Printwear

December '14

For the Business of Apparel Decorating

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82 | PRINTWEAR D EC E M B E R 20 1 4 Y ou've done the research. You've talked to people in-the-know. You've seen and handled the final products. And now you're ready to take the leap into the sublimation busi- ness. You're about to embark on a journey that will let you flex your creative muscles and delight scores of customers, all while making a nice profit. Whether you plan to start a new sublima- tion business from scratch or add this tech- nology to an existing business, this guide will help you traverse the trail ahead. After all, every journey should begin with a clear path and sound advice. RESEARCH AND STRATEGIZE Sublimation technology enables you to digitally decorate a wide range of products. One of the first considerations is which of these products you should create. Though it may seem simple, this question is actually rather complex and can lead to many addi- tional questions: • What markets should I target, and why are they the best choices? Just because you want to enter a particular market, doesn't mean it's a good one for sub- limation. Research that market's de- mand as well as the products and price points you would compete against. You may find that there's a need your prod- ucts can fulfill—or there may not be much room for what you want to offer. • What products are in demand for this market? There are thousands of products you can decorate using sublimation, and your market demands determine which are good choices. This greatly impacts your decision about what to offer. • Do I have the financial and logistical capabilities to produce these products? Compared to other forms of digital decoration, startup costs and required shop space are low. But you will need to Robin Kavanagh is the global public relations manager for Sawgrass Technologies' Consumer Division. Sawgrass provides digital printing technologies to support any size business—from desktop systems to wide-format commercial and industrial sys- tems for production environments. To start a sublimation business, you need a computer, sublimation printer, and heat press. (Image courtesy of Sawgrass Technologies) Sublimation Startup Guide Sublimation Startup Guide What you need to launch a successful business B Y R O B I N K A V A N A G H

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