Looking Back To My Younger Years

I have been self-employed my whole adult life and have done many different things. I can remember back when I was in high school thinking to myself, “What do I want to do for a living?”. All my friends were getting ready to go off to college and there I was without the resources to continue my education at some fancy state school. To make things even more confusing, I had to overcome the challenges of attention deficit disorder as well as dyslexia when it came to reading numbers.

So since I really didn’t have the advantage of parents who would give me good direction or financial help, I enrolled at Meramec junior college. Although I didn’t really have a clue concerning what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, it just seemed like the right thing to do. When you stop to think about it, what 18-year-old kid really does know for sure what he wants to do with the rest of his life? It’s just an educated guess.

Looking back, I knew so many different kids who changed their majors multiple times thus wasting a lot of their parents money, not to mention a bunch of wasted effort. Take into consideration that this was before anybody owned a home computer and well before the invention of the Internet or the cell phone. It was a whole different work environment and we did not have the advantages that technology offers us today.

After one wasted year going to classes, I came to the conclusion that I was going to go a different route and go into business for myself as a residential and commercial painter. I can remember driving down the subdivision looking for houses that look like they needed painting. I would knock on the door and introduce myself and mentioned that I drive down the street often and I couldn’t help but notice that their home needed some work. I then asked them if they wouldn’t mind if I could give them a quote for what needed to be done. More than not they would say sure go ahead. Again, it was a different day. Nowadays people would be more inclined to call the police if you were walking around the neighborhood knocking on doors. It was hard work just finding someone who was in need of my services let alone getting the job done. After doing this for about five years, I eventually broke into the St. Louis T-shirt printing industry.

I am now 56 years old and look back on the way I used to market my business. I am very grateful for the advantages that technology has given us as it is a very exciting time to be an entrepreneur. People now would rather sit at their kitchen table and open up their laptop, and do a relevant search like St. Louis screen printing company or St. Louis embroidery company. Instead of me having to go out and spend the overwhelming majority of my time trying to find someone to sell they, find us and all we have to do is convince them that we are going to be give them the best overall value on their custom T-shirt and screen printing order.

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The Age Of The T-Shirt

Let’s take a look back over the course of history and how fashion has evolved.

There’s an old saying that what comes around goes around and apparel is no exception to that rule. We have learned that fashion trends often repeat themselves in 20 to 30 year cycles on average. I opened up my high school yearbook the other day and it brought back a lot of memories. As I looked at my classmates, I noticed that most of us were all dressed similar. I can remember being a teenager back in the mid-to-late 70s as I was sporting a Levi’s denim jean jacket a pair of overalls both white and blue jean material, as well as a cheesy porn stash. I went to Sam’s the other day with my wife to go grocery shopping and as I was walking down the aisle, I noticed a denim blue jean jackets on sale. I mentioned to her that I used to have one of those.

What seemed to be in style one day is laughable the next. Take the 80s for example, was that not a bad decade for hair or what? One thing that seems to remain a constant is the custom T-shirt. It never seems to go out of style. It first came on the scene approximately 92 years ago. It was introduced by the U.S. Navy for sailors appointed to submarine duty. Before then, the men used to go topless because of the excessive heat that would build up when the submarine was submerged. Because of the excessive temperatures given off by the motors, there was really no way for the heat to escape the inside of the vessel and temperatures would often exceed 125°F. Soon after the war, it was accepted into our civilian culture and soon became a vehicle for self-expression as well as marketing. The invention of the custom screen printing, along with the digital printing lends itself to mass production. This allowed T-shirts to be produced at a very fast speed with just about any message that someone could think of to put on them ranging from political candidates who are running for office to the smiley face that probably earned somebody well over $1 million. Eventually as technology influenced every sector of our economy, it lends itself to the ability to provide digital T-shirt printing. This changed the silk screening industry forever. It did away with conventional color separation methods. It used to be that the more colors that an image was composed of, the more complicated the job was. Digital T-shirt printing did away with all that . You used to have the exact same set up and clean up time, whether you were dealing with one piece or 500 units. Now it doesn’t matter how large or how small the run is. It’s kind of similar to a copy machine. Only instead of feeding it paper you are running apparel through it.

If you happen to be living in the greater St. Louis metropolitan area and you are shopping for custom embroidery, custom screen printing, or digital printing, do yourself a favor and give us a call.

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Specialty Tees For Custom Screen Printing

The majority of business for custom screen printers is in decorating basic white tees and basic color tees. Most decorators will stock white and black tees. There is very little cost in the shirt and the turn around is short.

Specialty tees are different. There are so many different brands and styles. The fashion-forward styles are what you see in the retail stores. Many customers are now buying these types of shirts. Juniors, for example, often want the more fashionable shirts rather than a basic crew neck tee. The shirt may have a high/low hemline, a scoop neck, a softer type of material, such as a triblend. These are to just name a few.

With sales of these type of shirts, the promise for higher profit margins is there. The customer knows that the shirt itself will cost more money, so they are comfortable with paying more per shirt than a basic t-shirt. Also, the specialty tee tends to be of better quality than basics. That means the shirts will look better, wear better, and create better goodwill with the customer.

Also, specialty t-shirts that align with current fashion trends are simply more likely to be worn and to be worn more often. Certainly, a customer can buy a cheaper, basic shirt, but little value is derived if the end wearer throws it away or it ends up in the back of the closet and never gets worn.

Whatever your needs are as far as custom silk screening or custom embroidery, we would love to give you a free quote. We have access to literally thousands of brands and styles. Give us a call if you are in the St. Louis metro area. You won’t regret it.

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New Designs and Styles for Womens Wear

Over the years, womens apparel has gone through a lot of changes. What used to be a smaller version of a man’s style for a lady, is now specifically made to fit and flatter a lady.

There are now figure flattering details in these styles. The use of princess seams and darts has helped contour the body and further create a flattering silhouette. Also there are cinch cords in some clothing to create customizable fits. These are used most commonly in the hem of jackets, but it is also used in the waist to draw in the jacket and create a complimentary shape.

There are styling details with figure-flattering elements which differentiate garments from mens and ladies styles. These elements include female-specific necklines on knit polos, wovens, and outerwear. Even a feature as minute as the placement of a decoration or reflective print on the center of a women’s garment plays a key role in the design process. Given these details, decorators should keep the presence of embellishments and logos top of mind. A pop of color on trims, zippers, zipper pulls, and stitching, are a few of the major benefits in working with a well-know industry brand.

Ladies also want feminine colors for their apparel. For example, a man will probably not want a bright pink jacket. A female on the other hand would probably consider a color as that.

There is a lot to consider for the designers and manufacturers of apparel. There must be function, but there also must be good options for men and women. Our customers are requiring this of us for their custom screen printing and custom embroidery apparel. That does include everything from a standard t-shirt or polo, a dress shirt, fleece, outerwear, etc. You name it.

We would love to give you a quote on all you silk screening and embroidery needs for your company, organization, or your personal needs in the St. Louis, MO area. Please give us a call. You will not be disappointed.

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Choosing Your Work Style

Have you as a business owner considered uniforms for yourself and your employees? Do you have a company logo? It would be a simple process to transfer your company logo onto a garment of some sort. All we would need is good, clean art work. We do custom screen printing and custom embroidery both. We would make recommendations for you based on your needs and what you are trying to accomplish.

For example, if you own a restaurant, it may be important to you to have a garment that is tough and will stand up to stains and spills. There are shirts with soil and wrinkle-resistant features. Also there are shirts with moisture-wicking properties which will keep your employees more comfortable when perspiring. The moisture-wicking material actually pulls the moisture from the person’s body so they are more comfortable.

If you do not have work uniforms, may be it is time to consider it. For a relatively small investment, you and your employees will look more polished and professional than if you didn’t have a uniform. We can take care of all your custom silk screening and custom embroidery needs, whether it is on a t-shirt, golf shirt, or any other type of garment.

Looking forward to hearing from you in the near future for your needs in the St. Louis area.  Happy Holidays!!!

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Tips for keeping Digital prints Wash-Fast

The direct-to-garment printing has made the process of applying an image to a garment quite simple. However, there are many factors that play into why you may not be getting the best results from washing. Here are some main factors to consider when getting the best wash-fast prints.

First, is the heat press process. This is the most popular way to cure an image for the digital process. The curing process is just as important as getting a nice print from your digital press. If you don’t cure properly, you will see a drastic decrease in the list of the print. You must cure the print at the correct temperature and also for the correct amount of time. There are no short cuts allowed here if you want the best wash fast print. Everyone wants their tee shirts to stay bright and colorful as long as possible.

Secondly, is the amount of ink saturation on the garment. When it comes to a lighter weight garment, make sure the fabric is being saturated enough. Most digital printers have an adjustment for the ink drop size or resolution to control the amount of ink you print. With the right amount of ink saturation, the print should look a little darker than what is shown on the monitor.

When it comes to dark garments and using white ink, the image is much more susceptible to fading and washing out. Using less white is not going to be as vibrant, but after the first wash of the tee shirt and many more washes, there won’t be much noticeable fading in the print.

Lastly, one of the biggest learning curves with direct-to-garment is the pre-treatment process for dark garments. It is easy to put on too much or too little and in both cases, this will affect the wash-fastness of the print on the custom printed t-shirt. Give us a call for a free quote request. If you have a very colorful image or photograph, digital direct-to-garment printing may be the answer for you.

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Options for Sports Apparel

Athletes today not only want good quality tee shirt, but they want a good performing shirt and one that has style. There are many options for the athlete and the every day person who wants athletic wear. Not only do athletes wear performance athletic wear, but anyone who wants to be stylish. Many want the common brand names such as Nike, Adidas, etc. However, there are many t-shirts available in other brands such as Gildan and Hanes that have such as good as quality and style as the high priced name brands. We understand that there are those that want the logo recognition on their custom screen printed or embroidered apparel and we can accommodate them. We want to offer a competitive price on the other brands if the customer wants it. The popular type of material that many customers want is moisture wicking or dri-fit. This material will pull moisture from your body so that you are more comfortable. Many companies, big and small, are using these types of t shirts and golf shirts for their corporate apparel. They are not only comfortable, but when they are screen printed or embroidered with their company logo, they are very professional looking. Their employees will look good and display their company’s logo. Many corporations are leaning towards business casual attire, so this type of corporate wear fits right into that. The company logo can be screen printed, but often it has custom embroidery to make it look professional. It is a more expensive application, but it is a better looking one. We offer both types of application, custom screen printing and custom embroidery. If you or your company is interested in getting a quote for performance tee shirts or golf shirts, please give us a call. We offer free quotes and are available to answer your calls every day of the week.

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What got me started in the custom screen printing industry?

I remember when I first got interested in the potential of pursuing a career in creating custom T-shirts. I used to be in the asphalt industry and it was a hard dollar. We’re talking well before the Internet had even been invented and very few people if any had cell phones. I would head out my door around 5:30 p.m. because that’s when everybody started to get home from work. I remember knocking on doors and asking people if they would be interested in a quote on sealing or patching their driveway while my crew was down the street working at their neighbors. I would finally end up getting home around eight o’clock and then I would have to schedule the job for the next day. A lot can change very quickly when you’re in a business that cannot be conducted in the rain.
Although it was a tough way to make a living, I was young and I was strong with a wife and daughter.  I had a lot of pressure to produce. I remember working extremely hard for seven or eight months of the year and then the St. Louis winter would start to set in or around November and work would stop. Unfortunately the bills kept on coming. I remember hanging out at Northwest Plaza just people watching and I noticed that everyone who passed by was wearing something with a logo or piece of artwork on it in the way of a tee shirt or hat. I thought to myself, I can do that. I don’t know the first thing about it, but I think I could sell it. So I went and got some business cards printed up and sold my first screen printing in custom embroidery job. At first I was very excited, and then it occurred to me that they probably want their T-shirts. I remember finding an old broken down T-shirt press that was homemade, rusting in someone’s garage and I ended up buying it for about $75. I remember pulling down the head of the press and letting it go, and it catapulted the squeegee across the room and hit the wall. Although I wasn’t an experienced tee shirt printer, I had a feeling that that was not supposed to happen. To make a long story short, I ended up finishing the job and all my customer knew was that the shirts looked good and he got them on time. I did end up getting paid in full for my effort. I ruined a lot of shirts in the process, but just viewed it as paying for my education. I found a St. Louis embroidery and screen printing company who I went to work for in order to get some firsthand experience of how this was done and how a silkscreen press should perform. Here we are more than 20 years later and I’m still in business and the company that I went to work for has long since closed its doors.

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T-Shirt Printing Looks Easy

Anybody who is awesome at whatever it is they do, seem to have the ability to make it look easy to the untrained eye. Take a juggler for example; they make it appear like there’s just nothing to it at all. Have you ever tried to juggle? If you have been, I don’t have to tell you how difficult it is. T-shirt printing is no different. An accomplished screen printing professional has the ability to make it look so easy. When it comes to St. Louis T-shirt printing companies, there is a tremendous difference between one silk screen company and another. We will give them all the benefit of the doubt that they are all capable of a simple one or two color logo. What separates the men from the boys in the tee shirt printing industry is one’s ability to reproduce the most complicated pieces of artwork. It all starts with the individual putting together the artwork.  There are a lot of accomplished logo designers out there who know how to make their artwork jump off of a computer monitor In order that it looks good on a website, but that will not necessarily work when trying to apply a conventional screen printing application to the tee shirt. For example, a low resolution image that is approximately 80 dots per square inch can look good from a computer monitor, but that will in no way lend itself to a finished screen printing application. Applying an image to a cotton or a 50 percent cotton 50 percent polyester substrate through a fine mesh and using a plastic based ink is an entirely different type of application. If the graphic designer who is creating the image has no prior experience when it comes to doing tee shirt printing, then he or she
would be better off leaving it in the hands of somebody who has. There are so many variables to consider when developing a piece of artwork that is going to lend itself to a great finished product in an easy application. This is just another example of how somebody with a lot of experience under their belt makes it look so easy to the novice.
With today’s technology, we have the advantages of being able to outsource our artwork needs to any graphic designer in the world. Therefore, it is not necessary that they are based out of St. Louis. With the advantage that modern technology offers us, one has a whole lot of options when deciding where they are going to acquire the best overall value on their logo development requirements. We are a St. Louis T-shirt printing company who takes great pride in our ability to provide our customers with a great finished product and still staying within the limitations of your budget. We know that we have the experience and the correct strategies to offset your limited resources and get you the very best overall value for every dollar spent. We live and die on the repeat order as well as the referral and it is our objective to find solutions where you are going to be as comfortable using us to supply you with your St. Louis t-shirt printing requirements as we are providing them for you. In this way, the referrals and repeat orders will simply take care of themselves. If you are looking for a St. Louis T-shirt printing company who’ll give you great service and an excellent finished product for a fair price, then you need to give us a call.

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Technology – Benefits and Rewards for Business Owners

Modern day technology has affected everyone’s life whether it is positive or negative. However, there are many benefits and rewards for the business owner if they embrace technology and jump in with both feet. Have you ever contemplated starting your own custom screen printing company or custom embroidery business? Now may be the optimal time. With some hard work and good direction, you could develop a profitable silk screening business in St. Louis, MO.  Everything starts with the bid request. Customers must be able to find you on the internet. With the way we have our company structured, that’s exactly what happens. They would put in a relevant search term, such as St. Louis custom silk screening or custom screen printed tee shirts, on a search engine such as Google or Bing. Our company will most likely show up on the first landing page, along with others that are selling custom printed t-shirts or embroidered caps. That is where you want your company web site to be. Sometimes potential customers may go to the 2nd or 3rd landing page, but more times than not, they choose from the 1st page only. How do we get on the 1st page and how do we stay on the 1st page? The answer is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Our web sites look good and are easy to navigate, but more importantly they are designed so that the search engines give us good placement because our sites are optimized. Gathering knowledge and applying that knowledge are imperative to the success of your web sites’ placement on the search engines. We take full advantage of modern day technology to our advantage. Because of our company structure, we can do business selling and processing orders for custom screen printed T-shirts wherever we are, whether that is at a kitchen table or on a beautiful beach somewhere. Business does not stop because we are not at the office. We are available 24/7 to process orders and answer questions concerning custom screen printed t shirts or embroidered caps or polos. Today may be the day that you want to consider opening your very own silk screening or embroidery company in the St. Louis, MO area.

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