October '13

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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Digital Transfers Laser transfer papers are also available to decorate mugs and other ceramic hard-surface items. Embellish a dog collar, pet bowl and placemat for under the pet bowl with an image of the beloved pooch or feline. 36 | Printwear PW_OCT13.indd 36 probably a decorator who can personalize many things. That is where you can separate yourself from the big box stores that sell billions of dollars' worth of generic holiday gift items. Get customers excited about the unique and meaningful options you can provide that will stand out against the gift that the other billion people will get. It is important to find a specific niche to make your primary focus. For example, cater to pet lovers by offering a kit similar to the aforementioned drinkware set, where there are a handful of coordinating products. Embellish a dog collar, pet bowl and placemat for under the pet bowl with an image of the beloved pooch or feline. Another niche might be photographs and keepsakes. This could be good if you are already handy with a camera or can partner with a local photographer. Offer customers options outside of paper prints or framed images—provide aluminum photo panels, personalized frames, coasters, keepsake boxes and ceramic tiles. Finally, explore the corporate gift market. Digital transfers allow you to offer short-run production without all the massive setup costs many of the advertising specialty suppliers require. Secondly, instead of a bland one- or two-color logo, offer full color images to personalize each gift for customers. Not only does this help move that inventory of mugs, mobile device cases and the other items mentioned earlier, but items such as puzzles, holiday ornaments or sticky note holders can all be perfect gift options for corporations to send out to their key customers to use for all of 2014. It is worth repeating: it is very important to assist customers with creating the customized products to ensure a successful outcome. Give customers a good starting point by offering great artwork in borders or templates so they can just add a picture, name or other drop-in type of element. Hopefully, this and the other tips will help your business have a record fourth quarter. Maybe it will even open some new doors to help your business take advantage of some other great markets. pw October 2013 9/17/13 8:55 AM

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