you don't have to do everything yourself in order to be profitable. There are many different companies who offer wholesale outsourcing options. You may want to try offering your customer one of these great variations to their designs without actually having to own the equipment to produce them in house. In this way you can get a feel for your market on the new ideas without the investment.
Once you build a growing niche within your business structure it will be time to purchase a direct to garment printer or embroidery machine laser etcher etc.
When you think about a decorated garment, the odds are you think of embroidery or screen print. You must also begin to think about rhinestones, sequins, appliqué, reverse appliqué, direct to garment printing, sublimation, heat transfers and laser etching. Taking an existing customer logo and reviving it with a different technique can only lead to new opportunities for you.
The one thing we have always talked about here at Scott's Corner is being innovative and thinking outside the normal box of creation. So, let me give you some quick ideas to help you get those creative gears going. First, let's talk about the direct to garment printing. There are several good machines available on the market. With these direct printing machines you will be able to print any image you have on your computer directly to a garment, instantly in minutes or seconds. Now take this one step further. Combine the background imagery of a customer's design with the direct ink printer, then embroider their logo on top of the pre printed ink image. The sky is the limit. You could do something as simple as add color in some areas to save on fill stitching for larger embroidery designs. You can even create a pattern to mimic a thread pattern! Take it up a few notches and add a colorful background image including lettering to a left chest then embroider their company logo on top to create a one of a kind look.
The second Idea is for the new laser etcher. With this new laser you will be able to give the old tether look that is so popular today. You will be able to use the laser to create a logo burned directly into the material that alters the color of the material in the shape of your customers logo, without cutting through the material creating a direct to material etched look with no ink or embroidery needed.
The next process is using the laser to cut appliqué material around embroidery or reverse it out and apply material of any pattern to the inside of your garment and let the laser cut into and through the top material, exposing the patterned material you have on the inside of the garment in the shape of letters or any logo. Then the machine will come back around the exposed inside material shape with embroidery. Creating a look that is tethered and extremely unique.
What market will be good for these type of new techniques? Any market. This is where you become creative. What is your niche? High schools, colleges, team sports, corporate hats and garments that have a unique style? The sky is the limit and your imagination is the only thing between new profits and new customers.
Remember, research these techniques and come up with your own ideas and then find a wholesaler who can provide these services for you. Get their pricing and turnaround time. Next step is to have some samples made. You will want to do the samples with some of your pre- existing customers designs as they will have the biggest impact for your sample show room.
Then add the new services and products to your companies list of available items to choose from and start your marketing. The best aspect of all this is you may spark an interest in a customer who may have been waiting on placing their next order. You may even be able to open communication with a client who is using your competition, all because you are offering something new and interesting. This makes a person naturally inquisitive and makes them want to contact you.
I hope your creative gears are turning now! Remember, build the sales, then buy the machinery.
If you need help finding a wholesale distributor, please email me and I will be happy to help with some suggestions. The laser techniques are very new and there are only a few companies in the nation offering them right now.
Thank you for joining me today. I look forward to seeing you all next time at Scott's Corner.